Dear I.S. 24 Families,
What a difference a week makes. I know there are so many questions and so many things that we still don't know. Let’s all focus on the positives and look for ways to be good to each other. Let’s do all we can to follow CDC guidelines so that we can flatten the curve and get the virus under control as quickly as possible. My heart goes out to those of you who are dealing directly with this. To first responders, health care workers, families who are dealing with the disease….I send you encouragement, love and strength. God bless you all!
This will be a brief week in review. I will just list some things to keep in mind as we move forward into the second week of this new way of doing things.
- Teachers are providing assignments via on-line platforms. We are pleased with the level of enthusiasm and response from our staff and students so far. If your child has not received anything, that is a problem that we need to help you figure out. Faculty & Staff will be reaching out by phone to families from whom they have not yet heard. Also, students should be checking their Google Classroom and Pupilpath accounts. Teachers are communicating with students directly through those accounts. We are also posting news, letters and support on our homepage www.barnes24.org. Use the new tab "Remote Learning" for resources.
- Our plan remains the same if the intention is to return to school on April 20th. We will be making decisions about fourth marking period grades and grading in general if we learn that we will not return on April 20th as planned. As is the case when school is in session, there is a wide range of teacher styles and grading practices. This is no different now. I know it is overwhelming to be getting assignments in different ways with different platforms. As time goes on, we will be streamlining as best as we can. I have asked teachers to be flexible and accommodating to the greatest extent possible after having a virtual meeting with them today. They are receiving that message as so many of them are in positions such as yourselves being working parents at home. We will have to partner and collaborate as we move forward to make decisions in the best interests of our 1,375+ students.
- We want our students to stay physically active but we also do not want students congregating in groups. Please encourage them to step away from their devices to enjoy a little fresh air all while continuing to practice social distancing.
- Our students’ wellness and mental health remain one of our top priorities. School Counselors and Support Staff remain available and regularly in touch with families. Parents looking for helpful resources can also consider the following links:
- https://afineparent.simplero.com/deliveries/xMHO2OQkj_bxG6iC - offers suggestions on keeping kids engaged, finding a "calm" zone, and helping kids move beyond their comfort zone.
- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html - general self care and coping strategies during this uncertain time
- The NYC DoE continues to provide grab-and-go breakfast and lunch packages for our students each day during the Coronavirus school closing. We encourage ALL students/families suffering financial hardship at this time to take advantage of this opportunity.
- The week of March 30-April 3 will have us continue to reinforce standards based activities and learning. We will make a decision on learning new standards and units of study at the end of next week and the possibility of other changes for the fourth marking period.
Students will see grades on Pupilpath starting today for the third marking period. However, the grades are not weighed on Pupilpath so the averages will be off a bit slightly. To see the exact grade a parent must log onto their account for NYCSA https://mystudent.nyc/ for the time being. Only about 700 families are registered for the site. At this time we are unable to assist in creating new accounts. We will provide physical report cards upon student return to school.
We know that we will be out of school through April 8th and until the end of Spring Break. If that changes and gets prolonged we will get that information out to you as soon as we can. We know how challenging these times are for everyone. We know it has been a tremendous adjustment for you, for your family and for our staff. Please know that everyone has the best intentions for managing this new way of doing things. I am in constant communication with the Assistant Principal's, Superintendent and her team, as well as the DoE several times a week. I am in and out of the office planning and coordinating to the greatest extent possible. We want the very best for our students and our hearts are with them as we miss them very much.
We miss our students very much and wish them and you all the best.
The Pride of Great Kills!