Blended Learning Schedule

Update for Families - 11/18/2020

November 18, 2020

Dear Families,    

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.

All of us at the Department of Education have been so proud to witness the joy of students and educators reuniting and learning together this year. We have been the only major school district in the nation to reopen our buildings. The benefit to hundreds of thousands of students is incredible, as school communities have reconnected in person for learning, growing, and supporting one another.

All along, we have kept health and safety at the forefront of everything we do. That includes carefully monitoring COVID-19 transmission rates across the city and, when necessary in response to infections, temporarily closing our school buildings and transitioning students to fully remote learning.

Given recent increases in transmission, we have reached a point in our City’s infection rate that requires all students to transition to remote learning. Beginning Thursday, November 19, all school buildings will be closed, and all learning will proceed remotely for all students, until further notice. You will hear from your principal shortly about next steps for you and your student. Please note that this is a temporary closure, and school buildings will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

I am sure you have many questions, and below you can find some important guidance to provide some answers. As always, we are committed to academic excellence, community-building, and social-emotional support for your child—no matter where they are learning.

Devices for Remote Learning

 Do you need a device, need technical support or to fix a broken device, or are dealing with a lost or stolen device? Call DOE’s IT Help desk at 718-935-5100 and press 5 to get assistance.

You can also get quick help online:

We are committed to ensuring every student is learning 5 days a week. Your child’s school will support you in remote learning if you currently don’t have a device by providing paper-based work. Contact your school for more info.

Free Meals for Students and Families

 All families and students can continue to go to any school building between 9:00 a.m. and noon on weekdays to pick up three free grab-and-go meals. No identification or registration is necessary. Halal and kosher meals are available at some sites, which are listed at schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.

From 3-5 p.m., New Yorkers of all ages can pick up free meals at 260 Community Meals sites across the city. For a list of sites, please visit schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.

Learning Bridges

 Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. We will continue to give priority to children of essential workers, as well as students in temporary housing or residing in NYCHA developments, children in foster care or receiving child welfare services, and students with disabilities. Families can learn more and apply at schools.nyc.gov/learningbridges, and new offers will be made to families weekly as seats are available.

Early Childhood Education

 3-K and Pre-K classrooms in district schools and DOE Pre-K Centers will be closed. If your child attends a program in a community-based center that is not located in a public school, or attends a family childcare program that is part of a DOE network, it will remain open. If you are not sure which type of program your child attends or have questions about your child’s services, please contact your program directly. Strong supports are in place to ensure that these sites can continue operating safely.

Although we are temporarily shifting to fully remote teaching and learning for all students, if you have recently elected to enroll your child in blended learning, your child will be able to begin in-person learning after we reopen. I know that for many of you, this decision to temporarily close school buildings that we recently opened up will be disappointing, and I understand. But by confronting these challenges together, we can continue to fight back against COVID-19. And I am confident that before long, we will be able to safely reopen our school buildings again.

Please remember the “Core Four”: wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance from others, and stay home if you’re feeling sick. These are critically important steps that all of us can take every day. 

We will continue to provide updates, supporting you and everyone in the DOE family as this public health crisis continues to evolve. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school with any questions or concerns. We are grateful for your partnership and all you do for our city.

 Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza Chancellor

New York City Department of Education

 

 

Family Letter in Yellow Zone - 11/11/2020

Family Letter in Yellow Zone Schools – 11.11.20

Dear PS 55 community, 

As the year has gotten underway, we are seeing how being back in the school building has done so much good for so many of your children. It has been amazing to witness your children reconnect with their peers and teachers.    

I wanted to share an important update on COVID-19 testing in our school. As you may be aware, the State launched a cluster action initiative to mitigate higher than average COVID-19 transmission in communities around the state. Per the State’s zone designations, our school is determined to be located in a geographic area identified as a “precautionary zone” (“yellow zone”) as announced by the State on Wednesday, November 11. Schools in these zones are safe to be open while COVID-19 transmission rates are being carefully monitored in these areas. You can find a map of the yellow zone, as well as other specially designated zones, here.     

    Because our school is located in a precautionary/yellow zone, our school will have mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing for a random sample of students and staff as required by the State for schools located in these zones. The transmission data for COVID-19 in the area around our school will continue to be closely monitored; should any change in operating status be needed, we will let you know immediately.     

Keeping our building open depends on random COVID-19 testing of our students and staff, which means that we need a consent form from you providing permission for your child to be tested for COVID-19. Even if you have already provided a consent form, please see the information below to ensure we have an updated form on file, which is necessary for our school. 

Like so much during this pandemic, the need for testing, and permission to test, is so different from what we are used to. I can reassure you that completing the consent form is in the best interest of your children and our school community. 

To ensure our compliance with State requirements, we need to ensure we have the most recent consent form for your child. Even if you have already sent it in, if it was before October 15, we need a new one that reflects Yellow Zone weekly testing. So I am asking you to please submit an updated consent form for your child. We need this if your child is currently participating in blended learning, or if you are opting into blended learning for the remainder of the school year. 

Here is important information, and how to submit consent: 

  • The test is quick and safe. More than 60,000 students have already been tested across the city. The testing process entails swabbing (similar to a Q-tip) the anterior nasal area/frontal part of the nose. The swab length may vary but only a small portion is inserted into the front part of the nose for five to ten seconds.
  • All testing-related data, info, and results are confidential and protected by strict City, State, and federal laws. COVID-19 tests will not be used to collect any DNA or other genetic information about you and/or your child.
  • A sample of students, with consent forms on file, and staff will be tested each week. So if your child is selected one week, they may or may not also be tested the following week. 
  • Even after we receive your consent, your child will not be tested if they are uncomfortable or become distressed at any point during the process. If that happens, we will work with you to address any potential concerns so that your child is comfortable participating in future testing. 
  • If your child is tested at school, information about the testing process, and when and how you will receive the results, will be sent home with your child. Most testing results will be available within 48 hours. 

There are two easy methods to provide your consent right away: 

  • Online: Fill out the form online using a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA). Go to mystudent.nyc. Below you can find instructions on how to create a NYCSA account.
  • Paper Form: Fill out and return the paper form to school. We have included the updated consent form with this letter. Your school can print and provide this form to you, or you can print it at home and send in with your child on their next in-person blended learning day. A printable PDF file is available in ten languages at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.

You can find additional information under Frequently Asked Questions at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting and also call the NYC Test and Trace Corps.’ hotline at 212-COVID. 

Thank you for your partnership and your continuing commitment to keeping our school community safe and healthy. We are here for you. 

  Sincerely,  

  Sharon Fishman, Principal

 

 HOW TO CREATE A NYCSA ACCOUNT 

If you already have a NYCSA account linked to your student(s): Log in, click your student’s name, click “Manage Account,” and then when a dropdown menu appears, click “Consent Forms.” Read the page, and then choose the consent option at the end for your student. 

If you do not already have a NYCSA account: You can create one right away! If you have an account creation code from your school, you can create a full account in approximately five minutes, and then provide consent as described above. If you do not have an account creation code from your school, you can still provide your consent right away by clicking “Manage Consent” under “COVID-19 Testing” and filling out your and your child’s information to provide consent. 

NYC DOE Consent Form For COVID-19 Testing

 covid-19-testing-consent-form-with weekly consent - Click to download

What is this form?

We are seeking your consent to test your child for COVID-19 infection. The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), working with NYC Health + Hospitals and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has partnered with laboratories and other providers to test NYC DOE students, teachers, and staff members for COVID-19 infection.

How often would you test my child?

We are arranging for our laboratory and provider testing partners to come to every school at least once a month to test some of the students and staff. If you consent, your child may be selected for testing on one or more of these occasions. In addition, your child may also be tested throughout the school year (1) in accordance with state and city mandates, such as weekly testing in schools in Yellow Zones, or (2) if they exhibit one or more symptoms of COVID-19, or (3) if they are a close contact of a student, teacher, or staff person with COVID-19 infection.

What is the test?

If you consent, your child will receive a free diagnostic test for the COVID-19 virus. The attached letter provides more information about the types of tests that may be used. Collecting a specimen for testing involves inserting a small swab, similar to a Q-Tip, into the front of the nose and/or collecting saliva (spit).

How will I know if my child tests positive?

If your child has a specimen collected for testing at school, we will send information home with them to let you know. COVID- 19 test results will generally be provided within 48-72 hours.

What should I do when I receive my child’s test results?

If your child’s test results are positive, please contact your child’s doctor immediately to review the test results and discuss what you should do next. You should keep your child at home and inform your child’s school. If your child’s test results are negative, this means that the virus was not detected in your child’s specimen. Tests sometimes produce incorrect negative results (called “false negatives”) in people who have COVID-19. If your child tests negative but has symptoms of COVID-19, or if you have concerns about your child’s exposure to COVID-19, you should call your child’s doctor. If you need help finding a doctor, call (844) NYC-4NYC.

TO BE COMPLETED BY PARENT, GUARDIAN OR ADULT STUDENT

Parent/Guardian Information

Parent/Guardian Print Name:

 

Parent/Guardian

Address:

 

Parent/Guardian Tel./Mobile #:

 

Parent/Guardian

Email address:

 

Best way to contact you

 

Child/Student Information

Child/Student Print Name:

 

Child/Student School ID/OSIS #:

 

Child/Student Date of Birth:

 

 

Child/Student

School

 

Child/Student

Address:

 

 

NOTIFICATION OF INFORMATION SHARING

The law allows some information about your child to be shared with and among certain New York City and New York State agencies and their contracted service providers, including those listed below. This information will be shared only for public health purposes, which may include notifying close contacts of your child if they have been exposed to COVID-19, and taking other steps to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in your school community. Information about your child that may be shared with these agencies and service providers conducting COVID-19 Testing includes your child’s name and COVID-19 test results, date of birth/age, gender, race/ethnicity, school name(s), teacher(s), classroom/cohort/pod, enrollment and attendance history, and afterschool or other program participation, names of other family members or guardians, address, telephone, mobile number, and email address. Sharing of information about your child will only be done so in accordance with

applicable law and City policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child’s data.

·       NYC Department of Education

·       NYC Department of Youth and Community Development

·       NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

·       NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation

·       NYS Department of Health

·       Contracted Service Providers for COVID-19 Testing

CONSENT

By signing below, I attest that:

·       I have signed this form freely and voluntarily, and I am legally authorized to make decisions for the child named above.

·       I consent for my child to be tested for COVID-19 infection.

·       I understand that my child may be tested at multiple times through September 30, 2021, and that testing may occur (1) on days scheduled by the NYC DOE in accordance with state and city mandates, such as weekly testing in schools in Yellow Zones, or (2) if they exhibit one or more symptoms of COVID-19, or (3) if they are a close contact of a student, teacher, or staff person with COVID-19 infection.

·       I understand that this consent form will be valid through September 30, 2021, unless I notify the designated contact person from my child’s school in writing that I revoke my consent.

·       I understand that if I revoke my consent or refuse to sign, my child may be required to continue their education via remote learning.

·       I understand that my child’s test results and other information may be disclosed as permitted by law.

·       I understand that if I am a student age 18 or older, or may otherwise legally consent for my own health care, references to

“my child” refer to me and I may sign this form on my own behalf.

Signature of Parent/ Guardian* (if child is under age 18)

 

Date

Signature of Student

(if age 18 or over or otherwise authorized to consent)

 

Date