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Dear EVCS Families,

The city of Chicago announced yesterday that the new school year will open remotely. They are joining Los Angeles, San Diego and Philadelphia who will offer online learning only.

NYC DOE is still working on Blended Learning reopening plans but all guidelines have not been issued yet, a first day of school date has not been announced.

The movement to demand the city to enable Outdoor Learning is growing: There will be a Town Hall meeting via Zoom tonight at 7PM, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander calling the city to provide spaces for Outdoor Learning. Models and ideas will be shared with parents.

Register for the Town Hall Meeting HERE

Next Wednesday at 5pm we will hold another PA meeting dedicated to the unknowns of next school year. You can find the information for the meeting below.

See you all then,
EVCS PA Exec Board

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Topic: EVCS PA meeting
Time: Aug 12, 2020 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting HERE

Meeting ID: 753 5724 6242
Passcode: 6C4KA9

Reminder: Deadline to sign up for 100% remote learning this Friday, August 7

This fall, New York City schools will offer a combination of in-person and remote learning. You can choose from two basic options:

1. 100% Remote Learning: Opt-in to have your child learn 100% remotely (all online, from home). To choose this option for your child please fill out this form.

OR

2. Blended Learning – a combination of in-person and remote learning:Your child can follow their school’s schedule, a mix of in-person days at school, and remote learning days from home. To choose this option, no action is needed.

For more information on the DOE’s plans for blended learning, please visit the Return to School 2020 pages on the DOE website.

Please note:
– The deadline to Opt-in to 100% remote learning is this Friday, August 7.

Continue reading

September planning updates

Dear EVCS Families,

I hope this message finds you all healthy, well and enjoying your summer. I am looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow evening at 5:00 for our bi-weekly parent meeting to discuss the latest on our plans for re-opening schools in September. Here’s a little preview of what we will discuss.

Next Friday August 7th is the deadline to sign your child up for the 100% remote learning option. I know many parents have been wondering about what that will entail, who will teach the children opting for fully remote learning, and how they will stay connected to their classmates and our school community. Although questions still abound about exactly how we will make this work at EVCS, some of our questions were answered in a letter to families from the Chancellor yesterday. Most notable is this statement, “No matter whether you are at school in-person or you are learning remotely, you and your child are still enrolled in and part of your school community. Your child’s schedule and learning experience will be fully managed by your school. The vast majority of students who participate in fully remote learning will be taught by teachers from their school.” We can discuss in greater detail tomorrow.

We are expecting the majority of our students to participate in blended learningthis fall, spending part of their time learning remotely at home and part of their time learning in-person in the school building. We know that for most of our families the in-person time is essential and very highly valued, and we are doing our best to maximize that in-person learning time for all of our students. Because our school is in an overcrowded building our default programming is for a 3-cohort model, which would allow most of our students to learn in the building 1/3 of the time, or five days every three weeks, but we have also been considering some potential out-of-the-box ways to increase the amount of in-person learning time for all students participating in blended learning at an annex site. It’s a bit of a long shot, and depends upon many still unknown things lining up, but it’s definitely worth exploring. More on that tomorrow evening.

Remember, you can always catch up on all the latest information from the DOE on their website, Return to School 2020 page.

Thanks for your continued patience, understanding and collaboration.

Yours,
Bradley

Return to school 2020: Blended or Remote Learning, Deadline August 7

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This fall, New York City schools will offer a combination of in-person and remote learning. You can choose from two basic options:

1. 100% Remote Learning: Opt-in to have your child learn 100% remotely (all online, from home). To choose this option for your child, fill out and submit the form below. If you are having difficulties completing this form online, call 311.

OR

2. Combination of In-Person and Remote Learning: Your child can follow their school’s schedule, a mix of in-person days at school, and remote learning days from home. To choose this option, no action is needed. We will be in touch about the EVCS schedule and programming plans in the coming weeks.

For more information on the DOE’s plans for blended learning, please visit the Return to School 2020 pages on the DOE website.

Please note:
– The deadline to opt in to 100% remote learning is August 7.

– You will have the ability to switch from blended learning to 100% remote learning, or vice versa, on a quarterly basis once the school year starts.
– Many of the details of what the 100% remote option will entail are not known yet, including whether the students in this category will be taught be EVCS teachers, or teachers from a central pool. We are hoping that these details will be made clear well before the August 7 deadline, and we will make sure to turnkey this information to parents as soon as we know, so you can make an informed choice.

Complete this form to opt in to 100% remote learning this fall.

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The next EVCS PA Meeting is currently scheduled for Tuesday, July 28.

Details, including the link to join, will come from the Parent Association.
To read the minutes from the most recent Parent Association meeting with Bradley, please click here.

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You can also register for a virtual citywide information session
for students and families from 6:30-8:00 PM on the following dates:

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Thursday, August 27, 2020

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As more information becomes available we will be sure to keep you posted.

Kind regards,
EVCS Re-Entry Team

Planning For September

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Dear EVCS Families,

I hope you are all enjoying the start to summer in good health! I have a few brief updates and a couple of reminders for you.

The other day the Chancellor and Mayor revealed a bit more detail on the city’s plans for blended learning in September, including a template for programming models that schools will be encouraged to use. There are many variables that need to be considered before determining which models will be an option for each school, namely our total enrollment, the number of students opting in to 100% remote learning, number of staff available for in-person and remote teaching and our actual building capacity and ability to social distance within classrooms. There’s still a lot to sort out, but we now have a more clear framework to plan around, which is progress.
Families will have the option for 100% remote learning if they are not comfortable sending their children back to school for in-person teaching and learning yet. There will be a window to register your children for that option, opening later this week and going through August 7. Please note that once families sign on to 100% remote learning they will only be able to opt back in to blended learning on a quarterly basis. Other questions remain about the 100% remoter learning option, including who teaches these students, if they are EVCS teachers or other teachers from a central pool, using a standardized curriculum. Hopefully we will have more clarity on these questions soon so families can make informed decisions.
You can always find the most up to date information and many more details on the DOE website, Return to School 2020 page.
The Department of Education is hosting an information session for families on school reopening this Thursday July 16 at 6:30. You can register to attend here.

I will be working throughout the summer with a team of EVCS teachers and staff as well as parent members of our School Leadership Team and Parent Association Executive Committee to develop our school’s plan for September. We will of course take into account all of the guidance from central DOE as well as parent and student feedback from our in-house surveys. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to complete the survey today. The survey will close by tomorrow morning. The student survey can be found here – and the parent survey can be found here.

Finally, I hope to see many of you at the Parent Association meeting tomorrow evening at 5:00, where we will talk through all of this information in greater detail and do our best to make sense of it together. There is no doubt that more great challenges lie ahead for us, and that our abilities to be adaptive and flexible will continue to be tested. But I also believe these challenges and inconveniences will be temporary and that we will get through them together and emerge as an even stronger and more resilient community.

As ever,

Bradley

School Reopening Surveys

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Dear EVCS Families,

I hope you are all enjoying the start to our much anticipated and much neededsummer! As proud as I am of the way our school community rose to the challenges of this past spring, I think we all really need a break to rest, restore and recharge the old batteries.

I hope to do some serious chilling out of my own this summer – but I will also be busy planning to launch our school again in September. We still can’t predict exactly what September will bring, so I will be working throughout the summer with a team of teachers and staff, as well as parent representatives from the School Leadership Team, to envision and plan for various possible scenarios. At this point the most likely scenario seems to be a model of blended learning, which would allow for both in person and remote teaching and learning. Information and guidance from the Department of Education will be coming out regularly throughout the summer which we will of course be using to frame our planning, but I also think it is critical that we take into account the experiences, perspectives and unique situations of EVCS families. In that spirit, our SLT has developed two surveys for EVCS families – one for parents and one for students. Please take some time to let your voice be heard so we can learn from our experiences so far with remote learning and do whatever is possible to create an optimal situation that works for our families.

Though uncertainty is still the prevailing sentiment, a few of the many chips are starting to fall in place. One item that has become more clear which may be of great interest to some of our families, is that the DOE has committed to creating an option for students to continue with remote learning in the fall, regardless of the blended learning structures that exist in their school building. This option may be compelling for students who have compromised immune systems, who live with immunocompromised family members, or for families who are generally uncomfortable with the idea of returning to school buildings before a vaccine is available. Families who are interested in pursuing this option will need to sign up for it between July 15 and August 7. I will make sure we message out the instructions and all relevant links and resources for that option as they become available. And as things continue to develop and more is known about what is coming down the pike, I will do my best to share that with you.

As always, I appreciate the thoughtfulness, support and compassion of our great community. I really, truly can’t wait until we can be together again, but I also believe that we will get through these next challenges as we have the ones that came before. We’re in it together and we are going to be alright!

Take care, be healthy, have a terrific summer, and please don’t hesitate to reach out for anything at all.

Yours,

Bradley

EVCS Summer Send-off 2020!

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Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is Friday, June 26, Day 65 of remote learning, and the last day school!

Congratulations to our graduates!

An amazing effort was made to honor and celebrate our 5th graders and their time at EVCS. We wish them all the best and good luck heading to middle school! Many thanks to everyone who contributed and made it extra special.

And to everyone – congratulations on making it to the last day of school!
Parents and students, you have done an amazing job all year long!

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Reports & Summer Resources
Today you should have received an email from your teachers with your child’s report as well as summer activities and resources.

The resource list includes academic work to continue practicing over the summer as well as ideas for the whole family in art, music, and physical education! And your Google Classroom content will be accessible over the summer to access at your leisure as well. We recommend reading and writing every day, as well as lots of other activities suggested in the grade-specific emails. Please reach out to Liz & Bradley if you did not receive an email.

In 1st-5th grade, a social classroom has been created for students to stay in touch with friends over the summer. They can join this classroom anytime and set up meet-ups to socialize and share with each other. I can see that many have figured it out already! If not, please be sure to mention this to them. Any questions, please reach out.

And click HERE for a letter from the DOE about some great reading resources for the summer too!

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Visual Art Slide Show 2020
Featuring an original work by every single EVCS student. Enjoy!

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September 2020 Updates
There will be an active team working on fall plans over the summer and we will be in touch to share updates – both school-wide and for your child’s upcoming grade and class. Please feel free to reach out as well with thoughts, ideas, and any questions that come up.

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Click here for past Weekly Emails for previously-shared resources.

Soak up a little sun and have a happy, healthy summer! I hope to see everyone in the fall.

As always,
James

Blended Learning

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Dear EVCS Families,

After what truly feels like the longest spring in history, we are finally at the finish line. Hobbled and totally exhausted, but we made it. We generally like to end every school year with all of the loose ends tied up, and with a sense of closure and excitement for what comes next. This year that last-week-of-June-feeling is more complicated, as we are heading into our summer break with a lot of uncertainty about what September will bring.

Last week at our PA meeting I shared the (limited) information that I had about the Chancellor’s suggestion that we would be moving towards a “blended learning” model in the fall. Of course, every piece of information that we have leads to many questions for which there are not currently answers, and no new information has been provided by the DOE since last week. Not knowing what to expect can feel frustrating and anxiety producing for all of us – and I want you to know that I am committed to full transparency and passing along any information I have to all of our families and staff, as soon as I have access to it. One thing is becoming clear – figuring out exactly how our school will roll out blended learning must be a collaborative effort, including all stakeholders at our school. In that spirit, below are some bullets summarizing the main points of what we discussed last week and there will be another PA meeting tomorrow evening at 5:30 to continue the discussion. Unfortunately there isn’t much in the way of new information to share tomorrow, but I’m sure there is still a lot of processing to do of the information we have.

Here’s what we know and are thinking about:

The Chancellor is suggesting that NYC public schools will likely shift to a blended learning model next fall, that will provide each student opportunities to learn at home through remote learning as well as in school with teachers.
Schools will be expected to schedule students and teachers on staggered schedules to allow for social distancing, according to CDC guidelines that require each individual to have 65 Sq ft. of space within the classroom. Based on the average NYC classroom size, this would allow for 9 students with 1 adult in each classroom at any time. System wide, New York City has the ability to work with 49% of our 1.1 million students in-person at any given time.
Every principal was provided with data specific to our schools that show building utilization and capacity numbers, given our projected enrollment next year. Our school’s capacity to work with students in our current space in our building is roughly 33% – well below the City and District average. In other words, many schools may be able to come up with an alternating schedule that would allow their students to learn in school with a teacher in a classroom half of the days, or even more frequently, but our students would most likely be able to come into school at most 1/3 of the days. It is well known by the District, CEC, and Central DOE that our building is overcrowded. Alleviating this overcrowding for our students has been a priority of the DOE for years, and has now taken on a new urgency. From what I understand, the DOE is considering a range of options to address this situation, even for just the short term, so that our students can have equitable access to live, in-person teaching and learning.
Exactly what sort of alternating schedule schools may adopt will likely vary, and could be alternating days, alternating weeks, or am/pm shifts. From what I understand now, schools will have the flexibility to put in place the model that is the most convenient (or, perhaps least inconvenient, if we’re being accurate) for our families and staff. We will be surveying families soon to better understand your needs and preferences.

So many questions abound. For example, how will we service our students with IEPs, who require an ICT setting? What about students who rely on paraprofessionals? What about lunch, recess, specials like art, music and PE? How will our teachers balance and manage both remote and in-person learning for all of their students? How do we maintain social distancing with our youngest students, for whom it is just very unnatural and difficult? Will there be school busses? Can we arrange for siblings to have similar schedules? What if they go to different schools? Bathrooms? Masks? The list goes on and on. It’s frustrating to not have answers at our fingertips to our many questions, but let’s ask the questions anyway.

I hope to see you tomorrow to continue the conversation, to commiserate, to hopefully begin to envision together how we might make lemonade out of these lemons, and of course to wish each other well as we start the summer. Looking forward to it. And if you can’t make it tomorrow, I’ll be in touch throughout the summer as new information comes out and as opportunities to engage in a process around this emerge.

As ever,

Bradley