Reopening Schools Redux

Dear EVCS Families,

The Mayor and Chancellor announced on Sunday that elementary schools across the city will resume in-person learning on December 7. Since schools first opened in September we have demonstrated that we can offer in-person learning safely and responsibly, and we know that many of our students really depend on coming into school for blended learning, so this policy shift comes as welcome news (whiplash notwithstanding). We are ready and looking forward to opening our doors again on Monday morning.

The Mayor’s announcement included some confusing messages however, about “phasing out blended learning” and students coming in for in-person learning 5 days a week. Given that schools must continue to maintain social distancing requirements in classrooms, many schools – including EVCS – will not be able to phase out blended learning due to the number of students enrolled in blended learning and limitations on space and staffing. Therefore, on Monday we will continue blended learning in our 2-cohort model. We will also be creating opportunities for a very limited number of students on each grade level to come in for in-person learning more frequently. These opportunities will be offered individually according to need, based on a range of criteria.

As an additional safeguard to keep our schools safe the DOE will be ramping up the COVID testing program in schools. Consent for COVID testing will be mandatory for all students and staff coming into school buildings, and a randomly selected group of students in grades 1-5 and staff from each building will now be tested each week.

Additionally, the DOE has updated it’s policy on travel outside of the city to be in line with New York State policies. Students and staff who have recently traveled outside of New York to a place on the State’s travel advisory list must quarantine for 14 days or test out of the 14-day quarantine based on the State’s guidance, which can be found here. Staff and students should continue to complete the health questionnaire daily.

Monday December 7 is a B Day, in case you were wondering, and here is the blended learning calendar for January – June.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. I hope you and your families remain in good health and good spirits.

As ever,