EVCS Weekly May 4 – 8

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Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is Friday, May 1 – Day 30 of remote learning!

I hope everyone is finding ways to stay active and healthy.
We want to thank you for being supportive partners and helping your children do the best they can every single day!

Bradley shared updates to our Remote Learning Plan Wednesday and there will be an opportunity next week to meet with your teachers for live Q&A to hear more about the plans. Please find more details below.

Tomorrow, Saturday, May 2 is the second day of this extremely cool event: Everywhere Book Fest! Check it out.

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Updates to Remote Learning Plan

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Dear EVCS Family,

Over the last few weeks we have been engaged in a large-scale deliberative process, gathering feedback from our staff and families about their experiences with remote learning through surveys and meetings, with the intention of developing a cohesive vision that will carry us through the end of this school year. We think it’s essential that we take into account the voices and perspectives of our different constituency groups, the things we have learned about what our students and families need in this time of crisis, and also – as much as possible – preserve and center our school’s vision and mission and our shared beliefs about what makes high quality teaching and learning. We still have more than two months of school before we break for the summer, and we intend to make the most of it! Please have a look at our school-wide remote learning plan here.

I’m sure that after reviewing the principles and guidelines for remote learning in our framework that questions will emerge about how this plan will take form at specific grade levels, and we want to make sure that we are creating space for those questions to be asked and answered. Therefore, we will be hosting grade-level Q&A sessions for parents next week. Each session will last about 45 minutes and will include the classroom teachers, Liz and me. In order to use the time most efficiently we are suggesting that questions be submitted in advance in this form. The schedule for Q&A sessions can be found here, and please note that we will be recording the sessions so parents who were not able to attend can access later.

As an important sidebar to our remote learning plan, I want to highlight the fact that a significant amount of feedback we received from parents about their experience with remote learning was lamenting the fact that their children are now spending such a dramatically increased amount of time on screens. While we recognize that the digital interface is a necessary part of remote learning, we also want to make sure that we are encouraging our students to be learning in analog formats, whenever that is an option. Perhaps the most important way that we can create continuity for our kids’ learning and also get them off their devices is by encouraging reading of old fashioned books. Having said that, I know that families’ supply of grade-level books in their homes is limited and/or has already been exhausted and in need of refreshing. If you are able to order more books through booksellers that are currently shipping, please do so! If you need advice on what books would be on your child’s level, please reach out to their classroom teacher or consult the handy Scholastic Book Wizard. And if ordering anything is not possible at the moment, I am very pleased to tell you that our world class Parents Association is currently putting the finishing details on an initiative to get actual books in the hands of every EVCS student who needs them, at no cost to our families. Our PA is the best! More information on that initiative will be coming very soon.

I want to put in a plug for a few additional initiatives that we will be rolling out this spring, in order to keep things interesting and fresh. I enjoyed reading books to our kids so much over our “spring break” week, that I will be starting a new read aloud cycle from a magnificent, but somehow lesser known classic chapter book called Jenny and the Cat Club. Be on the lookout for links to that in Google Classroom next week – it’s great for all ages. And our Multicultural Share may be cancelled, but we will be hosting a school-wide talent show! It’s going to be great, and all will be welcome to share their special talents in pre-recorded 3 or so minute clips. Stay tuned for more information from our Master of Ceremonies Eric, but please tell your kids to start polishing up their acts. And finally, this Monday morning we will be posting a link to our first ever remote School-Wide Morning Meeting. Given our constraints with the permitted technologies, the first remote SWMM will be pre-recorded – and hopefully we can figure a way to do live SWMMs soon.

I hope you are all staying healthy, safe, and relatively sane. Hang in there folks!

With love,
Bradley

EVCS Weekly April 27 – May 1

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Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is Friday, April 24 – Day 25 of remote learning!

It was great to see and hear some of you this past Monday at the remote PA meeting. If you missed it, the meeting was recorded. The next PA Meeting is May 27, 2020 at 10:00am.

Next Week

Monday, April 27 – Friday, May 1
Remote Learning Continues!

Attendance Reminders
Each day in Google Classroom, remember to start off by answering the morning question. Answering the question is one way teachers take attendance! If you turn in your work in Google Classroom they will also be able to see that you are successfully interacting. If anyone is still having issues logging in, please reach out to us and we will help you troubleshoot any issues.

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EVCS Weekly April 20 – 24

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Dear Parents and Guardians,

We hope everyone discovered something new this week and had fun exploring on our virtual field trips! **

It is Friday, April 17 – Day 20 of remote learning!

Next Week

Monday, April 20 – Friday, April 24
Remote Learning Continues – remember, our start time is 9:30am
Please be sure to make contact with your teachers daily either through the Google Classroom or via email.

Thursday, April 23
3:00pm – SLT Meeting

Attendance Reminders
Each day in Google Classroom, remember to start off by answering the morning question. Answering the question is one way teachers take attendance! If you turn in your work in Google Classroom they will also be able to see that you are successfully interacting. If anyone is still having issues logging in, please reach out to us and we will help you troubleshoot any issues.

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EVCS Weekly April 13 -17

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Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is Friday, April 9 – Day 15 of remote learning!

This Week

Monday, April 13-Friday, April 17
Modified Remote Learning Week – Please be sure to visit your child’s Google Classrooms each day – it’s a week of “field trips”!

Monday, April 20 – Friday, April 25
Remote Learning Continues – remember, our start time is 9:30am

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Georga, Kofi & the Butterfly Buddies
It brings me great joy to share this very special treat today created & presented by our own talented parent team Reiko and Camila, Io and Nico’s moms. They said “it always warms one’s heart to see Georga and Kofi in action.” Enjoy this wonderful short film here!

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Message from Bradley : Spring recess & video conferencing

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Dear EVCS families,

I hope this message finds you all healthy and well. As we get ready to enter our third week of remote learning I want to check in with all of you on some big picture and DOE policy updates, and also ask for your input on our long term plans.

I’ll start with the headline. On Friday afternoon the Chancellor announced that our previously scheduled spring recess, including the days of Passover and Good Friday, is cancelled, and that remote learning should continue uninterrupted this week and next. My understanding of the intentions behind this policy shift is that the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City is expected to hit exactly at the time of our scheduled break, and the City is doing everything they can to encourage everyone to stay home and be occupied and safe. While I get the rationale, I know this information came as a surprise and was disappointing for many of our students, parents and staff, all of whom have been working really hard during this stressful time and were looking forward to a well-deserved and restorative break. The teachers and I will be meeting tomorrow afternoon to discuss our plans for keeping students engaged during the break and I will update you soon so you know what to expect. My intention is to create a plan for that time that provides continuity for our students as well as a breather for everyone.

Since it is seeming more and more like remote learning will be our reality for the foreseeable future, we are starting to draft longer term plans and would like your input. Please take a moment to fill out this survey so we can understand from the student and parent point of view how this experience has been over the last two weeks and how it is working for your family.

Finally, it was announced on Friday that because of security and privacy concerns, the DOE is no longer allowing the use of Zoom as a video conferencing platform. They are reviewing other platforms including Google Hangouts – but for the time being the only approved platform for video conferencing is Microsoft Teams. Building the plane while flying the plane indeed! We designed our entire remote learning platform around Google applications, so before we pivot to adopt another platform, we are waiting for more guidance from the DOE, which should be coming soon. In the meantime though, I have advised our staff to hold off on all live teaching, small group instruction and individual conferences, including teletherapy – anything that requires the use of video conferencing. I believe this will be a very temporary shift, and we will be back to having video conferencing ability very soon, so please stay tuned.

Thank you all so much for your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters. Please tell your kids that I miss them, and that I am so proud of all the ways they have risen to these challenges over the last few weeks. More soon.

Yours,
Bradley

EVCS Weekly April 6 – April 10

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Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is Friday, April 3 – Day 10 of remote learning!

Attendance
Each day in Google Classroom, remember to start off by answering the morning question – Answering the question is one way teachers take attendance! If you turn in your work in Google Classroom they will also be able to see that you are successfully interacting. If anyone is still having issues logging in, please reach out to us and we will help you troubleshoot any issues. I can see there has been a ton of activity on and off line. Keep up the great work and continue to share!

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This is a time when knowing that we are connected is vital and helps to relieve some anxiety of “not knowing” where our friends are. By all means, reach out to each other if you have not already! Students can use their @evcs.me accounts to “Hangout” if a parent helps set that up as a virtual playdate. We recommend keeping them private within your own classes, also try to practice core values including “inclusion” whenever possible. We are pulling together some info/resources to share soon that will help.

In the meantime, Let It Shine!

Before you unplug for the weekend…

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EVCS Weekly March 30 – April 3

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Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is Friday, March 27.
I heard someone say “by now we might all realize this remote learning is becoming a marathon.” EVCS completed the first lap and from our end you are all looking great. Keep it up, you got this. This has been a doozy for many to say the least. Way to go parents, students, heroic teachers, & admin for pulling it together – it is remarkable and everyone deserves a big reward.

Before we all collapse into the weekend…

There are a few updates and new resources to note below…

New York State Tests for ELA and MATH
Exams are Suspended for grades 3-8 due to COVID-19

School Food
FREE meals for all kids under 18!
View the list here to find the nearest pick up location. Hrs: 7:30 a.m. – 1:30.p.m.
Kids may pick up from any participating school location on the list. Check for the closest open school near you. All kids can pick up 3 bags each day. If you need help finding additional food resources in the community, please reach out to James.

Tips that might help in setting your child up for success:
Try to create a dedicated workspace for each of you sharing the home. Everyone needs a space they can call their own work area. Keep it organized and comfy, everyone will work better if they feel comfortable and tools are in order. Provide privacy if possible. It may never be “ideal” at home so do the best you can. Support and motivate, think about setting up a gallery area to feature any work they produce. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out and we will do our best to support you.

The kids’ “start time” is 9:30 a.m.

Go easy on yourselves and do what you can. Adjusting to this new norm is different for every family – remember how hard it could be to get out of the house, it might be even tougher some days staying in the house and redirecting the focus. Try to create a regular schedule – kids thrive more often than not with a routine in place. If you need support coming up with a schedule, reach out. Posting the schedule where everyone can see it will go a long way. You can refer to it when you need to get back on track.

NYC School Survey
Our response rate is very low at 19% for EVCS.
We know there is a lot going on but it only takes a few minutes.
Only one survey per family is needed. PLEASE do let your voices be heard and fill out the survey today! Thank you in advance!
Take the Parent Survey (available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, and Spanish – click here to select your language. )

Attendance
Remote attendance may look and feel a bit different than when we all met at school. With remote learning we encourage all students to participate and engage with the materials, lessons and information presented in google classroom and by the teacher(s). We also understand the juggle that is happening at home and that it looks different for everyone. Our hope and expectation is that you do your best and let us know where the struggles are. We are here to support you 100%.

The Virtual Yard
Thinking about a class hang out? Ask your teacher to help set something up. The upper grade levels encourage regular hang out time using Google Hangouts. Practicing with protocols like “keeping your microphone on mute” and allowing each one to speak and hear one another. Kids miss each other, and this is one way perhaps everyone can share and connect.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

If you are a first responder, health care provider, or transit worker
whose child is a NYC resident and you have no other child care option, complete this FORM to begin the enrollment process for the city childcare & enrichment centers

Devices and Wifi Connections.
If you or some you know is still in need of a device to connect your child to Google Classroom, fill out this form for a device, on loan, from the Department of Education: https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices
Your student ID is required, reach out to teachers or me if you need it.
EVCS is located under The East Village Community School.
If your device is not working please reach out to Liz first to decide if we need to request another device – liz@evcs.me.

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EVCS Weekly March 23-27

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Dear Parents and Guardians,

The past days have been very different (to say the least!), as we weather some major changes to our daily routines. I hope everyone is staying safe and calm, while finding a little joy in the midst of it all. Teachers are actively preparing for the resumption of school, albeit of the online variety.

A few things to note below…

School Food
FREE meals for all kids under 18!
View the list here to find the nearest pick up location. Hrs: 7:30 a.m. – 1:30.p.m.
Kids may pick up from any participating school location on the list. Check for the closest open school near you. All kids can pick up 3 bags each day. If you need help finding additional food resources in the community, please reach out to James.

Devices and Wifi Connections.
If you or some you know is still in need of a device to connect your child to Google Classroom, fill out this form for a device, on loan, from the Department of Education:

https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices
Your student ID is required, reach out to teachers or me if you need it.
EVCS is located under The East Village Community School.

If you are not set up yet, don’t worry, we will take it one day at a time…

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