Arrival/Dismissal

Dear EVCS Families,

The first day of school is right around the corner – we can’t wait to see all of you on September 13! Here are a few important announcements you need to know before the big day:

▪ Our school day starts at 8:30 every day. Students can arrive to our schoolyard any time between between 8:00 and 8:30. Breakfast will be available for those students who need it at the tables outside. Similar to last year, parents will be asked to say goodbye their kids at the gate to avoid crowding inside.
▪ Every student will need to have a completed Health Screening before entering the schoolyard. For those students arriving with their parents or care givers, you can show us the completed screening on your phone as your child is entering the gate. For children who take the school bus or walk to school on their own, we ask that parents please complete the screening online before your child leaves. It is a critical part of our plan to keep our community safe that every parent attest each and every day that their child is symptom free and has not been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID. You can access the screening at this link: https://healthscreening.schools.nyc/. I recommend bookmarking it on your phone now!
▪ Another essential part of our safety plan involves random COVID testing of our 1st-5th Grade students that will be conducted in our building twice a month. We ask that every parent of students in Grades 1-5 please give consent for their children to be tested at school, if you haven’t already. You can do that at your child’s NYC Schools Account. Remember, it’s on (all of) us!
▪ Dismissal is at 2:50 in the schoolyard, every day for all of our grades, rain or shine. It’s very important that we know exactly what your child’s dismissal plan is for each day of the week, so we can make sure everyone gets where they are supposed to go. Please take a few minutes to fill out this form before the first day of school to provide us with your regular plan. If things change we can always update our records.
▪ Finally, we are planing a Curriculum Night event to be held remotely via Google Meet, on Wednesday September 29 at 5:30 PM. More information will be coming soon from your child’s teacher, but please mark your calendars.

That’s all for now! Enjoy these last precious days with your kids, and see you very soon in the schoolyard.

As ever,

Bradley

Have a great summer!

Dear EVCS Families,

It’s hard to believe, but here we are on the penultimate day of school, and I think we can all finally begin to exhale! It’s been a strange and super challenging year for all of us, but I am so incredibly proud of our school for how we have made our way through this time. I have to hand it to our kids for the heroic resilience and positive attitudes they have demonstrated all year. Their enthusiasm, joy, and commitment to learning online and in-person lifted all of us up and sustained us through the most difficult moments. I also want to thank you, our parents, for your patience, understanding and support throughout this tumultuous time. Our parents have always been our partners in this work, but this last year that partnership has taken on a whole new dimension! Thank you for being there with us every step of the way. And I need to give a major shout out to our teachers, paras and service providers. Their already very hard jobs became immeasurably harder these last 16 months, but they showed up for our kids every day with integrity, creativity, and most of all, with heart. The EVCS staff is the best there is and I am so grateful to them for all of the effort that went in to making this year as successful as it was.

Tomorrow is our last day of school before the summer break – please note that it is a full day of school. We are encouraging all of our kids to wear their new EVCS t-shirts! For our students coming in-person, we will have a celebratory sendoff at dismissal, with a “last day of school” photo backdrop, popsicles and other fun stuff. The closure of each school year is a big deal – but this one deserves extra recognition. There’s a chance (slim I am told, but still a possibility) that the Chancellor of Schools Meisha Porter will stop by dismissal to help us say goodbye and wish our kids well for the summer.

Finally, I just want to say that I consider it the privilege of a lifetime to be the principal of our fantastic school. Thank you for trusting me with this great responsibility. Have a wonderful, safe and relaxing summer. See you in September!

As ever,

Bradley

Town Hall Meeting June 9

Town Hall Meeting with Superintendent Carry Chan

Dear EVCS Families,

Please join us next Wednesday June 9 at 6:00 pm for a town hall meeting with Carry Chan. This will be an opportunity to reflect together on this monumental year and begin to envision our school and district in a post pandemic future. I hope to see many of you there – details below.

Yours,

Bradley

Town Hall with Carry Chan
Wednesday, June 9 · 6:00 – 7:00pm
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/zyg-tunv-quc
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 814-303-2348‬ PIN: ‪150 380 059‬#

2021 School Survey

Dear EVCS Families,

Every year we ask all of our families to take the DOE School survey in order to gather critical feedback on all aspects of your and your child’s experience at our school. The information captured in this survey is so important to us and is used to make important planning decisions for EVCS, so we can maintain and expand the things we are doing well and develop the things that need improvement. To access the survey please go to this secure link, and enter “f” followed by your child’s nine-digit student identification number (OSIS) . A student’s OSIS number can be found on their midyear report or in the family’s NYCSA account. If you are having any issues finding your child OSIS number, please contact James at JamesPC@evcs.me.

Thank you so much for participating in this important process. We appreciate it!

Bradley

Important announcements

Dear EVCS Families,

Three important announcements:

Please note that there is no school this Thursday, May 13 in recognition of Eid Al Fitr. To all those who celebrate, Eid Mubarak! We will return to school on Friday, May 14th.

Registration for Summer Rising is open now! Our school is partnering with PS 110 and PS 134 for the summer program, which will run from July 6 to August 20 at the PS 110 site. You can register for the program here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/enrollment/summer. If you have any trouble registering please let us know. There will be an information session for all three schools with our CBO partner University Settlement on Wednesday May 19th at 4:00 – please save the date.

Finally, Please note that the DOE school survey is now open for families. We greatly value the feedback you provide through this survey and use it to make our school even better. To access the survey you will enter “f” followed by your child’s nine-digit Student Identification (OSIS) Number. Note that “f” must be lowercase. A student’s OSIS number can be found on their report card, student ID card, or in the family’s NYCSA account. If you are still having issues finding your child OSIS number, please contact James at JamesPC@evcs.me.

Thanks very much,

Bradley

Important Update: 3 Feet/5 Days

Dear EVCS Families,

This afternoon we received confirmation from the Chancellor’s office that the “3 foot Rule” for physical distancing in classrooms can go into effect this coming Monday, April 26. This means that we will be able to collapse our A and B cohorts into one group, and that all blended learning students will start attending in-person 5 days a week. I am very glad that our blended learning students will finally be able to have the consistency and continuity in their learning that has been absent this year. I also know that our blended learning and fully remote students and teachers will miss seeing each other and working together, and our teachers will be helping everyone to process this change and have closure on this significant chunk of the year before transitioning for the final quarter next week. Please note that beginning Monday there will no longer be a “hybrid” option of remote and in-person learning. All students will either be in the fully remote D cohort, or the in-person A cohort.

We purchased new tables for our classrooms so our students in each class will be able to spread out safely and use the space more efficiently. Our students will be in closer proximity than they have been up until now, and our classrooms will have double the number of students overall – but our safety protocols will remain firmly in place. Use of the daily health screening, mask wearing, good ventilation, 3 feet of physical distancing, frequent hand washing and weekly random COVID testing are the cornerstones of our safety plan, and implementing each of these components with integrity will be essential. Perhaps the most important of these components is the daily health screening. If we are all extremely vigilant in only sending our children to school if they meet the specific criteria in the screening we will do a lot to keep everyone in our community safe. It’s on all of us and we ask for your continued support with this!

A few other logistics for making this shift: Since children need to be at least 6 feet apart when eating lunch, all classes will eat lunch outside every day unless it’s raining, in which case we will use large indoor spaces such as the cafeteria and auditorium. We will continue to have breakfast available for any student who needs it every day, but breakfast will no longer be eaten in classrooms. Students who want to eat school breakfast must eat it downstairs in the schoolyard before heading upstairs.

Our arrival routine will also shift slightly. In order to allow enough time to conduct the health screening for twice the number of students each day we will start welcoming K-5 students in the schoolyard at 8:00. Teachers in K-5 will bring their classes up at 8:30, and students can arrive any time between 8:00 and 8:30. Pre-K will continue to have arrival between 8:45 and 9:00.

I can imagine that some of our parents may have questions about how this will work. I will be conducting a town hall meeting to address any questions that parents may have on Friday afternoon, 4 pm. You can join the meet at this link: https://meet.google.com/ypy-hbje-sqi

This has been a very challenging year, one that has required an incredible amount of flexibility and adaptability from our teachers and staff, parents and students. It hasn’t been easy but I am so proud of us for how we have not only persevered but shined. Huge thanks to all of you for your patience, understanding and support throughout. Onward!

As ever,

Bradley

Spring Updates

Dear EVCS Families,

Welcome back – I hope everyone had a lovely and relaxing week. Here are a few important updates:

The DOE has updated the daily health screening to be aligned with New York State and CDC guidelines. The questions about experiencing symptoms of COVID and close contact with an individual who has tested positive remain effectively the same, but as of today individuals who have traveled domestically are no longer required to quarantine or be tested upon their return. People who have traveled internationally however, are still required to quarantine. Please make sure that you read the health screening questions carefully and answer them honestly every day your child attends school in-person. If you have any questions about how to access or fill out the screening, please let me know. https://healthscreening.schools.nyc/

The window to change your child’s learning preference from fully remote to blended learning has been extended to this Friday April 9. You can access the Learning Preference Survey here. Please note that in order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must submit a consent form for in-school COVID-19 testing.

Just before the break the Mayor and Chancellor announced an upcoming shift in the DOE’s policy for reduced classroom capacity and physical distancing. We still do not know when this new policy will take effect and are awaiting guidance on other key concerns such as how we will arrange student lunch on days when we need to eat indoors, but when it does take effect we will be able to fit more students in our classrooms and hopefully increase the amount of time our blended learning students have in-person. The mayor also announced today that the city will be updating the policy that determines when entire school buildings close, to be a less sensitive trigger. As I learn more about each of these developments I will keep everyone informed.

The State Education Department is moving forward with plans to administer the standardized tests in ELA and math to students in grades 3-5 this spring. This year the tests will be shortened to just one day each, all multiple choice questions. Students will only be permitted to take the assessments if they are in the school building – the tests will not be administered remotely. The testing windows are April 19 – April 29 for ELA and May 3 – May 14 for math. Once we have more specific dates during those windows, we will let you know. Our fully remote students will default to opting out of taking the tests. Families of Cohort D students who are interested in having their child come into the building to take the tests can opt in by completing this form. Our blended learning students will default to opting in to take the tests. If you wish to opt your child out please email Liz: liz@evcs.me. If you are on the fence and would like to discuss or have any questions about the state tests please let me know.

Finally, If you have a child born in 2017 who will be eligible for Pre-K next year, please note that the window to apply is open now, and the deadline has been extended to April 19.

Thanks very much for making it to the bottom of this email! Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above.

Yours,

Bradley

Important: Updates to Blended Learning

Dear EVCS Families,

On Friday afternoon the Mayor announced a significant policy shift for New York City public schools. Please read a message from the Chancellor of Schools about these new policies. Here are the main headlines:

There will be another official enrollment period this spring to sign up for blended learning. The window for fully remote students to opt in to blended learning will open this Wednesday March 24 and will close on Wednesday April 7. You can opt in to blended learning at this link.
The DOE will adopt the newest CDC guidelines for social distancing in classrooms which recommends that students remain just 3 feet apart, as opposed to 6 feet.

The second point will obviously have major implications for how we are set up, because we will now be able to accommodate more students in each classroom. Exactly how many students we can safely have in each room is not yet clear – we should have the updated classroom capacity numbers later this week. Once we know what our new classroom capacities are, and we know how many new students will be opting in to blended learning after April 7, we can figure out what our new configurations and schedules will be. Though our classrooms will be setup differently and children will be in closer proximity, all of the other health and safety measures, including wearing of masks, ventilation and air purifiers, use of the daily health screening and weekly random COVID testing will remain in place. All new students opting in to blended learning will be required to submit consent to weekly testing in school before attending.

This has been a turbulent and challenging year for all of us, but I am proud of the ways our school community has risen to the occasion and I am extremely confident that we will be able to fold in these new policies while keeping each other safe and keeping our focus on student learning. When we first formed a committee to develop a plan for blended and remote learning this summer one of the main priorities we set – right below the safety of our students, staff and families – was to maximize opportunities for in-person learning for all students who are able to learn in-person, while ensuring inclusive, high value learning experiences for students who are learning remotely. We have remained committed to that priority all year long and will continue to do so under this new set of policies as well.

As I get more information about how this shift will impact our day-to-day I will certainly keep you posted. In the meantime please consider whether you wish to change your child’s learning preference for the rest of the school year, and let me know if you have any questions or want to chat about any of this. Thanks so much for your patience, cooperation and understanding.

As ever,

Bradley

EVCS Weekly, Friday, Feb 26

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Dear EVCS Families,

It was great to be back to a school schedule this week! There’s a lot happening next week, including Parent Teacher Conferences, so check out the calendar below!

And you may have already heard the news, but the NYC DOE Chancellor, Richard Carranza, is stepping down next month. You can read his letter to families HERE.

Let’s see what is coming up at EVCS next week!

***

Next Week

Gates open for K-5 students at 8:20 a.m. & for PreK students at 8:45 a.m.

Parent-Teacher Conference Week – What to expect and how to prepare

Monday, March 1
Cohort A

Topic: EVCS Fundraising Meeting
Time: Mar 1, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85308010098
Meeting ID: 853 0801 0098
Look out for a reminder email from the Parent Association!

Tuesday, March 2
Cohort A

Wednesday, March 3
Cohort B

Cohort D: Leveled Lending Library 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
All fully-remote students encouraged to pick up books each and every week!
In front of the schoolyard (on the sidewalk).

Thursday, March 4
Cohort A, Half-day (Dismissal at 11:00 a.m.)

Friday, March 5
Cohort B

PA Bookswap 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. in Joseph C. Sauer Park!

***

Continue reading

Midwinter Recess

Dear EVCS Families,

This afternoon you should have received your child’s midyear report, emailed to you directly by their teacher. These reports provide a comprehensive overview of your child’s progress and performance so far this school year in all subject areas. Our kids have worked hard this year and made real progress, despite significant challenges. I hope you find these reports helpful and affirming, and that they provide a good starting point for the conversations that we will have at our upcoming parent teacher conferences, where we will set goals and chart a course for the second half of the year.

I hope everyone has a restful and lovely break this next week. I know that many of us may have less planned for this week than we ordinarily might, so if the kids start to get a little stir crazy and you’re looking for some wholesome content to keep them entertained, please invite them to check out my archive of the read alouds I did last spring, as well as last year’s remote School-Wide Morning Meetings. You can find it all in my Google Classroom. And in case you missed it, here’s the most recent School-Wide Morning Meeting. I would love for our next SWMM to have more contributions from students and their families! If you’re interested in putting something together you can find the lyrics and chords to most of the songs in our repertoire in the EVCS SWMM Songbook. You can submit videos to me directly by email.

Happy Lunar New Year to all! Here’s to better days ahead in the Year of the Ox. Have a wonderful and safe week.

Yours,
Bradley