Fall 2020 Semester
We have compiled a list of family questions. We share this to help all families make informed decisions about the upcoming school year. The responses are based on what information we have as of August 7th, 2020. As we learn more information and hear more from our community, details may change.
The protocols here are to support increased safety in our learning community for staff, students, and families. It is impactful if we all participate. Cooperation and support from everyone who shares our space keeps us safe. Decisions we each make in our time away from the 82nd Street Academics community can impact everyone’s safety. All protocols are in compliance with the NYC Department of Education, Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to reduce the risk of illness.
All staff, students, and families are asked to stay home when not feeling well. In our lives, there are moments when we may ignore warning signs such as a cough or mild fever. We are taking extra precautions to pay attention to these symptoms. Stay at home decisions help to keep our whole building safer.
- What are the protocols for cleaning our school?
Our building and playground are deep cleaned each evening using disinfectant and electrostatic spray technology. This ensures full coverage of all surfaces with disinfectant. During class, materials are stored in containers after use and sanitized before being put out for the next use. Harder to clean items such as dress up clothes and carpets have been removed. Extra furniture from the classroom has also been removed to reduce the number of high touch surfaces.
High traffic areas of the building are disinfected on a schedule according to use (door handles disinfected after arrival time for example).
- Are there changes to our ventilation?
We have set up HEPA filters in each classroom. This filters out particles and refreshes the air in the room multiple times per hour. We have an HVAC system to pull in new air to the building that supports circulation in the hallways and bathrooms. We have installed exhaust fans in the bathrooms to support extra circulation in these high traffic areas.
- How are bathrooms kept clean?
Our bathrooms are for student and staff use only, we no longer have bathrooms available for public/parent use. We apologize for this inconvenience.
Each bathroom now has an exhaust fan installed to increase circulation of fresh air. The bathrooms are wiped down with disinfectant several times per day in addition to evening deep cleaning.
- What about visitors?
In a normal school year, we would welcome visitors warmly. In the current climate, we ask that visitors make appointments for virtual meetings. Members of our community that must appear in person are welcome at this time.
We ask all visitors, children, staff and families to complete a daily questionnaire. This includes a temperature check, a self exam of any symptoms of illness, a review of recent travel and a question on possible exposure to others who have tested positively for Coronavirus.
All visitors to the building (staff, students, families, visitors) are asked to wash their hands upon entering the building.
- How will young kids be kept socially distant?
Children in Early Childhood programs of the same pods are not asked to maintain 6 feet of separation by the Department of Health, they have determined the likelihood of spreading the virus to be lower among children under 10 years of age. We will maintain 6 feet of separation during times when students do not have on masks, such as nap time and meal times. We’ll use floor markers to indicate where students should be to support their physical separation from others. Adults must wear masks at all times, regardless of their distance from students/colleagues/fellow parents. Areas such as bathrooms have reduced capacity to support social distancing.
- What is the plan if someone tests positive for the virus?
Our first step will be to inform the NYC Test & Trace team. The class members will be alerted of the positive test as soon as possible. That class will be converted to virtual learning for 14 calendar days to support quarantine practices for the families and staff members.
In the event that multiple classrooms at the same time report positive Coronavirus test results, the NYC Test & Trace may advise our whole school to close for 14 days of quarantine. In this situation, all instruction will change to a virtual learning model.
- What are the requirements for masks in school?
Anyone entering our building must wear a mask. Adults must wear their mask at all times. Children will be encouraged to remove their masks during meal and nap times. If it becomes an obstacle for children’s breathing on the playground, they may remove it temporarily. At all other times, children are expected to wear a mask. Families are asked to pack 3 clean masks per day for children.
We ask that masks with vents (small plastic circles in the lower corner of mask) are not used in school as they can spread germs when exhaling. Practice wearing masks at home with your children to help them become accustomed to wearing it for longer periods of time throughout the day.
- What happens if a child is sick while at school?
If a child is sick while at school, they will be brought with a staff member to an isolated area. Their family members/emergency contacts will be called and asked to pick them up. If a student lives with or comes into contact for more than ten minutes with an individual who has tested positive for the Coronavirus OR who is exhibiting symptoms, they are asked to remain home for 14 calendar days for quarantine.
- What happens if a staff member is sick while at school?
If a staff member begins to feel sick, they will be asked to leave the building. Depending on their symptoms, they may be asked to quarantine, be tested for COVID, or visit their primary doctor.
If a staff member lives with or comes into contact for more than ten minutes with an individual who has tested positive for the Coronavirus OR who is exhibiting symptoms, they are asked to remain home for 14 calendar days for quarantine.
- What happens if a family member is sick at home?
If a student lives with or comes into contact for more than ten minutes with an individual who has tested positive for the Coronavirus OR who is exhibiting symptoms, they are asked to remain home for 14 calendar days for quarantine. Virtual learning options will be available.
- What are the class sizes?
Group sizes meet in 10-15 students depending on the program and age group.
- What does quarantine mean?
Quarantine means families stay at home, avoid leaving the house unless absolutely necessary. If a school or a class is asked to quarantine, this means staying at home rather than coming to school. Virtual learning options will be available for all members of the class or school during these moments.
- What is a pod?
A pod is a steady group of children that meet in person regularly. Remaining in a group that has a consistent set of students reduces potential exposure and spread of illness.
- What is the policy for testing?
All 82SA staff are tested for the Coronavirus prior to returning to work for the new school year. Following the recommended guidelines, testing is then done on a case by case basis if cold or flu like symptoms arise.
- What is the routine for handwashing?
Everyone entering the building is asked to wash their hands (families, staff, students, visitors). Additionally, students will wash their hands after restroom use, before/after eating, before/after playground use, and before dismissal. Extra sinks and hand sanitizer stations have been set up around the building.
- What about meal times?
Students served by the school are given individually portioned meals. To support safety practices, we have paused our family-style meal routines.
- What learning model will be used at 82nd Street Academics?
We are planning for a weekly rotating schedule for in person and remote learning. Each class will have 2 pods of 20 students following a schedule of one week full in person instruction followed by one week of full remote instruction.
- What format of remote learning will students receive?
All remote learning is held using Zoom. Teachers often include shared screens for lessons on new concepts and group literacy times. We are planning a morning and afternoon live instruction period as well as daily at home learning activities.
- How will virtual learning be made impactful for pre-k?
Families in the Pre-K for All program will have multiple entry points to engage students in learning throughout the day. These are intended to support the many types of family schedules at home. Impactful engagement strategies include:
-Ready 4K program
-Monthly parent/teacher conferences to create learning goals for students
-Morning and afternoon live instruction
-Daily at-home family activities
- What are the hours and application process of the after school program?
All after school programs will begin at 2:20pm. We plan to offer services until 6:30pm daily provided there is sufficient community need. Classes will meet in stable groups and be limited to 15 students per group. Please contact our front desk for registration details!
- Will there be a time of instruction that is remote only?
If the Department of Health decides that in person instruction is not safe, we will temporarily stop in person instruction and welcome all families to join us for virtual learning. This may include a pause in our day care services if the citywide infection rate is 3% or if our neighborhood sees a second surge in cases similar to the Spring of 2020. We will inform families as soon as we are aware of a pause in services.
- Can we start with virtual instruction and switch to in person instruction later on?
Yes. Depending on availability and staffing, we will have a period at the end of each semester when families can switch their learning model in our Pre-K for All program. We will make this determination in coordination with our partners at the Department of Education. If you are considering a switch to in-person programming, please let us know as we may be able to accommodate changes sooner.
- Can we start with in person or blended and move to virtual only later on?
Yes. Families can move to remote only programming at any time. Children can also participate in remote only programming during self-quarantines or if they are staying home for a brief period. Please keep in contact with us about your plans, we understand the decision to learn in person or from home is personal for each family.
- How much notice would the school need if we wanted to switch to in person or blended learning formats?
No advanced notice is required if a family would like to switch to a remote-only program model. If families would like to make a change to in person learning, there will be designated periods throughout the year when this option becomes available. Please keep in touch with us if you’d like to change in case we are able to accommodate the change sooner.
If your family is enrolled in our tuition-based day care program, please inform one of our Family Services Specialists of changes in your family’s schedule. Monthly tuition payments are non-refundable.
- What are virtual sessions like? What are the times and how long will they be for?
We are planning for two periods of live instruction and daily at home activities for children to complete with their families. Each family schedule is different so we understand that students learning remotely may not be able to complete each portion of the remote learning model. Live instruction models are held using Zoom, there is a morning and afternoon component each lasting for 20-40 minutes. We’ll include core lesson plans for new concepts, literacy, songs, yoga, and break out rooms for small group discussions.
- What is the day care program like?
Students joining us in day care programs will be welcome with a daily routine and similar activities to their regular school days, led by two members of our great staff team. At designated times, class activity will pause so that students can join virtual learning with their regular classroom friends. Arts & crafts, literacy, and fun are our focus! Students will have time for naps, meals, and playground exercise. This program follows the same safety protocols. Classes meet in groups of no more than 15 students from 8am-2:20pm.
- Can we chose the schedule/days our child will attend remote and in person?
One of our safety measures include supporting students in pods, a stable group of children to limit exposure/spread of germs. Families choosing in person learning models will be grouped into pods. If you have specific schedule needs, we’ll do our best to accommodate on a case by case basis with the safety of your pod being the primary consideration.
- When will the school be open for me to drop off paperwork?
Families can submit documents to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime! This option is encouraged to prevent unnecessary travel. We are also open Monday – Friday from 8am-6:30pm. Our phone number is (718)457-0429.
- When will you know for sure what is being offered?
Mayor de Blasio has indicated that final choices around the Department of Education programming will not be made until early September. We will keep families informed of changes that impact our community. At this time, we are planning to offer in person, blended, and remote instruction options. We await further information on the final plan for city-funded day care options. We anticipate specific family schedules and pod groupings will be available by late August.
- What happens if a family cannot participate in any virtual learning activities?
We hope that all families will have time for instruction this year, however it is a time like no other and we understand there are many priorities to juggle. We will have at home activities available. We will also send out regular resources of supplementary activities that your family can turn on when it’s convenient to your schedule. Not all learners are comfortable with technology so we will do our best to keep activities varied. Additional programs we use are the Ready 4K program and Class Dojo.
- What are the hours of the three options mentioned in the survey? (all virtual, all in person, blended)
All in person programming runs from 8am – 2:20pm with an optional tuition based after school program until 6:30pm. Virtual options will vary by class with live instruction in the morning and afternoon.
- Will the program options include meals?
Individual meals will be provided. To increase safety, we have paused our family style meal routines in school at this time.