April 24, 2020

Dear PS9 Families,

I am proud to share the highlights of the work we are doing as a school community with you. To start with, our “We Miss You” video created by Ms. Rice captured the feelings of our staff. I hope your children know the PS9 staff loves them.

Each day, I am grateful to be able to virtually visit classrooms and lead mindful practices as a commitment to serving the ‘whole child’. The purpose is to provide a forum for children to express how they feel and learn how mindful practices can support them during this uncertain time. My goal is to provide the tools that empower children to connect with themselves as well as us.

Thank you for the continued support provided at home to increase student engagement daily. The goal is to provide students with learning experiences so that students are able to stay connected and engaged to the fullest extent possible. As a school community, we understand that all families are different and have different needs and we maintain a flexible and responsive approach to work with you.  I want to cover a few topics in this newsletter:


Please be aware that attendance is taken school-wide daily and submitted to the office by 2:30 p.m. by the classroom teacher. If your child signs in and follows their classroom procedure for attendance, they will be marked present. The specific classroom attendance procedure is set up by the teacher, and the given procedure takes into account the age of the students. Therefore, for some teachers, they may ask students to do a “do now” (ex: solve a word problem) while others may look for a simple entry, “present.” School staff outreaches daily to ensure that the students and their families are okay and to connect families with support they may need. If there is a mistake made on the attendance, the teacher informs our Community Associate, Carol Sheldrake-Hernandez, who then adjusts the record for attendance to reflect accordingly. Please contact her for specific attendance inquiries at csheldrakeherna@schools.nyc.gov

Engagement and Grading

As stated during the community forum, we are awaiting official written policy from the New York City Department of Education. We recognize the need for meaningful grades as well as the need to address issues regarding access, equity and hardship. However, the school expectation is that students participate daily on the Google Classroom platform to benefit from the instructional activities and support to the extent possible.

Live Instruction

Per guidance from the Chancellor – “As we continue to flexibly meet the needs of all students, families, and school personnel, synchronous instruction is not required at this time.” Synchronous learning is online or distance education that happens in real time, whereas asynchronous learning occurs through online channels without real-time interaction. PS9 is currently employing a hybrid learning model to include a blend of both asynchronous and synchronous online learning. In the meantime, teachers are being provided ongoing professional development by our technology teacher and by Teacher’s College to support them in learning the various tools available to teach virtually so we develop capacity and competency with new platforms.  In addition, we are highlighting best practices of virtual learning at our weekly professional development sessions. Teachers are meeting weekly in grade-specific teacher teams with the administration to collaborate, plan, reflect and refine their processes to best support the students we serve. Our goal is to be as responsive as possible as we move into this remote learning long-term situation.


  • Miles Champion and Team: Device supply and delivery to students. Also, thanks to Kirsten Cole and her family for their donation which Miles & team were able to deliver to families this week!



  • Our next Community Meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 29 at 5:00p.m.
    Join us on Google Meet
    Please make sure to use your child’s Google mail to log in.
  • Raul – Sunday PTO Music Exchange at 7:05pm:
    Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 797 8096 1619
    Password: PS9Music
  • PTO Monthly Virtual Meeting – Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m.


Kindergarten offers and waitlist will be made available to us on April 28th. Please contact Carol Sheldrake-Hernandez (Csheldrakeherna@schools.nyc.gov) to inquire after April 28th.We are asking families to accept or decline their offer in Myschools by the end of June. This will allow schools time to follow up with families who are planning to attend PS9 with Next Steps. Families can also respond to offers by contacting the Office of Student Enrollment at 718-935-2009.Given the circumstances, we are all working together to be a flexible and accommodating with families during this unprecedented time. To that end, there will be no pre-registration deadline for Kindergarten offers.

Fatimah Ali