January 7, 2020

Dear PS9 Families,

It is with utmost sincerity that I thank you for supporting the PS9 Community throughout this unprecedented year. In the wake of our school closure, I am humbled by the immense positive support we have received as we all continuously pivot to address the unique daily challenges. Though this year has brought many challenges, together, we have learned to become more flexible, resilient, and focused on what matters most. I am grateful to be part of a true caring community of people.

How to help

There is power in alignment. We need to increase the number of aligned, and committed parents to join the PS9 PTO. There is work to be done if you are interested in joining the team of parents that volunteer tirelessly to make an impact on the educational experience of all the children here at PS9. With your voice and support, we can co-create better outcomes for the future. Our PTO communications team has made it possible to reach more parents from our community than ever before. Please join the PTO to help your child and all our children. They need you. This is the time.

January 2021 – A New Year

Instruction & Teacher Support

Due to the pandemic and the identified need for additional training and support for staff, I have contracted 2 Instructional Technology coaches from Educate who will be working closely with remote and blended teachers to support a culture of data driven instruction while utilizing the PS9 digital platforms. The goal is to support the teaching and learning at PS9 by strengthening teacher practice and virtual skills through personalized in-class support, which will ensure the development of learner-driven pedagogy.

Instruction & Student Support

Due to the pandemic, available funding, and needs of our school community as it relates to our youngest learners, I have contracted Practice Makes Perfect tutors to be available daily supporting our K-2 students in ELA, Math and/or technology. I would like to expand out the program to include grades 3-5, if resources allow. At this time, we are focusing our support to offset the regression that will impact the early childhood grades more severely as they are becoming literate. Under District 13’s vision for supporting early Literacy, we must begin with the lower grades if we want to truly offset loss in learning during the pandemic. They will be virtually available as needed daily from 2:30pm to 6:30pm to assist K-2 struggling students (blended at home and remote) starting on Jan 11th to March 26th.

Please use this form to connect with Practice Makes Perfect

Assessments

In January, the second round of school assessments will be given to measure the growth of our students from the fall. To that end, there will be Reading Conferences (Running Records) conducted with each individual K-5 child this month to assess both reading level proficiency and progress. In addition, there will be the Exact Path Assessments given for English Language Arts and for Math as in the fall. These assessments must be taken at one time and may take 20-75 minutes to complete. These assessments are not traditional and there will be questions provided at various grade levels that they might not be able to answer to determine the exact placement of the student.  This is expected and part of the design. Please encourage students to try their best so that the results accurately reflect the current academic needs. Remote students must take the assessments independent of parent support so that the results reflect the students’ level of mastery.

Family At-Home Resources

The Family Video Collections

These collections help parents and caregivers with ways to support their children with reading, writing, phonics, and finding and accessing books – especially digital book collections.  The videos are between 3 and 9 minutes in length, on a variety of topics, and we’ll be adding new videos to the collection periodically. The videos will be captioned in Spanish and Mandarin so that more families can access these resources. They include: 

K-2 Family Video Collection

3-5 Family Video Collection

6-9 Family Video Collection

 

Book Collections

We’ve also created padlets of some fabulous book collections, to help your families find more books their kids will love to read.   These include: 

Best of Children’s Literature – 2019

BIPOC & Own Voice Authors Grades 4-8

BIPOC Authors and Illustrators of Children’s Nonfiction

Chinese-American Authors

Fabulous Fantasy Grades 1-8

Get Kids Into Reading with Series! Grades K-5

Author Read Alouds

Fast and Furious Weekend Reads Grades 4-8

Courses of Study for Teen Readers

 

COVID Update

Change in COVID-19 Quarantine Period from 14 to 10 Days

Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health, and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the quarantine period for individuals exposed to confirmed COVID-19 cases has changed from 14 days to 10 days. Individuals with confirmed COVID-19 cases can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement, as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. Current DOE heath policy will be updated and families will be informed of this change in the coming days.

Please note that effective January 3, 2021, the timeframe for individuals exposed to confirmed COVID-19 cases and the resulting interventions, such as classroom closures and building closures, have also changed from 14 days to 10 days. Individuals, classrooms, and school building closures that were subject to a 14-day quarantine period prior to January 3, must complete the duration of their 14-day quarantine.

 

School Closure Update

As Covid cases with positive lab results and/or symptoms are reported to the school, they are called in to the Situation Room. This is an agency that is working alongside the Department of Education and the Department of Health to support us with next steps and official communications around Covid cases that impact our school community. Once we have submitted the information, a case is opened. Following the opening of the case(s), there are several stages of the process; first there is a notification, an investigation, then a determination for school closure. Please note that each case is different and the timeline for communication will vary based on when the school receives directives to share with the community. This will sometimes be at inconvenient times and hours of the night. I am trying my best from my seat, to secure official information from the situation room so that I have official information to communicate to the school community. Please know that this process is layered and is being handled with as much urgency and care as possible.

 

Thank you for your partnership. Together, we will create a better year.

 

Best wishes,
Fatimah Ali

The darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.” Coelho