May 4, 2020

Dear PS9 Families,

Thank you for joining me at last week’s Community Mindful Practice session and at our Staying Connected Community session dedicated to holistically support the PS9 community.


Mindful Practice Sessions
Weekly, Tuesdays at 5 p.m.
Join us using your child’s Gmail account:
Join by phone: +1 413-351-4027
PIN: ‪792 430 429#

Video link to Principal Ali’s April 28 Mindful Practice session (every Tuesday at 5 p.m.).
Video link to Principal Ali’s April 29 Staying Connected Community Event (Bi-weekly, Wednesdays at 5 p.m).

I want to cover a few topics in this newsletter:
Kindergarten Offers 2020 – Access your child’s MySchools account to get your offer letter and see the waitlists your child is on. For assistance with PS9’s waitlist, contact Carol Sheldrake-Hernandez at The school will call families who did not apply online, in addition to the DOE outreach via standard letters home.

The Pulse of the Community – I am grateful for the opportunity to listen and learn from stakeholders in this week’s PTO, School Leadership Team and Community Education Council meetings. These issues are heard and constantly discussed within my cabinet to inform the ongoing refinements to our processes and communication systems as our commitment to school improvement efforts. We aim to be responsive, flexible, and impactful as we strive to strongly align efforts with our community needs.

New Citywide Grading Policy – The Citywide Grading Policy released by the DOE leaves room for individual schools to further define it on a local level. This upcoming week, teachers and administrators together will review our current grading policy and scale as it relates to the metric that was released by the city. In addition, the team has also created a “Mitigating Circumstances Form” to ensure fairness and equity is at the forefront of the grading process. This form will ensure we take into account each student’s unique circumstance as part of the grading policy equation. We understand there are a lot of challenges and hardships for many of our families and we align our understanding into our policy to include both the known and the unknown factors to support all students and families during this unprecedented time.

Staff Professional Development continues to be based on our staff’s professional needs as it relates to remote learning platforms. While not mandated by the DOE guidelines for remote learning, 100% of our teachers are now utilizing virtual/live learning as they provide a hybrid model of remote learning. Teachers have developed schedules with their individual classrooms to provide virtual/live instruction. As we look ahead we will continue to be innovative and creative as it relates to providing quality instructional opportunities.

Devices – All remaining families received devices this week.


THANK YOU! to parents that have supported the school’s efforts to provide devices to families in need: Laura Jellinek & Sara James; Sharyn & Jeff Rothstein; Andrew Case & Claudia Case & Susan Case; Jennifer Donnollo; Valerie Stevens; Amy Herzog; Eliane Ward; Miles Champion; Mike Tilley; and of course all others who are helping with technology, device delivery, and so much more.

Fatimah Ali,