Welcome to an amazing year at PPAS. We are your drama delegates – Margaret Harris and Rosa M. Jacquez (email@example.com). We are looking forward to working with you to build a close community that ensures that our children receive the best drama education experience possible in this very challenging year. We need your help to make this happen!
In the past, the PTA has enhanced Waterwell’s budget significantly. This year, due to lack of fundraising opportunities, there is a shortfall of $10,000 for the Drama productions. We have put together a fundraiser, along with the middle school delegates, to raise funds. This money will guarantee that the quality of performances and overall experience will be at the same high level as they have always been. Online live performances are just as costly as in person! We are asking each family to contribute $50. If this is too much, please contribute whatever you can – no donation is too small! If you can donate more, we greatly appreciate your generosity.
Time is of the essence, the first performances are just around the corner. Please click this link to donate:
Please join us for our pre-Thanksgiving PTA meeting: Thursday, November 19th from 6:30 – 8:30
Stay connected and help us brainstorm various fundraising activities/events for the school! We need your help, suggestions and expertise more than ever … together we can help PPAS stay successful during these ever-evolving times.
Each year on Veterans’ Day, my family visits a veterans’ monument in our Brooklyn neighborhood. There is always a small military band and a few speeches from local politicians. Sadly, this year such events have largely been cancelled due to the pandemic. We might still take a walk and read the words and the names of the men on the monument. Even without the fanfare, I feel it’s important to spend some part of the day honoring the men and women who served, and are serving our country. These courageous people, void of political entanglements , have an enduring commitment to ALL citizens. To them I am forever grateful. Below are some virtual resources for celebrating our national heroes.
Video explaining the holiday: middle to high school
As part of New York City’s ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and ensure the health and safety of our community, COVID-19 testing of staff and students will be conducted in our school once a month from now through the end of the school year. We have been notified that the testing provider will be at our school within the next week. Please note that only New York City public school students from grades 1-12 are eligible to be tested. Only a small percentage of students will be tested. These students are chosen randomly by the testing staff.
As the September 29, 2020 letter co-signed by NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, Executive Director Ted Long of New York City Test Trace Corps, and Dr. Dave Chokshi, Commissioner of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stated, the test is easy, quick, and safe. A “short swab” (similar to a Q-tip) will be inserted into the front part of the nose for five to ten seconds. Later this school year, it is possible that tests will be administered by collecting a small amount of saliva (spit).
Thanks to all the families who submitted a paper consent form and those who have already consented on line. Only students who submitted consent forms (either paper or on line) are eligible to be tested. If you have not consented yet, you can do so on line at this link: schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting. Your child will not be tested if they are uncomfortable or become distressed at any point during the process. If that happens, we will work with you to address any potential concerns so that your child is comfortable participating in future testing.
If your child is tested at school, information about the testing process, and when and how you will receive the results, will be sent home with your child. The majority of all testing results will be available within 48 hours. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, the testing provider will notify you via a telephone call, and NYC Test & Trace Corps will call to provide your family with resources and support.
If any member of the school community tests positive during this testing process, our school community will continue to follow the guidelines outlined on the Health & Safety section of the website.
We deeply appreciate your partnership and your commitment to keeping your school community safe and healthy.
Next Thursday evening 11/12 from 5:00 – 7:30 PM, and Friday afternoon 11/13 from 12:30 – 3:00, PPAS Teachers will be available for Parent Teacher Conferences.
On Monday, we will be sending you instructions on how to sign up for virtual meetings with your child’s teachers.
IMPORTANT: We will not have enough spaces in our schedule of Parent-Teacher conferences for all parents in all classes. Over the two days of conferences, teachers will have 50 slots (some teachers have over 100 students). Teachers will be specifically inviting some parents where they feel a meeting is necessary, and the remainder of the slots will be filled on a first come – first serve basis. We recommend that you choose one or two teachers to sign up for, especially if you have specific questions or concerns about the class or if your child is struggling in the class. If you do not get a slot with a teacher, you can always follow up with them in at a later time by requesting a meeting. Again, the instructions for signing up for Parent-Teacher conferences will be sent out on Monday.
Mr Asca and your dance delegates invite you to join us for a virtual meet and greet where we’ll discuss the dance curriculum across all 4 years and levels. Topics include technique classes, student participation, juries, regents exam and arts endorsement, events throughout the school year and ways to get involved!
There will be student demos of various techniques across the curriculum.
Tomorrow (or perhaps a few days after tomorrow) when the results of the presidential election are complete, our community members – students, parents, faculty, arts partners – will return to school and work with a degree of emotion. Some of these feelings may be strong, perhaps stronger than we have experienced in any presidential election in the history of our school. It is fully expected, and reflective of our core values at PPAS, that we will practice empathy and treat one another with respect and civility – no matter how much disrespectful or uncivil activity we may observe elsewhere. On many demographic measurements, PPAS is one of the most diverse schools in the city. We pride ourselves in our diversity, and we will continue to support one another in assuring a safe and inclusive space for all community members, regardless of their gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, sexual preference, and political leanings.
For students that are feeling vulnerable, angry, marginalized, or having any emotions that are distracting or upsetting, we will have staff on hand at any time during school hours in the days that follow the election, to talk, or simply to provide some quiet space. This safe space will be the Learning Support Center, room 302, where we will pair students with appropriate support staff or supervise quiet space.
It has been awe inspiring to listen to and observe PPAS students over the last several weeks in their action to support political involvement: get out the vote efforts, discussions clarifying the biggest issues of our time, providing vehicles for student voice. I encourage this activity before and after the election, and look forward to the incredible contributions of our intelligent and talented students!
We hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween weekend!
You know what’s also scary? NYC school budget cuts! That’s why PPAS needs your help more than ever!
Many of you answered the call last month and we appreciate your generous support. But since so many PPAS fundraisers have been cancelled due to the pandemic, we need our entire community to pitch in please! Any amount (one-time or recurring) can really help.
As per my email last week, today begins the window in which families can move from fully REMOTE to the BLENDED learning program. The window is from November 2nd to November 15th. The DOE announced last week that this will be the only time in the 2020-2021 school year that this change can be made.
Many parents have asked my opinion about this. Generally, if the learning program that your child is currently in is working reasonably well, I would recommend that they continue in their current program. Changing programs will require a schedule change and teacher changes. At this time of the year, I think such change is disruptive for a student, and may have a negative impact on their learning. In addition, if many students return to the building in this window, we may face a challenging and disruptive school-wide program change that will effect all students.
Ultimately it is your prerogative to make this choice. If you are not changing your child’s status, there is no need to do anything. Changes must be made on the survey at the following link:
Today, the NYC DOE announced two very important items related to the window for families to change from fully REMOTE to the BLENDED in-school program:
1) The dates to complete the survey to change from REMOTE to BLENDED are November 2 to November 15.
2) NEW: This is the ONLY window that you will be able to make this change for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.
This is new information to all of us. We had expected there to be two additional (quarterly) windows to make this choice. The DOE has assessed that multiple windows would create too much change for schools through the year, and has made this the singular window.
It is important that you know a change from one learning modality to the other at PPAS will lead to a change in the student’s schedule and teachers. It is also important that families understand that if there is a substantially large number of students that move from REMOTE to BLENDED, it may lead to schoolwide program changes that could affect your child’s program even if they do not change their modality. Also, because 25% of our teachers are working remotely, it is possible that additional BLENDED students will be programmed for fully remote classes, even when reporting to the building.
It is every families’ prerogative to make a choice between REMOTE and BLENDED learning, but we want to be transparent about some of the challenges that the change could impose. School wide programming changes will be based on the number of students who move from REMOTE to BLENDED, therefore, we will not have details until very close to the start date for new students joining the BLENDED program – weeks of November 30 or December 7 depending on DOE guidance.
Please email our parent coordinator, Teri Gindi, with your questions.