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!
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.
This past Tuesday, October 20th, the COVID 19 testing unit was at PPAS to do its October random testing. The random testing will occur once per month. Twenty four of our students were tested and the majority of our staff members. Parents of student who were tested can check results by accessing their NYCDOE Schools Account. If you have an account, they also email you results. If you don’t have a NYC Schools Account you can set up a new account at this same link. You will need to request an access code from Teri Gindi.
Individual results are not sent to PPAS – we only receive summary data. In the case of a positive result, a COVID tracing team will contact the family by phone, and guide PPAS to next steps. Communication to the entire community will be shared regarding the appropriate response. There is no indication of a positive test at this time.
The test took place on an A day. Future tests will occur on B and C Days. If you want your child to be part of the testing program (and we encourage you to have them participate), but you have not yet consented to the testing program, you can do so in your NYCDOE School Account.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Mr. Ryan directly.
Because of the spirit of creativity in our community, we have a tradition of allowing students to wear costumes to PPAS for one day in the Halloween season. We want to continue this tradition as it brings joy and unity to our school, and it may be the only opportunity for some students to celebrate the holiday. Below is our plan for this year. This is completely optional for students.
Days to wear a costume:
Wednesday, October 28 for A Day
Thursday, October 29 for B Day
Friday, October 30 for C Day
Rules for wearing a costume:
With the exception of the mandated ‘COVID’ mask that covers the mouth and nose, no masks are allowed that cover the entire face or eyes. We do allow hats and other types of headgear.
No makeup that covers the entire face so as to make you unrecognizable is allowed. Light make up is permissible (cheek/forehead scars, eye-shadow, etc.)
No costume that breaks our school dress code, including excessively short shorts or skirts, bare backs, excessive midriffs, or excessive exposure of under garments.
No accessories that will qualify as weapons, even if plastic or toy-like: swords, guns, wands, bats, etc. If any student has anything like this, it will be confiscated at the door, and may not be returned to you.
Do not bring in candy or any food to share with others.
The senior class will be running a virtual costume competition – more details to come on how to submit your pictures. Seniors will also be selling candy – store bought, packaged, and wiped down to maintain COVID safety.
All COVID safety rules will remain in place on these days: COVID mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing routines.