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Important Alerts

Important updates from the New York City Department of Education can be found on the link to Messages to Families webpage

October 12, 2021: Classroom closures update from Principal Claudio

Dear PS 109 families,


I hope this letter finds you and your families safe and well. Unfortunately, today we had our first classroom closure for the 2021/2022 school year. I know that this closure comes as a surprise to all, especially in light of how hard we have been working to keep our staff, students and families safe by complying with all health and safety guidelines. We want you to know, however, that this closure is in keeping with our efforts to ensure that we keep our students safe. This closure reminds us of the fact that we are still living in a pandemic. To that end, I realize that many of you have received unclear or perhaps conflicting information regarding the closure. The purpose of this letter is to provide clarity on the new health and safety guidelines surrounding positive cases.


On Sunday, October 10, 2021, we reported a positive case to the NYC Department of Education Situation Room and NYC Contact Tracing. The Situation Room handles confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases in all NYC DOE schools. The positive case learned of their status on Saturday, October 9, 2021. However, many of you may have received calls stating that your child was a close contact between October 6th and October 8th. This is because CDC guidelines state that the infectious period is 3 days before a confirmed positive test result. This essentially means that some students may have been a close contact on any of the days mentioned above. This means that the school or the positive case were not aware of their positive status before October 9th.


In following CDC guidelines and the NYC Department of Education policy, full classroom closures occur if the students in the class were close contacts. You should have received a letter stating that your child’s 10 day quarantine will end on Monday, October 18th and he/she will return to school on Tuesday, October 19th.


However, please note that the guidance also states that if an “unvaccinated student'' is considered a close contact, they may test out of quarantine to return to their classrooms after the seventh day. In order to do so, individuals should take a COVID- 19 test on or after their fifth day of quarantine to re-enter the classroom on the eight day if they receive a negative test result. This means that if you choose to test your child after the fifth day of quarantine, that would be on October 14th. If you receive a negative test result, then your child could return on Saturday, October 16th which falls on a weekend. Therefore, your child could return on Monday, October 18th. If you choose to not test your child, we will see him/her in person on Tuesday, October 19th.


Please note that if you have another child in a class that has not been impacted by the closure, that child is not considered a close contact and must attend school.


While we know that these closures can cause a major disruption to our families, we want to remind you that it is in the best interest of our entire school community. Taking quick action and adhering closely to these guidelines will keep our school community safe. Your child has already been invited to her/his google classroom and so it is expected that learning will continue. If you are having any difficulty accessing google classroom or any of the other digital platforms, reach out to your child’s teacher. In rare cases, where you cannot access the digital classroom, we will be here to provide work packets. If you are in need of a device, please complete the survey on this link: bit.ly/ps109device

Our first goal is safety so that our children can continue to learn in person. I thank you for your understanding during this frustrating time.


Educationally yours,


Josette Claudio

Principal

jclaudi@schools.nyc.gov

September 20, 2021: Update for families from NYC Schools Chancellor

Dear Families,


It was so exciting to welcome students back in our classrooms last week, seeing the joy on their faces as they all could finally return to learn in-person with their teachers and classmates! This is a very special time, and we are doing everything possible to make sure everyone in our schools remains safe and healthy.

I invite you to share the amazing experience of that first week of school with me through this video (Link to video https://vimeo.com/609642752/70f8506d67) capturing our homecoming experience across the city.


In addition to the extensive health and safety measures summarized on School Year 2021-22 webpage (Link to webpage https://schools.nyc.gov/homecoming), we are making two important adjustments to COVID-19 protocols in our schools:


  • Weekly testing. Starting Monday, September 27, the DOE will increase random COVID-19 testing in all elementary, middle, and high schools for students in grades 1-12 from biweekly to weekly. We can only test students whose parents have provided an updated testing consent form to their school. You are encouraged to provide this consent for your child if you have not done so. If you have already submitted a testing consent form for the 2021-22 school year, that consent form remains in effect. If you have not yet submitted your consent, you can do so one of two ways:


  • Updated quarantine policy. Also starting Monday, September 27, in accordance with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we will no longer close an entire classroom when there is a positive case in the classroom. Unvaccinated students who are masked and at least three feet distanced from a student who tests positive are not considered close contacts under CDC guidelines and will not have to quarantine. This new policy applies to all students in any grade.


Vaccination is the most important step that we can take to protect our families and our communities against COVID-19. To protect your children and school communities, we have mandated that all DOE school staff be vaccinated against COVID-19—by September 27, all employees will have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule a vaccination appointment for yourself or your eligible student aged 12 and older, please visit vaccinefinder.nyc.gov.


We will continue to share everything we are doing to keep your children safe. Our school year back together again is already off to a fantastic start, and I look forward to seeing your students thrive and grow this year as they learn alongside their peers.


In partnership,

Meisha Porter

New York City Schools Chancellor

Week of August 30, 2021: Update for families

Back-to-School Family Forums

You’re invited to attend virtual Back-to-School Family Forums to learn about our preparations for the first day of the 2021–2022 school year! In the forums, you will hear directly from Chancellor Meisha Porter and a public health expert from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In addition, executive superintendents will review the DOE’s protocols for a safe re-opening, followed by a live Q&A.


You can sign up for the forums at learndoe.org/face and you’re welcome to attend any of the events. If you missed a session, feel free to attend another of your choice or watch a forum later at learndoe.org/face/recording. Interpretation will be provided in the top languages spoken in each borough. American Sign Language (ASL) will be available at all sessions.

  • September 1: Brooklyn, 6:00–7:30 p.m. (Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic)

  • September 1: Queens, 8:00–9:30 p.m. (Spanish, Mandarin, Bengali)

  • September 2: Bronx, 6:00–7:30 p.m. (Spanish, French, Arabic)

  • September 2: Staten Island, 8:00–9:30 p.m. (Spanish, Mandarin, Russian)

  • September 9: Manhattan, 8:00–9:30 p.m. (Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese)


Updated Health and Safety Guidance

As you prepare for the first day of school, we hope your first stop will be the DOE’s website for school year 2021–22: schools.nyc.gov/homecoming. There you will find the most up-to-date information on how we’re working to keep students and staff healthy and safe this school year.


In addition, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Porter have released the DOE Homecoming 2021 Health and Safety Guide. The guide includes updates about vaccination, health screenings, quarantine protocols, and other important information. It is available in multiple languages on the School Year 2021-22 page on our website.


Attendance and Grading


Attendance


Regular school attendance is crucial to learning successfully. Here are attendance policies for the 2021-22 school year:


In-person: To be marked “present,” your child must be physically present in the classroom or school learning environment for at least one instructional period during the school day.


Remote: When students must be remote (for example, when they are quarantining or their school buildings are closed in whole or in part), they must be virtually present for synchronous or asynchronous instruction during the scheduled program day.


Grading


Grades provide you and your student important feedback about how they are progressing in their learning. Here is what you need to know about grading for 2021–22:

  • Schools will continue to select their own grading scales—as they did prior to the pandemic and again beginning last school year. Grading options include the 1–4 scale, alphabetic scale (A –F), and the 100-point scale. “Course in progress” (NX) is available to individual students in exceptional circumstances.

  • Middle and high school parents will continue the policy adopted last year to choose to replace any passing final grade with a grade of “CR” or “P,” indicating earning course credit or passing.

  • Schools will not factor attendance into grades at all, continuing the policy adopted last school year. Your student’s grade will be based primarily on their academic progress.


Transportation

School buses transporting students will follow guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State. Buses will take the following steps:

  • Where practical and weather permitting, windows will remain open and the air system on the bus will run in the non-recirculating mode during transit; please dress your child appropriately.

  • Everyone in a school bus must wear face coverings (masks) at all times regardless of vaccination status, unless they have an approved medical exemption from the mask requirements

  • Students should maintain physical distance when possible.

Update Your Contact Information

Stay up to date on important announcements from the DOE, including school closures and events happening in your district or citywide! With a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) account, you can update your contact information, fill out important school forms online, see your child’s grades, schedules, test scores, assigned transportation, attendance and more. You can sign up for an account today with just your name and contact information! To connect an account to your child’s school records, please contact your school to confirm your information.


Vaccination Reminder


Vaccination is the most important step you can take to protect you and your family from COVID-19, and all New Yorkers ages 12 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a child who is at least 12 years old and not yet fully vaccinated, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the DOE strongly encourage you to make a vaccination appointment for them as soon as possible by visiting vaccinefinder.nyc.gov. For the latest DOE vaccination information, visit the COVID-19 on our website.


Final Day of Community Meals Service


The last day of community meal service at NYC schools will be Friday, September 10. Starting Monday, September 13, please visit your local food pantry, soup kitchen, green market, or call 311 to assist in finding a location near you. Additional information can be found at nyc.gov/getfood.


Please note that the NYC Department of Education continues to offer free breakfast, lunch, and afterschool meals to all NYC public school students during the school year. We look forward to welcoming our students back and serving them a fresh and nutritious meal.

Message from Mr. Pleitez about device returns for June 2021

Hello families,


Technology device returns will be done as follows:


Dates: June 21, 2021 to June 25, 2021 from 9am to 3pm


Chromebooks with the chargers must be returned to PS 109 by the following groups of students:

  • All 5th Grade students who are leaving PS 109 (teachers will message this out to all families this applies to)

  • Any student who was given a Chromebook from March 2020 until now who will not be returning to PS 109 in September must return the Chromebook and its charger.

  • Current 3K or PK students who did not apply and accept a position at PS 109 for the 2021-22 school year. If there is a pending, waitlist, or there is no application for your child for PK or Kindergarten, then the Chromebook and its charger must be returned

We will make note of any missing item that is not returned with the device.


iPads with their accessories (case, usb cable and usb charger) must be returned to PS 109 by the following groups of students:

  • Any student who is not attending a NYC DOE school on September 2021. This includes students leaving NYC schools or transferring to charter or parochial schools (non-DOE schools).

We will make note of any missing item that is not returned with the device.


Who can remain with their device until September?

  • Students returning to PS 109 next year can remain with their Chromebooks and iPads until next school year. Please make sure these are stored or kept safe if you remain with it for the summer.

  • Students going to another NYC DOE school in September can remain with their NYC DOE iPad as these transitions with the student to the new NYC DOE school.

Our Chromebooks do not transition with students to their new school as these are PS 109 devices.


If a family prefers to leave the device (Chromebook or iPad) with us over the summer break for safety reason, please bring it in during the collection days above. We will store these at the school safely over the summer. If you choose this, please make sure to bring the charger for Chromebooks and the accessories for the iPad (case, usb cable and usb charger). We will make note of any missing item that is not returned with the device.


Additionally, you will receive a paper acknowledging that you returned a device to PS 109, including any accessory that is returned or missing from the device.


Devices deemed to have been needed to be returned to the school will be blocked from future use, until it is returned.


Respectfully,

Mr. Pleitez

Archived Messages prior to 2021-22 school year