Dear Middle School Families:
It has been a joy to greet students and families in the morning. And I want to thank all the families who have shared their appreciation and support. We have just completed our first two week cycle in the hybrid model. As our program is new, we are taking every opportunity to improve upon it as the year progresses.
I ask that you continue to have patience with us, as even the most experienced teachers are being forced to adjust their teaching practices and rethink their trusted routines. I will provide you updates on some changes that we are making as well as information about Advisory support moving forward.
We have been in conversation with families and about the programming and scheduling including with our School Leadership Team. We continue to follow the DOE program model, 1B and have followed the program mandates set forth by the DOE for both both in person and remote teaching. At the present time we are meeting with all middle school teachers to get their feedback on the current schedule and, collaboratively, we will determine if adjustments need to be made. As you all know, we have a significant teacher shortage. We are advocating everyday to be provided with additional teachers. So far, we have been provided with one additional teacher which has allowed us to provide special education teacher support services to all students who receive this service according to their IEP.
Please note that we will not make any major schedule changes until the opt-in period for students who would like to opt-in to hybrid learning.
Opt-in window for in person hybrid learning
Families will be informed of the schedule of in person hybrid learning and the remote cohort
Students start in person hybrid learning
In the event that we go fully remote
When the entire school attends remotely they will all follow the A and B schedule, except for advisory, which will remain the same group. Students who are in cohort "D" will join cohort "A" or "B". In the event that the entire school attends remotely we will resend class lists to make sure that all students know if they should follow the A or the B schedule. To better understand this I have added a key below:
6A1D will join 6A1
6A2D will join 6A2
6B1D will join 6B1
6B2D will join 6B2
7A1D will join 7A1
7A2D will join 7A2
7B1D will join 7B1
7B2D will join 7B2
8A1D will join 8A1
8A2D will join 8A2
8B1D will join 8B1
8B2D will join 8B2
Responsive Advisory and Second Step
One of our school wide learning goals and CEP goal is to continue to know every student well with a cultural lens, as well as an academic perspective to strengthen equity and access across the school (both in person and remote learning). To meet our goal we are blending and implementing our SEL curriculums: Responsive Classroom and Second Step Social emotional curriculums across the school consistently. Our commitment continues to be to support our students social and emotional health is still a priority for all students.
What is Second Step?
A holistic approach to building supportive communities for every child through social-emotional learning. The advisory program is web-based and includes teacher-facilitated lessons and advisory activities, along with program training and resources to help middle schoolers build social-emotional skills for life.
Unit 1 - Mindsets & Goals
Unit 2 - Recognizing Bullying & Harassment
Unit 3 - Thoughts, Emotions, & Decisions
Unit 4 - Managing Relationships & Social Conflict
We will start with a primer unit specifically designed for students reentry after school disruptions.
Community Rebuilding Unit:
This mini-unit is designed to respond to student needs as the community rebuilds from the disruption last spring due to COVID-19.
The goal of the Community Rebuilding Unit is to help foster a renewed sense of community among students and staff as they return to school after extended COVID-19-related school closures. To achieve this goal, the Community Rebuilding Unit will have students engage in a variety of activities designed to help them build connections with their peers and school staff. Students will also explore their thoughts and feelings about the unprecedented events they are living through. In doing this, they can better recognize the experiences they’ve shared and support each other as they begin to reflect on and process those experiences. Staff will also receive guidance on how they can help foster a positive school community and provide meaningful support to their students.
Why This Unit Matters
The twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues of systemic racism (highlighted by the killing of George Floyd) have damaged students’ sense of safety and placed them at risk for traumatic stress and other adverse childhood experiences. Schools can play a critical role in moderating the effects of that stress by providing a safe and supportive environment—one where friends and caring adults can provide students with the social-emotional support they need to cope with what they’re experiencing.
Developing Study Buddies
We are developing pairs of students to become study buddies as they spend time during the week learning asynchronously. A study buddy is a peer within your class or grade who students will meet with during asynchronous days during independent work time. This will allow students to work collaboratively with peers when not in live learning lessons. We view study buddy google meet sessions as a way to mimic the academic and social interaction students are able to have during independent work time at their desks in school. The buddy groups will be formed over the next two weeks. They will take into account student preferences.
Respect for All Student Assemblies
Ali, our Respect for All Liaison and School Social Worker, will lead students through a Respect for All assembly. The sessions will take place during remote advisory times. Families are welcome to attend. The google meet invite will be forthcoming.
A Cohort will meet on 10/26 from 8:55-9:30
B Cohort will meet on 10/27 from from 8:55-9:30
D Cohort will meet on 11/2 from 8:55-9:30
Entry and Dismissal Reminders
Health Screening (https://healthscreening.schools.nyc/):
Students need to complete the health screening prior to entering the building. They should log-in as a guest if they are unable to log in as a student. Students can complete the screening on their mobile phones or on a computer at home and then print out the confirmation to show to Logan or me at entry. If a student does not have access to a printer or mobile phone then we will conduct the screening at entry.
I supervise dismissal everyday from 2:15-2:30. Students waiting to be picked up can wait with me.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at Bschott@schools.nyc.gov if you have any questions.