REMOTE LEARNING @ KIPP NYC
Over the past few months, we have heard from teachers and staff, students, families, and alumni about the two pandemics, COVID-19 and systemic racism, and the deep impact that both are having on your lives.
As we start the 2020-21 school year, we pledge to you that we will do our best to try to make the right decisions we can at each moment, given the science and our values.
Restart Plan – All Dates Subject to Change
- Monday, August 24, 2020: First Day of School.
- August 24 – September 30, 2020: all KIPP NYC schools will be remote.
- KIPP NYC will use guidance from the CDC, New York State Department of Health, and NYC Department of Education to determine the precise start date for the return to in-person instruction.
Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated August 6, 2020 9:00am EST
Click questions to open/close the answers.
Back to School
When does the 2020-21 school year start?
When does in-person instruction begin?
We know that many of you will be challenged by this. We will do our very best to support families and staff through these virtual weeks. We will continue to use science, data, health experts, and the voices of our community to inform our plans regarding the return to in-person instruction.
Among the reasons for this timing is that we share buildings with the NYC Department of Education and we are not certain when they will open their buildings. We do not want to promise an earlier date and then have to change it at the last minute due to reasons beyond our control. Once we have access to space, we will do our own physical preparation of spaces, finalize our health and safety protocols for each building, and train our staff on new procedures.
We will update you on our plans as we get more information from the NYS Department of Education, the NYC Department of Education, and the NYS Department of Health. When we do return to the buildings, we know that we cannot return to school in the way we’ve done in past years and still keep our commitment to safety. Even when we return to buildings it will be in the hybrid learning mode, meaning that we will have a mix of remote and in-person instruction. At that time, we will try to prioritize in-person instruction for the youngest grades and students with the highest learning needs.
How will remote learning work this year?
We are starting this year with a new online learning management system, Canvas, which students, families, and staff will visit every day while we are remote. Canvas allows students to access their assignments, receive announcements and feedback from their teachers, and see their grades. Canvas will also house other resources that students need for school, such as access to additional software or online programs. We will also take attendance through Canvas. Families and students will soon receive more detailed information and instructions about Canvas, including how parents and guardians can access the platform for school-specific information and their students’ lessons, assignments, and teacher communications.
How do I indicate my preference to keep my student(s) in remote learning when in-person instruction begins?
If a student starts the school year with in-person instruction, can they then move to remote instruction?
Will siblings’ schedules align when they are learning in person?
How will KIPP NYC deliver special education to students in the upcoming school year?
How will you identify and support students who are English-language learners?
Will you offer after-school programming when in-person instruction begins?
How will you make computers and tech support available to students?
KIPP NYC is committed to 100% connectivity at home. More information regarding Internet Access options in New York City can be found via this link. If your family needs assistance obtaining Internet access, please contact the Director of Operations at your student’s school for next steps.
Families can open a ticket for issues related to KIPP NYC Chromebooks or student software by completing this form.
How can families and staff provide input on the planning?
Social Distancing & Face Coverings
How will social distancing work in the school buildings?
Will you require students and staff to wear masks or face coverings in school buildings?
How will you support the youngest students to learn the importance of face coverings at school?
Will you provide students and staff with masks or face coverings?
School Building Cleaning
How will you keep the buildings clean?
How are you evaluating the buildings’ ventilation systems?
Will students and staff use the buildings’ water fountains?
How will you monitor the physical health of students and staff before they arrive and while in the buildings?
Every school has a local school nurse onsite to support with medical issues. Additionally, all schools have designated rooms for students or staff who are exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19, given that students and staff exhibiting these symptoms should not go to the nurse’s office.
There are also additional office spaces that can be used for isolation rooms should there be multiple symptomatic students or staff at the same time. These rooms will be stocked with disinfectant and cleaned nightly by custodial team members and our facilities teams.
We are also continuing to work with the NYC DOE to try to acquire priority access to COVID-19 testing for KIPP NYC students and staff
How will you check the health of visitors to the buildings?
What is the protocol if a student or staff member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms in the building?
Will you test students or staff for COVID-19 in the school buildings?
How will I be informed of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community?
What conditions will cause you to close a portion of the school or the entire school?
If we do close school for any number of students and staff, the affected individuals would move to KIPP NYC’s remote learning structure and schedule.
All schools will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before in-person instruction resumes.
How will KIPP NYC know if a staff member or student is at high-risk for COVID-19?
Mental Health & Other Supports
How will you support the mental health of students and staff in your schools?
What other health resources are available to KIPP NYC families during this time?
KIPP NYC has partnerships with Northside and Interborough, providing on-site, school-based mental health services to KIPP schools located in Brooklyn, Harlem, and the South Bronx. All students connected to Northside and Interborough have continued access to their therapist as well as psychiatric services.
KIPP NYC families should contact their schools’ Social Workers to learn about our Family Assistance Fund, which has supported initiatives such as our food program and summer school.
KIPP NYC has a professional partnership with Headway and Ayana Therapy, providing both in-person and teletherapy services. Headway and Ayana each offer accessible, diverse, and culturally competent therapy services for our students and families. We also have relationships with the Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services, A Caring Hand, and Calvary Hospital for their Loss, Bereavement & Grief programs.
KIPP families and caretakers will continue to have access to workshops that address how to talk to students of all ages about the pandemic, how to cope as a family, and how to support students practically and emotionally during this time.
How will our staff HR policies respond to the current environment?
If you are feeling ill, we want you to feel secure in staying home, keeping yourself and the community safe. To that end, we will be increasing the number of personal days when we transition to the hybrid model. We will provide more specific information as we get closer to the start of in-person instruction.
Given the many programming constraints of on-site learning, we will be modifying the on-site hours of the day for students and school staff.
We are addressing requests from staff for accommodations due to certain health conditions pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act and CDC guidelines connected to COVID-19.
We will be asking KIPP NYC regional staff to pause much of their usual travel to different school sites.
We will be seeking additional input on how to support staff more fully during this time. We will hold focus groups with our staff to discuss our plans for those with other challenges, such as elder care, child care, or household high-risk concerns. We will also send another staff survey so we can continue collecting real-time data.
We plan to release an addendum to our staff handbook in late August through several virtual HR presentations
In order for us to address the new staffing operational needs in response to the COVID pandemic, we may need to ask different things of you, including teaching outside of your usual grades or core areas, or adjusting curriculum and other activity offerings.
We deeply appreciate the commitment and flexibility our staff has already shown during this unprecedented time. Our ultimate goal is to ensure we are addressing individual staff needs at the same time we honor our commitment to students and their families.
What other health resources are available to KIPP NYC staff during this time?
KIPP NYC has expanded its partnership with Headway to include providing staff with both in-person and teletherapy services. Headway accepts all staff health insurances and eliminates barriers to insurance match and scheduling to allow for quick access to therapy services. Staff also have access to four (4) Cigna insurance-accepting therapists who provide on-site therapy services.
There are three (3) licensed social workers on KIPP NYC’s regional team who are available for crisis services consultation as well as connecting any staff person to mental health and social emotional support.
KIPP NYC staff will start back-to-school preparation with a professional development session for staff on trauma, resilience, and being a protective factor for KIPP students and families when they return.
Will students continue to receive free meals this year?
How will you provide meals when students are not in the building?
Over the past few months, KIPP NYC has provided additional assistance to families experiencing food insecurity via a weekly food pantry operating out of KIPP’s private high school building in the Bronx. We hope to continue to make this option available to families for a period of time as we move through this school year.
KIPP NYC will make all information about food services, including access to meals for students who are learning remotely and information about KIPP’s food pantry, available via KIPP NYC’s website and in our direct communications to you.
How will you provide meals when students are learning in person?
To maintain an appropriately social-distanced eating environment, we plan for students to eat meals in their classrooms. We will sanitize desks and we will ask students to clean their hands before and after eating. We will provide students with food allergies an alternate location to consume their meals as needed, such as an empty classroom or office. Staff will ensure that students do not share any food or beverages throughout the day.
How will you maintain safety standards around transportation to and from school?
Upon arrival at school, we will provide students who ride the bus, and students or staff who take public transportation with hand sanitizer and/or the opportunity to wash their hands immediately upon entering the building.
KIPP NYC is planning to stagger arrival/dismissal times to reduce the number of students, staff, and families who use public transportation during peak times and to allow for social distancing practices during arrival and dismissal.
KIPP NYC is committed to ensuring that our families have access to nutritious meals, childcare, and mental health services even when our school buildings are closed. Below are various resources to assist you.
If you or your child requires access to food:
- Food pantries at all 4 locations will re-open with new hours/dates for the rest of the summer. Please see this calendar for more information. English | Spanish
- If you would like to make a reservation to pick up groceries at any of the pick up locations, please complete this brief form to place your reservations for the entire summer.
- DOE Grab and Go Food Sites – Throughout the summer, meals will be distributed at various sites across the city. All adults and children can pick up multiple meals at once. DOE food sites will be available to all NYC children Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 1:30 pm at locations across the city. Please use the DOEs Free Meal Location Tool to find a site near you.
- Emergency Food Supplies:
- NYC Human Resources Administration Food Assistance Program
- The HopeLine for Free Diapers and Formula
- St. Charles Borromeo Food Pantry, 221 West 141st Street. Please call first to see if they are open 212-281-2100.
- Society of Saint Vincent dePaul Food pantry at St. Paul the Apostle on West 60 Street and Amsterdam Avenue, NYC
If you are an essential New York City employee who requires childcare to work:
We appreciate the continued dedication of first responders, health care providers, transit workers, and other key personnel for ensuring that New York City is able to effectively fight COVID-19. For this reason, the New York City Department of Education created Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs)—places where your children can be safely cared for while you continue to serve the city in this time of need.
These centers will be citywide and will be staffed by DOE employees and community-based organization partners. The centers will provide children with three hot meals daily, remote learning time with their teachers, activities like art and music, and social and emotional support.
If you are a first responder, health care provider, or transit worker whose child is a New York City resident, and you would like to use this child care option, please complete the Regional Enrichment Center Enrollment Form to begin your enrollment process. You will then be contacted about an assignment to a site near your home.
If you need additional summer enrichment opportunities for your child:
VIRTUAL SUMMER CAMPS: (with attached list for additional resources)
- NYC DOE Summer Enrichment Resources
Free Independent Reading Resources
- New York Public Library: Take advantage of your local library’s remote library resources. If you don’t already have a library card, click here to view how you apply for one online.
If you or your child require social, emotional, or mental health resources:
- For Immediate Help:
- NYS Hotline: Free Emotional Support, Consultation, Referral to Provider: (844) 863-9314
- NYC Well Mobile Crisis call 1-888-NYC-WELL or TEXT WELL to 65173 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a free, confidential service for free information, help and emotional support.
- Ongoing individual and family therapy – Headway Co
Resources specializing in providing support services to Black Americans – Ayana Therapy
- Grief, Loss and Bereavement – 212.632.4692
- Child Emotional Wellness Resources for Parents
- Family Workshops (Roots ConnectED) Talking about Race and Racism with Your Child
If you require technical assistance with your equipment, please contact email@example.com. In order to ensure your equipment continues to work properly, please follow the following care instructions:
- Shut down/power off the laptop when not in use to prevent overheating.
- Close the lid when not in use even briefly – this prevents damage due to accidental bumps or drops.
- Choose a dedicated ‘laptop storage’ location where the laptop can be stored at the end of the school day.
- No food or drink around the laptop.
- Use the laptop on a clean, flat surface (avoid pillows, couches, beds) to avoid overheating.
- Please ensure that your laptop is safely plugged within close proximity of an electrical outlet to avoid any tripping hazards.
Students will have access to Clever to complete any summer projects. If your child is having trouble logging in to Clever or any of the online tools needed to complete summer work please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your child’s full name and his or her home room teacher name to help us identify the student.
For our youngest KIPPsters, we’ve prepared summer break work packets for students entering 1st through 5th grade at KIPP. The activities assigned can be completed throughout the summer when convenient to families. KIPPsters can continue to log into platforms such as Amplify Reading, Epic! Free, and Zearn Math through Clever.
Work Packets (grades represent the grade your child will enter in August 2020)
En Español (las calificaciones representan la calificación que su hijo ingresará en agosto de 2020)