REMOTE LEARNING RESOURCES

Remote Learning

How does remote learning work this year?
    • We’ve gathered your feedback on our remote learning from the end of last school year and we have used it to develop this year’s plan. We think we will be stronger at providing curriculum and information to students and families, and supporting staff with delivering instruction, based on our prior experience. 
    • We are increasing opportunities for remediation and feedback. We have built more time into schedules to check in with students individually to provide feedback and extra support. Remote learning allows us to reach students as they are learning and to make real-time suggestions.
    • During the course of an instructional day, students have the opportunity to engage in a combination of live Zoom sessions with their teachers, pre-recorded video lessons from veteran teachers, and self-guided lessons that allow for independent thinking and research.
    • 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 also houses other resources that students need for school, such as access to additional software or online programs. We also take attendance through Canvas.

By now, families and students have received 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 will you make computers and tech support available to students?
  • We have shipped additional Chromebooks to homes for student use. Every student should have their own KIPP NYC Chromebook and use this for schoolwork; siblings will not need to share Chromebooks. 
  • 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 will you identify and support students who are English-language learners?

We will begin the ELL identification process within the first week of remote learning. 

Communication for families is provided in their home language. This includes information regarding progress monitoring, upcoming assessment, updates regarding our remote/hybrid learning plans, and any other relevant parent information. 

How can families and staff provide input on the planning?

We want to partner with you to craft the best options for providing an excellent education while keeping students, families, and staff safe. We have done surveys and focus groups and we will be conducting more of these. Please be on the lookout through email and on our Instagram for more focus group opportunities.

How will KIPP NYC continue to communicate important updates?
We will communicate our plans to safely return to school via email and social media. Please follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.
How will KIPP NYC deliver special education to students this school year?
KIPP NYC will continue to provide Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) and Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) services to all students who have these services on their IEPs whether we are fully remote or in hybrid learning.

KIPP NYC will ensure that all students with exceptionalities are identified at the beginning of the year and that the appropriate services are put in place.

Social Distancing & Face Coverings

How will social distancing work in the school buildings?
When we return to school buildings, we will practice social distancing. We will have smaller cohorts of 10-15 students in each room and we will minimize the number of adults working with each group of students to minimize exposure. We will mark hallways and common spaces with stickers or floor tape that will denote appropriate distancing between students, and between students and staff. In common adult spaces, e.g., offices and teacher workrooms, we will separate these areas into ‘zones’ using floor tape to give staff an appropriate amount of distance between them. We will train all staff and students on social distancing protocols upon arrival at the buildings. We will have new visitor policies to limit the presence of anyone other than school staff and students in the building. We are changing routines for parts of the day, such as staggered arrival and dismissal, to minimize the contact between groups of students.
Will you require students and staff to wear masks or face coverings in school buildings?
Yes, we will require all students and staff to wear masks or face coverings while in classrooms and throughout the buildings. We understand that for some students a mask or face covering will be developmentally inappropriate or will be challenging due to an underlying health condition. We will work with families in those cases to ensure a healthy and safe school environment for all students and staff. We will communicate to all parents and staff in advance of the first day of in-person instruction the necessity of face coverings.
How will you support the youngest students to learn the importance of face coverings at school?
We strive in all of our schools to impart to students a love of learning through joyful lessons and routines. We will do the same when it comes to teaching our youngest students about the importance of wearing a mask or face covering in school during this time. We know this will be challenging for many young children. We commit to working with our staff before we welcome students back to the buildings on best practices around supporting children who may feel uncomfortable with this important safety requirement.
Will you provide students and staff with masks or face coverings?
We will provide each student with two (2) cloth masks on the first day of in-person instruction. We will provide each staff member with two (2) cloth masks. While we will provide masks, we ask that students, families, and staff arrive on the first day of in-person instruction with their own mask or face covering. We will make available additional 3-ply surgical masks at each school for use by staff, students, or announced visitors that may have forgotten their mask before arriving at the building. We will also make available face shields for students or staff who prefer additional protection while onsite. We will encourage families and staff to keep additional masks at home to be used on their commute and in the school building.

School Building Cleaning

How will you keep the buildings clean?
We are working in collaboration with the schools’ custodial engineers to ensure there is a nightly cleaning done using electrostatic machines. We have procured one machine for each school and we are committed to staffing a dedicated cleaner for KIPP NYC spaces should a building’s custodial team need additional support. Beyond nightly deep cleaning, we have created a classroom cleaning checklist that will be a guide for any room being used for instruction, meetings, or general office use. All checklists will come with a classroom cleaning kit that allows for routine scheduled cleaning with students (in tandem with regular, routine handwashing practices). We will stock each classroom and office with a barrel of hand sanitizer. We will also make available in every room latex/vinyl gloves to support staff with any needed cleanups that may require closer contact with students than social distancing guidelines allow for. We will use the weeks between now and when we plan to reopen the buildings to further refine our cleaning procedures and learn from the health experts.
How are you evaluating the buildings’ ventilation systems?
We are checking the ventilation systems in coordination with the NYC Department of Education to ensure all building HVAC systems that require repair are being worked on; all HVAC filters are being upgraded; all window AC units are being cleaned and/or replaced to ensure proper functioning; and all windows are being checked to ensure they can be opened, allowing for increased air flow. We will keep doors open in classrooms to allow for increased air flow and reduced contact with door handles.
Will students and staff use the buildings’ water fountains?
We will not use traditional water fountains until further notice to reduce contact with shared water fountain equipment. Each school is planning to make available to students and staff a contactless water bottle filling station and/or pre-filled individual disposable water bottles.

Physical Health

How will you monitor the physical health of students and staff before they arrive and while in the buildings?

Per Department of Health and CDC guidelines, we will advise all students and staff to be aware of common symptoms of COVID-19. KIPP NYC will ask staff and families to complete and pass a daily health screening prior to entering the school building. We will ask students and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 to remain at home and to contact their health care provider for assessment and testing. 

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?
  • KIPP NYC will ask visitors to complete and pass a daily health screening prior to entering the school building.
  • Though we will make every effort to reduce the number of visitors, we recognize that it is inevitable that family members, KIPP NYC regional staff, or other visitors may come to the school periodically. 
What is the protocol if a student or staff member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms in the building?
Should a student or staff member exhibit COVID-19 symptoms during the day, we will place them in the dedicated isolation room. We will contact the student’s parent/guardian to pick up the student as soon as they become ill or develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Will you test students or staff for COVID-19 in the school buildings?
  • Each school will consult with its assigned nurse to determine which staff and students presenting symptoms should be referred for COVID-19 tests. 
  • We are working on a saliva-testing program for COVID-19 in the school buildings. We will require all staff and students to consent by signing a letter in advance to being tested if necessary.
  • COVID-19 testing is available across New York City and unless determined otherwise by the Department of Health, we ask that students and staff continue to use their preferred doctors, clinics, or hospitals for testing.
How will I be informed of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our school community?
If a student or staff member is isolated due to COVID-19 symptoms, the school will send home a letter the same day notifying parents of the situation and noting anonymously that the person in question is required to be symptom free/pass a COVID-19 test before returning to the school building. In the event of a positive test, the affected student or staff member will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days and will need to be cleared by a doctor in order to return to the building. Students or staff that have been exposed to COVID-19 will be required to stay out of school for 14 days. Schools will consult with the Department of Health or NYC Trace to determine who is an "exposed" individual and must stay out of school.
What conditions will cause you to close a portion of the school or the entire school?
We will work with the Department of Health to determine what conditions (e.g., number of positive COVID-19 cases in the building) would trigger a small group, section, or full school closure and the duration of the closure (and when it’s safe to return to the school building).

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?
Over the summer, staff and families provided KIPP NYC information about health status and risk level via a survey. We are providing all students with the option to learn 100% remotely for any reason.

Mental Health & Other Supports

How will you support the mental health of students and staff in your schools?
We are prioritizing the emotional health needs of our students and staff with the same level of attention and concern with which we are prioritizing physical health. We will train staff members in developing a trauma-conscious lens to enable us to be more attuned to student and family needs as well as building opportunities for resiliency in students. We are committed to being a protective factor for students as well as our families whether we are working with them remotely or in person. Our social workers and counselors are participating in additional professional development to enter the school year well prepared to respond to the needs of students and families given the challenges arising from the pandemic. Social workers and counselors are now able to conduct teletherapy sessions via live Zoom calls for any students with whom they are working remotely. Social workers and counselors will continue to work with families directly to support them in connecting with resources. We plan to hire a Family Resources Support Manager for KIPP NYC, who will support families with navigating the many resources available through local, state, federal, and nonprofit organizations.
What other health resources are available to KIPP NYC families during this time?
Students and families will have access to KIPP NYC’s Social Work and Counseling team, who are available for individual and group remote counseling and continued support to address social emotional needs as well as case management and access to resources.

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?
Here are a few of the staff HR policy changes we are considering:
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?
Our People Team has curated and shared via email wellness resources and webinars via Cigna, Prudential and the Employee Assistance Program with topics ranging from mental health to parenting. We will also continue to offer Wellness Days to mitigate staff stress and burnout, and to optimize self-care.

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.

What childcare resources are available to families?

We understand that childcare is a central concern for many working families whose children are participating in remote learning this fall. In addition to providing you with childcare resources, we encourage families to partner with each other to pool childcare arrangements and related costs.

Food Service

Will students continue to receive free meals this year?
All KIPP NYC students receive free meals either as part of the New York City Department of Education’s School Foods program, or through KIPP’s own school food program. We anticipate all students, whether in-person or remote, will continue to receive free meals daily this year.
How will you provide meals when students are not in the building?

During the school closures at the end of last school year, the NYC Department of Education provided free meals to families and students at over 400 sites throughout the city. We anticipate that the DOE will make a similar option available to students and families this year when students are learning remotely.

Over the past few months, KIPP NYC has provided additional assistance to families 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 throughout November.

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?
We will provide students who are learning in person breakfast and lunch each day, from either NYC Department of Education School Foods or KIPP NYC’s food program.

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.

Transportation

How will you maintain safety standards around transportation to and from school?
KIPP NYC will continue to collaborate with the NYC Department of Education to ensure that all eligible students who ride the bus abide by New York State public transit guidance and health protocols, including wearing a mask or face covering while riding the bus. We expect all bus riders to comply with social distancing measures when entering the building. Many KIPP NYC students, families, and staff use public transportation to travel to and from school each day. We expect those who take public transportation to wear a mask or face covering. Regardless of the means of transportation, we will require any staff member or student with any COVID-19 symptoms to remain home.

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.