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?
How will KIPP NYC deliver special education to students this school year?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
Will students continue to receive free meals 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?
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.