Dear AF New York Families,
First off, it was WONDERFUL to see so many of you on our town hall meetings yesterday! Thank you SO much for your partnership, your questions, and your time — you have been incredibly vital to the planning process as we navigate the start of the 20-21 school year!
We are writing today with an important update (also shared during yesterday’s town halls) for our Brooklyn schools: we have made the decision to launch our school year in New York remotely on September 1. We are not yet sure if and when we will be able launch in-person school since we are still awaiting information from the NYCDOE on when we will be able to access our school buildings. In addition, both Governor Cuomo and Mayor De Blasio have said that they are not ready yet to make a decision about school reopening, perhaps until the beginning of September. While we don’t know exactly when we’ll be open for in-person instruction, we know that will not open any sooner than September 15. This was a difficult decision because we know our scholars have been out of in-person school for a long time and we all look forward to reuniting our school communities in person. While we really want to bring our students back, we’ve heard from families that it would be beneficial to have some remote orientation time before launching in-person school so that our staff and scholars can discuss our safety procedures in preparation for a safe re-opening. At yesterday’s town hall meetings, a number of families shared that this decision helped them feel less anxious about a return to in-person school. We will continue making decisions that keep family/staff input and student/staff safety first and foremost. We will share updates with you on when in-person school will resume as soon as we receive more information from the NYCDOE, and we look forward to our continued partnership as this situation evolves.
In addition to this key update, we also wanted to follow up on a number of requests you all raised during the town hall meetings:
- We want all of our families to have access to the same information, including folks who were unable to attend a town hall. Please see here for a recording of our Town Hall meeting which you can watch whenever you are free.
- Moreover, many of you asked for us to share the information presented in the Town Hall with everyone so you could review in detail later. Please see here for a page on our website that includes all of the information we presented about school reopening in 20-21.Feel free to bookmark this page as we’ll continue updating it!
- You also raised a number of great questions! We are preparing an FAQ document that will answer all of the questions we’ve received. You’ll see a link to this FAQ document on this page (the same one that shares our full reopening plans). While we may not have answers to all of your questions right now, we commit to working rapidly to answer all of your questions as more information becomes available.
- Finally, as we shared during the Town Halls, we held these meetings because we wanted to share our plans with you—our families—to get your feedback as we make them better. If you did not get a chance to complete the survey during the Town Hall or simply wanted to discuss with your family first, please complete this survey by 5 PM on Thursday 7/30.
We will revise our plan based on your feedback and send an updated version to you on 8/3. At that time, we’ll ask you to tell us whether you’d like your scholar to return to in-person school when it resumes or whether you’d like your child to continue to learn remotely. We believe deeply in family choice, and we know this is a difficult decision. We commit to ensuring that your child has a high -quality education regardless of whether they are learning in our buildings or at home.
As always, please reach out to our school’s main office at firstname.lastname@example.org with ANY questions. We will be back in touch on August 3rd!
Best, Dacia Toll (CEO), Richard Buery (President) and Stephanie Keenoy (Superintendent)