Dear AFCHES Families!
We are reaching out today to share an update on our reopening plans for the 20-21 school year. After careful consideration, we have decided to delay the start of in-person school for all Achievement First schools in New York to at least November 9 (originally, we planned to begin a phased-in reopening on October 5). We continue to monitor the situation with our NYCDOE buildings and will keep you updated.
For the ~87% of our families who have elected to have their scholar learn remotely for the first Chapter 1 (Sept/Oct), this change will not impact your scholars. However, we recognize that this is a significant change for the ~13% of families who said they wanted their scholar to learn in-person. For these families, we want to explain why we have made this decision and how we hope to support you.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have prioritized two factors above all others: 1) the safety of our school community and 2) meeting scholar and family needs. We have made the decision to delay our in-person reopening based on these factors. Unfortunately, and despite the INCREDIBLE work of our Operations teams on the ground who have been working tirelessly to prepare our buildings, we do not believe that our buildings will be ready to reopen safely on October 5 for groups of 10+ people given ventilation, bathrooms, and other concerns. In New York City, nearly all of our buildings are operated by the NYCDOE, and we currently do not have the same access and ability to do the necessary testing, repairs, and modifications for us to feel comfortable that our scholars, families, and staff will remain safe. Indeed, you may have seen that the DOE itself has decided to delay its in-person start due to related concerns around readiness. Delaying our in-person start will also allow our teachers and leaders more time to perfect our approach to remote learning with your scholars before having to switch focus to providing an in-person option. We know that remote learning will be a significant part of how our scholars learn this year regardless which is why we think it’s worth it to take the time now to get it running smoothly.
While we are confident this is the best decision for our school community, we know it will pose a significant challenge to some of our families and we are 100% committed to supporting you through this. Our school will reach out to all families who indicated they wanted their scholar to learn in-person and said that a delayed in-person start would pose a hardship to their family. If you are worried about the impact of this decision on your family, please contact the main office by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can work together to support you and your family.
Thank you so much for your partnership as we work to make the most of this unprecedented situation and create a safe, welcoming, and caring environment for your scholars. We promise to be in touch as more updates emerge. As always, PLEASE reach out with any questions!
Dr. Johnson and Ms. Cantave