Families: Preparing to return to School
Keep Devices Clean
Preparing to Return to school in Person
Choose Face Masks & Accessories That Are Right for Your Child
Many of our students have sensory issues and will be bothered by masks. There are many different face masks available now. Some are more comfortable than others. Try different types of masks and find the one that works best for your child.
There are also many accessories available to help make masks more comfortable. There are items that adjust the size of the mask loops to help them to fit correctly. Masks can be attached to a headband with buttons instead of hooking the mask onto your child's ears. Ear savers that go around the back of the head to attach the mask to also can help. There are even ways to attach masks to eye glasses.
Practice Wearing Masks
School will begin shortly. EVERYONE in the school will be wearing masks all day long (except for when they are eating).
If your student is returning to in-person school, we ask that you help them to prepare by having them wear their mask for extended periods of time at home. You might want to reward their mask-wearing by giving them a reward of their choice, like iPad time or a special TV Show, while they are wearing their mask.
Send in Extra Masks, Tissues, Hand Sanitizer, and Other Hygiene/Safety Supplies
Please send in extra masks in plastic bags in your child's book bag each day. These will only be used for your child and will be used only if something happens to the mask he/she wore to school that day. Masks will have to be taken off for meals and it is easy for them to drop onto the floor. In addition, your student might cough or sneeze into the mask or need a replacement for many other reasons.
Please send tissues, paper towels, wipes and other items labeled with your child's name on them. We expect to receive supplies from the NYCDOE, but having extra supplies on hand will ensure that we don't run out.
At some point when more things are known about the return to in-person school and classes and teachers are assigned, your child's teacher will be in touch to let you know what supplies your child will need. Please know that students will need to come in with their own supplies. Due to concerns about the Coronavirus, students will not be sharing supplies at school. Please be ready to send in a pencil box of supplies, including pencils, erasers, glue sticks, safety scissors, markers, colored pencils, and more.
preparing for remote instruction
Create a Separate Space for Remote Instruction, If Possible
Focusing on a computer for remote instruction is challenging, but trying to do so when there are distractions is even harder. If it is at all possible, find a corner of your home that you can use to set up your child for remote instruction. Try to have it away from the TV, toys, and other family members, if possible. While it's tempting to set up your children's workspace in a central location, please remember that family members will want and need to talk to each other and/or on the phone, which is distracting to the student and to other students in class. Facing the space toward a wall can minimize distractions. Minimize conversations at home, and remember that the camera and/or microphone are on!
Make the Space Fun!
Remember how fun it was to buy new clothes, backpacks, and school supplies for the new school year? Even if your child is not returning to the school building, it is the start of a new school year! Make it fun! Help them feel excited for school to start. Remind them of how they will "see" their friends and teachers, even if it's through the computer. Make something special about the space he/she will be using for remote learning! Hang some of their artwork, buy them new glue sticks, pencil cases, art supplies, and pencils. Make a small space their learning space!
Create Schedules, Routines, & Good Habits
Like many of us, our students tend to respond well to schedules and good habits. Make "going to school" remotely a habit. Make attending class and/or doing remote assignments part of a schedule so students get up and do it automatically. When students attend school in person, they usually get used to getting up at a certain time, showering/bathing at a certain time, brushing their teeth, waiting for the school bus. Create the same types of routines for remote learning. This will make things easier for everyone.
Sitting in front of a computer all day isn't good for anyone. Be sure to provide physical fitness and brain breaks that are fun for your child. There are free fitness apps, websites, and videos that can help. You may want to have breaks that are free from screen time since students spend so much of their time on devices during remote instruction. Dance, walk around the house, step outside (if it's safe). Play a game or talk to a family member or friend. Recharge!
We practice wait time in class. This means that we give students plenty of time to gather their thoughts, find their words, gain the courage they need to answer. Please help us help the students learn to answer on their own when possible. We understand that it's not always possible for students to do this and we appreciate family support when it's not. Asking and answering questions is one of the primary skills we work on with students. We continue to do this remotely.
Also, we often ask students questions we know the answers to to help show them how we think or how to problem solve. Please let the students answer; don't answer for them, though it is tempting!