We are pleased to be in contact with you once again before school’s opening next week. We heard from several of you this week and last that you had not heard from us in August. As you may know, we are moving to a new SIS (Student Information System), from Option C to FACTS, so that may account for some of the lapses in communication that we may be experiencing. We sent a letter to K-8 parents on August 11. Please check your spam folder if you did not receive that letter. Also, we are posting it on the Academy web site.
One purpose of today’s letter is to introduce you to the ParentsWeb from the FACTS Student Information System (attachment). All of the information that you were accustomed to receiving from Option C will now be available from FACTS. Also, since you are already using FACTS for your tuition payments, we hope the transition will be as seamless and easy as possible. Once you access the web and log in, you will be able to see your child’s homeroom class. Please do not ask to have your child moved from one to a different homeroom; Covid restrictions have forced us to create evenly comprised sections on each grade level and teachers deliberated hard about student placement based on several factors which included compatibility, special needs, and gender.
To summarize logistics for next week, Wednesday, September 8, will be a short day. Kindergarten through fourth grade students will arrive at 8:30 a.m. and be dismissed at 10:30 a.m.; students in grades 5 through 8 will arrive at 10 a.m. and be dismissed at Noon. Students in K to 6 will enter through the lobby, and junior high students will enter and be dismissed through the gym foyer door from the lot on 43 Street. At dismissal next week, the exit door closest to 30th Avenue will be used by KA, Grade 4, and Grade 5. KB and Grades 1 through 3 will be dismissed from the door adjacent to the lobby. For next week, all children will be walked to 30th Avenue. Beginning September 13, students will be walked to either 28 or 30 Avenue based on parent preference. Thursday and Friday, September 9 and 10, will be full days. Doors will open at 7:45 a.m. and students will be late if they arrive after 8 a.m. Dismissal procedures will follow the same exit doors as on September 7; however, dismissal will occur at the following times: K at 2:35 p.m.; Grades 1 to 3 at 2:40 p.m.; Grades 4 to 6 at 2:50 p.m., and junior high at 2:55 p.m. Unfortunately, parent-teacher orientations will have to be remote again this year. You will be receiving more specific information from your child’s teacher next week.
About 30% of our enrollment is comprised of children who have not attended in-person instruction since March 2020. We anticipate that their anxiety about returning will be high and our teachers – who performed heroically during the dark days of Covid – are prepared to welcome them back by easing their transition. Remind your children that they will be back seeing friendly faces and will quickly adjust to familiar surroundings.
We will be following all guidelines from the DOHMH, diocese, mayor and governor. This includes face masks for everyone in the building, appropriate social distancing, daily health screenings, and increased sanitizing throughout the building each day. Every adult with whom your child has contact has been fully vaccinated. Each room is equipped with an air purifier unit containing HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to prevent the spread of the virus. We have added two lunch periods to the daily schedule to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria and maintain proper distancing as per DOH guidelines.
Most important is that every family practice the CORE health principles – especially keeping your child at home if s/he exhibits any Covid-related symptoms. The Academy was OPEN for in-person instruction every school day during the 2020-2021 academic year – in part due to the cooperation of parents who followed the Covid protocols religiously. Though there are no 100% guarantees in life, given the high vaccination rate in our city and our commitment to following the health protocols, we are confident about replicating our 2021 record in 2022.
I remain hopeful that at some point during the school year we will be able to welcome parents back into the building, and I look forward to seeing you in person once again soon.