This Week @ PS 88Q

December 12, 2021

A Message From Mrs. O'Shaughnessy

I hope everyone ended their week healthy and safe. As we enter into this winter season, PS 88Q continues to be effected by the pandemic. As the covid infection rate in NYC rises, schools are feeling the increase. For some of our families, who are effected by a close contact quarantine, you perhaps may have many questions. What is the DOE policy? How is this determined? What is the protocol for returning? I will share all of this information, as it has changed since last year. What used to be standard procedure (full classroom closure), the DOE responded to the call of many parents to limit full closures, or 10 day closures. Just this week, the DOE has begun to allow staff to test in school (which was suspended a few months ago) as new variants are a threat to even vaccinated individuals. All staff are vaccinated, as it was made mandatory back in October. Here is what you need to know:

  • Complete the health survey daily. If your child is experiencing cold like symptoms (cold, cough, or fever), please air on the side of safety and have them tested before sending them to school.
  • If your child tests positive, please inform me ( so that I can record this with the situation room. This will contain any close contacts and help stop the spread to other students. All information is confidential, as I am the only one who reports cases.
  • Mask wearing in school is required, so speak to your child if he/she is having difficulty wearing the mask during the day.
  • If your child is vaccinated, please upload documents to If your child is identified as a close contact, test and trace will verify their vaccination status and they will be exempt from quarantine.

With the holidays coming, and an increase in socialization outside, we want to be as cautious as possible. You have all earned a restful, fun winter break, and we want everyone healthy to enjoy it.

I truly wish that we could put this pandemic and its toll on schools behind us. Since February 2020 it has taken priority and as we enter 2022, it still dominates so much of our lives. As you read this week, Mayor de Blasio enacted a vaccine mandate for after-school activities (see below). Many of these restrictions deter schools from creating the activities for students and families that we so want. Please know that creating these opportunities continues to be our priority, but in a safe and allowable manner.

As we count down to 2022, I thank each and every one of you for trusting in PS 88Q during this most challenging time. We will continue to thrive, not just survive because TOGETHER IS BETTER!

What is the Student Quarantine Policy?

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As of Monday, September 27, the DOE no longer automatically closes an entire classroom when there is a positive student case in that class. Students who are wearing face coverings and have maintained at least 3 feet of distance in a classroom from a student who tests positive will not be considered close contacts and will not have to quarantine.

Students Identified as Close Contacts in a COVID-19 Case

Who will now be considered a close contact of a positive case and therefore will need to quarantine?

A close contact is:

  • Any student within three feet of a student with COVID-19 in the classroom regardless of wearing a face covering.
  • Any student who was within six feet of student with COVID-19 when either student was unmasked,
  • Any student or adult who was within six feet of an adult with COVID-19 for more than ten minutes regardless of wearing a face covering.

How Long Does a Close Contact Have to Quarantine?

Fully vaccinated students identified as close contacts do not have to quarantine provided they remain symptom-free, but should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure. Unvaccinated students identified as close contacts must quarantine for 10 days. These students may test out of quarantine and return to school early on Day 8 if they are symptom-free and take a lab-confirmed COVID-19 test on Day 5 (or later) of quarantine and the test is negative. Proof of the negative COVID-19 test must be submitted to their school. Schools will accept an emailed test result or a paper copy of the test result.

Afterschool Vaccine Mandate

This past week, Mayor De Blasio put a vaccine mandate in place for high risk after school activities. Copied from

A COVID-19 vaccination requirement also applies to students participating in high-risk after school extracurricular activities like chorus, musical theater, dance/dance team, band/orchestra (with concern for woodwinds), marching band, cheerleading/step teams/flag team. Students ages five and up must be vaccinated in order to participate in these extracurricular activities.

Students who wish to continue to participate in these activities must get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by December 14.

It Is Time To Apply For Kindergarten!

We are excited to announce that the Kindergarten Application is OPEN! PS 88Q also is excited to include the STEM DISCOVERY PROGRAM. This is the result of the amazing Diversity Grant that District 24 has received. We are proud to have an ICT STEM class in grades Kindergarten, Grade 3 this year, and preparing for one ICT in each grade later this year as well. The deadline to apply is January 18th, 2022. We will be holding a parent meeting on January 5th. Stay tuned for the zoom link. Follow us on instagram/facebook and our website for updates.

From December 8, 2021 through January 18, 2022, all NYC families with children born in 2017 can apply to kindergarten by submitting an application. We encourage all families with children of this age to apply: NYC DOE kindergarten programs welcome and serve all children, including students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and students with accessibility needs. Even families of current pre-K students need to apply to participate in kindergarten admissions.

There is no advantage to applying early: all applications received by the deadline will be treated the same, and all families who apply by January 18 will receive a kindergarten offer this spring.

Apply to kindergarten one of the following ways:

Learn more about how to apply and how students get offers at, which features a video playlist on elementary admissions. We also welcome families to attend a virtual event about kindergarten, pre-K, and 3-K admissions this winter––find dates, times, and information on how to join at

See below for links for the admissions guides for all grades in all languages.

Applying to Kindergarten? Welcome!

Children’s Books About Mental Health

From The Child Mind Institute: We’ve contacted publishers all over to call in books that address mental health and learning disorders and other common challenges, like dealing with painful experiences and coping with strong emotions. See the complete list of 44 books here.

We included books for kids up to 12, from picture books to be read with preschoolers to chapter books for independent reading by older children. Our clinicians read them all and picked the best in each category, based on how helpful they found them.

Direct links to books about: Abuse | ADHD | Anxiety | Autism | Bullying | Depression | Dyslexia | Feelings | Grief and Loss | Identity | Neglect | OCD | Self-Esteem | Selective Mutism | Sensory Processing | Tourette’s Syndrome | Trauma

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PS 88q FM-LY Season 2 Episode 8 Crazy Sock Day Challenge