This Week At P.S. 88Q

September 21, 2020

Our Changing Situation

I hope everyone had a healthy, happy week. This week was one filled with a lot of information, some changes to former policy in the Department of Education, and most importantly, it was the First Day of School.

I want to begin with the students return to school, albeit it virtual. It was amazing to see their faces. We missed them so much. Nothing makes up for not seeing them come through the door with their brand new back to school outfits, but being able to see their smiles would have to do, for now! The first week was a short introduction to the google classroom. This week is a full instructional day for all students, which begins at 8:30am until 2:00pm. Teachers will have their schedules posted in their google classroom always to help your child plan their day. Here are some important things to know:

  • All students must be on live, and engaged in the lesson to receive "credit" for being present. During the many live lessons, students must interact, either via camera, microphone or answering questions in the chat. Without that interaction, student will be marked absent
  • During the class meet, whether it is whole class, small group or individual, the teachers will be teaching the students. If you need to communicate with the teachers, please do not do this over the instructional time. Teachers are accessible every day for office hours from 2:00pm to 2:20pm as well as through email and Dojo (if they use). That time is strictly for the students. We have many people to support any questions you may have.
  • The above points will apply this week for all students, and moving forward when blended instruction begins, all students who are learning at home.

Blended Learning vs Remote Learning

This has been something that all of us have grappled with understanding. To provide quality education to 1.1 million students in a hybrid way, there was a lot of planning on how this would look. If you remember back in July and August, the Chancellor shared with parents what to expect in both. (see chancellors update link ) These documents assured families that regardless of which they chose for their child, they would receive live instruction from a teacher during the day (unlike from March-June). This model required for more teachers, as one would be teaching the in-person, one would be teaching the blended students (in and out) and one teacher who would support the remote only students. We spent the summer planning for this, but have reported to central that this model leaves us short with teachers. We simply don't have as many as we need. We, like all schools in the city, have requested additional staff, and the Department of Education is vehemently trying to provide those teachers. As the days get closer, two things happened this week. One, the Department of Education sent guidance that blended students (those who are in person and at home) do not have to receive live instruction if the school cannot staff these positions. The second news was the delay of in person instruction. I know for sure, both of these pieces of information have made things difficult. This is what I can tell you now:

  • WE PUT CHILDREN FIRST AT PS 88Q. We may still be hoping to staff the number of teachers we need to fulfill the DOE and UFT agreement, but the commitment to children and their learning comes first. Their safety and their instruction is our priority. The model, which forms triads of teachers for each class is difficult, but every classroom is minimally a team of two. As we are still juggling our schedules due to ever changing factors (our remote only population grows daily) please know that we will always provide live instruction in some form to our blended students
  • Our fully remote students (Group D) MUST receive a full day of synchronous and asynchronous instruction every single day. Instruction consists of whole group, small group and individual instruction every day.

Now What?

This week we do what we do best, WE TEACH! Students must be on at 8:30am, no different then the regular school day. ELA, Math Science, Social Studies, Music, Physical Education, and most importantly Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness are part of our daily schedule. Students will participate in the learning of all subjects. We also have built in an intervention period, called S.O.A.R. where individual instruction will occur based on students needs. There is more about this period in this newsletter.

Health Screening for All Students Who Attend In Person Instruction

All students must have a completed health screening to enter the building on their in person learning days. This can be in one of three ways.

  • At home, complete this link with each students name and log on info. You will receive an email confirmation that it is completed and clears the student for entry
  • or ; A paper copy must be filled out upon arrival at school and given to school personal
  • or; there is a QR code at each arrival point, where it can be scanned with your phone to the link to complete. Please share the confirmation that the form was completed to school staff when entering the building.


The DOE is not issuing any more devices at this time to families as they did in the fall. Technology must be obtained from the school. We are currently following the guidance below:

  • When students participating in blended learning return to school buildings this fall, they will return the borrowed iPads to the school they attend in the fall, even if they are transitioning from elementary to middle school or middle to high school. The devices will remain in the school’s inventory. Schools can distribute the LTE-enabled iPads to students who do not have wi-fi access and give non-LTE enabled devices to students who have wi-fi access at home.
  • We are currently calling families to obtain the devices (Chromebooks) we distributed as well as families who received a DOE IPad from Central who no longer attend NYC Public Schools.
  • Please complete the following survey if you are in need of technology as the city will communicate to us

Pre-K is Back for In-Person Learning!

Our babies are coming back!! On September 21, our Pre-K students will have their First Day of in person learning! Mayor Di Blasio announced on Thursday that our K-5 students would be delayed until Tuesday September 29th, but our Pre-K can start! This week, our Pre-K Cohorts will follow the staggered schedule below. Our first days will be held in the school yard, to allow the parents to remain with the students. This has been a standard procedure, but due to COVID 19, parents are not permitted in the building. WE DID NOT WANT YOU TO MISS THIS AMAZING MILESTONE! And luckily the weather permits. Our amazing Pre-K teachers, Mrs. Stark, Ms. Moore, Ms. Palmeri and Ms Lyons have great things planned.

First Week of Pre-K

Monday, Sep. 21st, 9am to Friday, Sep. 25th, 10:30am

P.S. 88Q School Yard

Please follow the staggered schedule for our Introductory Week of Pre-K

Monday, September 21

Group A


Tuesday, September 22

Group B


Wednesday, September 23

Group A


Thursday, September 24

Group B


Friday, September 25

Group C


Materials Distribution

Last week our Amazing School Aides distributed school supplies and books to our Remote Only Students, Thank you Ms. Laurie, Ms. Cindy, Ms. Toni, Ms. Nikki and Mr. Anthony. This week we will be distributing during :

from 11am-1:00pm, they will be distributing to Group A, B and C.

Group A, Tuesday

Group B, Wednesday

Group C, Thursday

Large School Yard

Coffee With Mrs. O'Shaughnessy

Please join me at 6:00pm on Monday, September 21 for our Weekly Family Meeting. Link in my Google Classroom and Ms. Ramos' Classroom. code is 2wzhvwh

S.O.A.R. Period


Seek Success

Overcome Challenge

Achieve Goals

Reach High

Every day, students will engage in a 30 minute small group intervention period to address any learning gaps and engage in explicit instruction to close these gaps.

During this period, student data (screener, initial diagnostic) will be used to explicitly instruct students on their need. We will be using Acadience (formerly Dibels) as our screener, and I-Ready as our diagnostic. Based on students need,students will receive interventions (SPIRE, direct instruction). Students will engage in progress monitoring to assess if they are making progress. This is part of the MTSS Plan.