Last school year, in January and February, there was a whirlwind of cautious excitement and collaboration amongst our staff community, as the COVID-19 vaccine was live and ready for adult administration. We asked questions, we researched, we shared, we helped each other schedule appointments and carpool to various vaccine sites around the boroughs, and together – we saw a glimmer of hope through the clouds. Perhaps we were nearing the end of “COVID-times.” In May, older students, many siblings of our children, were eligible for their first doses – another wave of promise that this might all be over soon.
Then came the Delta variant, looming over the fall and our return to in-person learning. The unknowns, the worry, the cases – this fall is far from a typical one. When the news broke that the vaccine had been approved for children aged 5-11 just a few weeks ago, another buzz erupted around the city – and in our community – another step towards limiting the day-to-day concern about the safety of our community, being able to count on the steadiness of our in-person program, and our ability to make some more long-term plans. Last week, the city set up pop-up vaccination sites at many schools around the city, BNS included. We were fortunate to have both an indoor station and a van, collectively vaccinating about 100 of our children with their families at their sides. In D15, parent coordinators have started sending vaccine van information out to their neighboring schools so that more children can take advantage.
Here are some images from the first vaccination pop up at BNS:
We know that with the holiday season approaching, many of us are thinking about plans to see loved ones near and far, some folks we haven’t seen outside of our zoom rectangles in far too long. We have learned to be separate for our safety but connected through new means, and we know many families are looking forward to being together this year.
In addition to all of these public-health goings-on, we are also in the early stages of launching the DOE’s “Recovery” program for children with IEPs and children selected by teaching teams as candidates for some extra small-group instruction after school two or more days a week. The related services (OT, PT, Speech, Counseling) are still in the works, as are many of the groups – but the very first few sessions started this week, and we are looking forward to seeing how this program can grow. We all know the positive benefits of small group time, and we are pleased that the city is funding schools to make this type of instruction possible this school year.
We end with a few witty vignettes of learning on the ground this year:
Setting: One Day in the Life of the Hudson and New York Harbor at Valentino Pier, a local walking trip for Josh and Candy’s class.
An environmental educator, Andrew, finds a crab. He shows it to the children, and calls it invasive. Johanna is with the class as well – she asks, “What do you think invasive means?” A fourth grader, Shaw, says: “It’s probably from Manhattan.”
Setting: The 5th grade hallway, outside of the Occupational Therapy office (often used as an extended classroom space.
A third grader, Ajani, makes his way through an obstacle course set up. The OTs said, “We will protect the course when the 5th graders pass through.” Ajani replies, “Good thing – or else it would be call called a Mobstacle course!”
Until next time,
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