• Weekly News

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    THE BUZZ.....

    [Remote_Learning_Edition]
    March 22, 2020


    Dear Earth School Families,

    The past week has been a busy and challenging one for our community as we prepare to launch remote learning.  As always, our dedicated, caring and responsive staff have been absolutely incredible in shifting their practice, schedules, and home lives to make sure we can stay connected with our students and families.  

    I continue to feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to have joined this community, even in trying times such as these, and I can’t help but think that, in many ways, the coming weeks will leave us feeling more connected than ever before.  

    REMOTE LEARNING LAUNCH: Our classes will be launching their remote learning environments tomorrow using Google Classroom.  Google Classroom is a virtual classroom; teachers will be posting messages, videos, and assignments daily - these virtual “spaces” will be our classrooms during this time when we cannot physically be together at the Earth School. You can find several videos on youtube describing how to access Google Classroom (here is one example, and here is another), and there is also this online slideshow that may be helpful. 

    Regarding how you and your child can access their Google Classroom and what the learning day will be like: 

    • If you are unable to set up access for tomorrow or in the next couple of days...take a deep breath and try not to worry. We will take it one day at a time and work out the kinks together. 

    • All students will use an Earth School Google account to log in to Google Classroom.

    • Third, Fourth, and Fifth-Grade students have had Earth School Google accounts all year, and will be using those same accounts to access Google Classroom.

    • PreK through Second-Grade students have new Earth School Google accounts, and families will be receiving information later today with their child’s account log-in information. Please look for an email with the subject line “Your Child’s Earth School Google Account”  

    • What to expect for our “First Day” Families will receive (some may have already received) more specific information from their child's teacher regarding what their first day of Remote Learning will look like (e.g., a schedule or flow-of-day). 

    • Attendance  

      • WHY...: An important role of attendance for all schools is to help ensure sure families and children are well and safe. Especially in times like these, we want to make sure we are of families who are in need of support.   

      • HOW...: We will be setting up a quick way to gather attendance through Google Classroom: there will be a daily assignment for students to respond to a quick Google Form where they can select, “I’m here!”  We are asking that students log-in and complete the “I’m here” form between 8:00 and 9:30.

      • THAT BEING SAID...: Of course, we understand with shared devices, radical changes in home schedules, and countless other factors, that may not be possible for some families. In those cases, please make sure your child completes the “I’m here,” form at whatever time they are able to log in during the day.  

      • “ABSENCES” As with a regular school day, if you know your child will be “absent” from the Google Classroom it’s important that email the office at attendance@theearthschool.org (note the change, the email address for attendance is no longer Carmen N.’s email address) and CC your child(ren)’s teacher(s)

    OTHER IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS: 

    School Food: For the time being, the free (for all students), grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals will continue to be available at our building from 7:30 - 1:30 PM. See this list for additional sites that may be closer to you.

    If you are a first responder, health care provider, or transit worker...whose child is a NYC resident and you have no other child care option, complete this form to begin the enrollment process for the city childcare and enrichment centers.

    Devices and Wifi Connections. If you or some you know is still in need of a device to connect your child to Google Classroom, fill out this form for a device, on loan (student ID is required), from the Department of Education. Our current understanding is that the DOE will be setting up distribution sites and will notify families directly. Reach out to jocelyn@theearthschool.org if you have questions or need help. 

    Students with IEPs Your child’s service provider or teacher will be reaching out to you via phone in the coming week to discuss special considerations for your child’s remote learning. 

    We hope you and your children are well and safe during this challenging time. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and hearts every day. Current circumstances are placing unimaginable demands on so many, but we will figure it out, day by day, working together with patience, understanding and flexibility. 

    Be well and take care, 

    Claudia

    Posted Mar 22, 2020, 6:11 PM by Designer Stevie Remsberg
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    THE BUZZ.....

    March 8, 2020

    Dear Earth School Families,

    The District 1 Battle of the Bands is this evening, at the Bowery Ballroom! We hope to see many of you there for this fun, music-filled event that helps to support participating schools. 

    Resource for Talking to Children about Coronavirus Our Guidance Counselor, Shirley, has provided a resource from childmind.org (attached) with some guidance on how to talk with children about Coronavirus. Per my email, yesterday, we will continue to update the community as we get additional information from the DOE. 


    Half Day for 5th Grade ELA PBAT Roundtables this Friday! It’s a half day for Pre-K through 4th grade, and we will be providing care for students after 11:55, free of charge and open to all families. The activities for students who stay will depend on the number of students who stay. Pick-up time (or dismissal to after school or school buses) for students who stay on half days will be 2:50, per the normal routine. The link to sign up is here, and the deadline to sign up is Wednesday, March 11. 


    Diversity and Difference will be meeting this Friday, from 8:45-10:00 in the Art Room. We will be continuing to explore a theme that has emerged from the media and readings we have worked with so far this year--how has the history of race and racism in our society omitted perspectives and accounts that bear on our contemporary understandings of the world in which we live. This week, we will be listening to a TED Talk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Danger of A Single Story.  


    Parent Surveys It’s that time of the year again: DOE School Surveys!!! This short survey gathers information about your overall satisfaction with the school. The results are published and used to determine our school’s official rating and to compare us with other schools. In February, each student received  a green envelope containing a hard copy of the survey to fill out along with postage-paid envelope, and the deadline for responding is March 31. You can also complete the survey online at NYCSchoolSurvey.org at home or in the PA Room or Library using your access code (in the green envelope). So far, 15% of our families have responded, and it is very important that each family completes the survey (one per family). It’s easy and it takes about 3 minutes. Jocelyn is happy to help!!


    Parent Feedback on Narrative Reports We are gathering feedback from parents regarding their experience of Winter Narrative Reports this year. It’s a very short questionnaire, and we appreciate hearing from as many families as possible. You can access the survey here (if you have more than one child at the Earth School, you can submit the form once for each child, if you choose). 


    State Designation (TSI) Meeting  Thank you to those of you who came to Wednesday’s informational meeting about the TSI designation. As I’ve expressed to the community, we will continue to try to get answers to the many questions raised by a designation that is based on test scores in a school where most students’ families exercise their right to choose to opt out. We will schedule additional informational meetings as we get more clarity on these questions. 


    Additionally, for families who would like more information about the state tests, and why our school and others have had such a high rate of families choosing not to have their child(ren) take the tests, the PA has organized a meeting on Thursday, March 12 (8:30-9:30, Room 114). The PA will also be discussing this during its next PA meeting (Tuesday, March 17, 8:45-10:00 in the Library).   


    For all 3rd-5th Grade families: As we’ve mentioned in recent issues of the Buzz, with state assessments coming up in March (English Language Arts) and April (Math), we need to gather information on which students will/will not be taking the tests.  Teachers and office staff may be reaching out to confirm if your child(ren) will/will not be taking the tests, or whether you are still in the process of deciding. 


    Hope you have a wonderful week! 

    Best, 

    Claudia

    Posted Mar 9, 2020, 10:19 PM by Designer Stevie Remsberg
  • .

    THE BUZZ.....

    March 1, 2020


    Dear Earth School Families,


    It was wonderful to see so many families come out and enjoy some food and film together on Friday for the PA-hosted Movie Night!  Many thanks to our parent volunteers for their hard work--we appreciate everything you do to bring families together and support the school! 


    Parent Corps has ended for the year! Thanks to our Guidance Counselor, Shirley, for leading this group, and thanks to all the parents who participated and supported each other in this work. 


    State Designation Meeting  As I shared in an email on Thursday, our school was recently designated as “TSI” (Targeted Support and Improvement), by the New York State Education Department, based on state tests. (In New York elementary schools, state tests are administered for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades.) For schools like ours, with very high rates of families who choose not to have their child(ren) take these tests, it can be difficult to make sense of what a designation like this means. We are having a meeting on Wednesday, March 4, from 6:00-7:30 in the auditorium to share more information about TSI and answer families’ questions. Pizza and childcare will be available. 


    Additionally, for families who would like more information about the state tests, and why our school and others have had such a high rate of families choosing not to have their child(ren) take the tests, the PA has organized a meeting on Thursday, March 12 (8:30-9:30, Room 114). The PA will also be discussing this during its next PA meeting (Tuesday, March 17, 8:45-10:00 in the Library).   


    For all 3rd-5th Grade families: As we’ve mentioned in recent issues of the Buzz, with state assessments coming up in March (English Language Arts) and April (Math), we need to gather information on which students will/will not be taking the tests.  Teachers and office staff may be reaching out to confirm if your child(ren) will/will not be taking the tests, or whether you are still in the process of deciding. 


    District 1 Battle of the Family Bands is Sunday, March 8 at the Bowery Ballroom. Will the Earth School Band keep their championship trophy or will they pass it to another local band this year? Come and find out- this friendly competition is a night full of surprising talent and FUN! Doors at 6, show at 7. Tix are $20. Door proceeds benefit participating schools. Adults Only.


    Sustainability Note: New York State’s plastic bag ban went into effect today! As the State’s web page explains, plastic bag usage negatively impacts both our communities and environment. “Plastic bags can be seen stuck in trees, as litter in our neighborhoods, and floating in our waterways. From the significant recycling and disposal issues they pose to the harm they can do to wildlife, the negative impacts of plastic bags are easily seen.” The web page also explains that stores and business will vary in how they accommodate the new law, with some selling re-usable bags, some charging a small fee for paper bags, etc., and they encourage New Yorkers to BYOB--Bring Your Own Bag. We have a box in the Earth School lobby for families who have extra reusable bags. If you are in need of a reusable bag, feel free to help yourself to one from the box. 


    Hope you have a wonderful week! 


    Best, 

    Claudia


    Posted Mar 1, 2020, 6:26 PM by Designer Stevie Remsberg
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THIS WEEK 

(See the full calendar

Mon, 3/23 Remote Learning Begins


LOOKING AHEAD

Sat, 5/2 - Spring Auction, St Brigid’s Church Hall

    TOUR THE EARTH SCHOOL

    Tours have begun for families interested in enrolling their child at The Earth School for the 2020-2021 school year. Register for a tour and find out what makes The Earth School so special. The next available tours are: 
    • Wednesday, February 5
    • Wednesday, February 26
    • Monday, March 9
    • Tuesday, March 24
    Visit our Tours page for a complete list of upcoming dates. Note that ALL tours begin at 8:40 a.m and end at approximately 10:15 a.m.

    HELP WANTED


    Art Room Set-Up and Storage Room Organization:
     As we announced previously, we anticipate needing some help with some art room set up and Storage Room Organization. If you’d like to help out with Art Room Set-Up, please contact George (george@theearthschool.org). Additionally, our Storage Room is in need of some cleaning and organization (which will be particularly important as we begin to prepare for our Annual Fall Fair). If you’d like to help take on that project, please contact Jocelyn (jocelyn@theearthschool.org). 

    BACK TO SCHOOL BASICS


    Arrival and Breakfast The Earth School entrance on 5th Street and Ave B opens just before 8:00 a.m. Students arriving before that time should use the building’s 6th Street entrance (which opens at 7:45 a.m.) and proceed to the cafeteria, where breakfast is available from (7:45-8:15) and Earth School staff are on hand for supervision. Before 8:00 a.m., parents/caregivers should accompany children to the cafeteria to find Carmen, and after 8:00 a.m., children can go down on their own, if preferred. Families are always welcome to stay. Children are escorted to their classrooms at 8:25 a.m. If you prefer to bring your child directly to the classroom, please note that children may not wait outside of classrooms before 8:25 a.m. without their caregiver.

    ID Cards All visitors are required to show a picture ID and sign in to enter the building. Parents, caregivers, and those who regularly pick-up should request an Earth School ID Card for quicker entry. To request an ID, email a selfie, your name, and your child's name to stevie@winkink.com . The security of our children depends on accurate monitoring of visitors entering and leaving the building. Failure to cooperate with these safety protocols could result in restrictions to parents’ open access to the school building. 

    Class starts at 8:30 a.m. Attendance is taken in the classroom, and you must bring your child to the office to get a late pass (which he/she will need in order to enter the class) if they will be arriving to their classroom after 8:35. Although attendance procedures may seem like minor, daily routines, they are actually extremely important for the purposes of student safety (to verify that students are present at school) and collecting accurate lunch information, both of which must be done first thing in the morning. 

    Dismissal is at 2:50 p.m. Children who are not picked up will be taken to late pick-up in the cafeteria. If you must be late, please call the office. After school can be a very busy time for office staff, so we appreciate that you do your best to be on time.

    Door Alarms There are door alarms and video cameras at all building exits. Everyone must enter and exit through doors with a posted Safety Agents: 6th Street Entrance at all times; 5th Street "Earth School" entrance at arrival and dismissal ONLY. People who exit through unguarded doors will set off loud alarms that may trigger a building-wide safety response.






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    Class Pages
    Promoting Diversity & Social Justice
    Sixth Street Community Center’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)