The Weekly Scoop -- Summer Edition #2

Dear Canarsie Cub Families,

We hope this newsletter finds you and your families safe and happy. Along with data from the family survey launched last month, Ascend is currently reviewing and responding to the reopening guidance issued by the NYS Education Department, including requirements related to both in-person and remote learning. We are also surveying our staff to better understand the impacts the pandemic has had on them and their families and to gauge their ability to return to in-person learning.

Here is what has already been decided about how we’ll return to school:

  1. We believe that every child needs to have access to a dedicated laptop this year in order to close the gap as much as possible between in-person and remote instruction. For this reason, we have already purchased a laptop for every student. We aim to have these ready before the start of school.

  2. When we do return to school in-person, we will not be able to bring every student back for in-person instruction every day. We plan to prioritize in-person instruction for our very youngest students and our students who are most at-risk of falling behind.

  3. Every parent will have the option to elect remote instruction for their child during the first quarter of the year at minimum.

  4. When we are in-person for learning, we will adhere to all safety guidelines expressed by NYS (including temperature screenings, face coverings, reduced building capacity and more).

While our return-to-school plan is not yet complete, we would like to share our progress with you and ask you to share your feedback. To facilitate this, you are invited to attend one of three town hall meetings on July 31. Although you may attend whichever session best suits your schedule, we encourage parents to join a meeting that matches the grade level of your child:

  • Lower schools (grades K-4): Friday, 7/31, at 9:30-11:00 AM

  • Upper schools (grades 5-12): Friday, 7/31, at 1:30-3:00 PM

  • All grades (grades K-12): Friday, 7/31, at 5:00-6:30 PM

Please find the RingCentral (Zoom) links in this letter. Parents with children across multiple school levels may choose whichever session is most convenient for them. To join, you may dial in by phone or use the link to log into the call online.

Your perspective is critical to how we move forward this fall. As such, rather than host an informal question and answer session, we want to make space for as many parent voices as possible to share your perspective. To that end, we will have a public comment period during the meeting. Anyone who would like to share feedback or input on the reopening plan will have the opportunity at the start of the meeting to sign-up to do so. Each person who offers comment will be able to speak for up to 2 minutes; we will welcome as many comments as possible by the meeting’s end time. Should we run out of time during the meeting, additional comment on our reopening plans can be sent to: townhall@ascendlearning.org.

Following our parent and staff meetings, we will again be in touch with everyone in our community about our reopening plans on or before August 7; we will also be sharing our plan on our websites by that date.

For the full communication from our Chief Schools Officer, please read this letter.

Additionally, please be reminded we have we posted optional summer homework and reading online. For families who are unable to print, please note that all K-4 scholars from this past school year will continue to have access to IXL.com through the summer. We hope this will help our scholars stay engaged in learning over the break!

We are also excited to host the Scholastic Summer Read-A-Palooza Virtual Book Fair from 6/15 to 9/4! Families may browse our online catalog and purchase books to be delivered directly to your home. Book-only orders over $25 will qualify for FREE shipping, and ALL purchases will benefit our school.

Lastly, Ascend Public Charter Schools still have seats for grades K-12! Please tell a relative, friend, or neighbor to join Ascend! Interested families can call or text 347-227-6070 in English, Spanish, or Haitian Creole from 9AM to 8PM on Mondays-Fridays to learn more. If you are interested in participating in virtual open houses and Q&A panels to help with outreach, please sign up to be an Ascend parent ambassador here!

Please be assured that we will continue to send you updates via email and our school website. If you have any questions, please reach out to cals_ops@ascendlearning.org and be sure to include your scholar’s name.

In partnership,

Canarsie Ascend Lower School