What is Prospect Schools' approach to vaccinations?
Prospect Schools believes in the efficacy of vaccines to get kids and adults back in school safely, and strongly urge all who are eligible to get vaccinated. Vaccination will be vitally important to reopening this fall, and we are heartened to share that 85% of Prospect Schools faculty and staff are on their way to full vaccination.
Why is my school expanding in-person learning this spring?
As we previewed before spring break, we’re excited to offer expanded in-person learning this spring. This next phase will lay the groundwork for how we reopen schools in the fall, and any expansions to in-person learning will look different at each school in our network. Each approach is designed to get us closer to a full 5-day in-person return this fall. Federal, state and local guidance continues to evolve every day. We’re able to expand our in-person learning now largely because of the CDC’s reduced physical distancing requirements from 6ft to 3ft, but also because of greater vaccine eligibility and increased reopening of NYC district schools in the last month, including high schools. Additionally, the medical community at home and abroad has also begun to rally around the concept that in-person learning should be prioritized for the wellbeing of students. As always, health and safety remains at the top of our list: we will continue our testing program (working closely with the Dept of Health) while masking and ventilation continue to serve as strong mitigation strategies to help us combat COVID-19 spread.
What happens if my family travels? Will we have to quarantine before going back to school?
For any family that chooses to travel during the school year to a non-contiguous state (i.e. anywhere except NJ, CT, PA, MA, VT), New York state guidance requires those individuals to quarantine and test out before being able to return to the building for hybrid learning. Full guidance can be found here
Will my student be tested for COVID-19 at school?
Yes, we will test 20% of the student and adult onsite population of each school weekly. Consent to be tested is mandatory for all students who wish to participate in hybrid learning. More information: Every week via an onsite healthcare vendor, Prospect Schools will implement random testing (PCR) of 20% of each school’s student and adult population who are coming to the building for in-person learning. If/when a school enters a state-mandated “Red Zone,” random testing will increase to 30% on a weekly basis. To ensure ongoing community safety, we will continue to evaluate the need for weekly testing and make adjustments in our testing policies on a monthly basis by using public health data, state vaccination roll-out plans, and school community input to inform our decisions. See the Board-Approved Protocol for PS COVID Testing & School Closure Triggers
for more details. Very importantly, regular testing does not change the importance of exercising COVID-19 health and safety measures, both on and off school grounds. The guidance by the Department of Health has been to focus on health and safety measures rather than relying on testing.
What is the difference between onsite testing and the daily health screening?
Onsite testing is a physical swab test for COVID-19, which will be administered via an onsite healthcare provider to 20% of students and adults at school on a weekly basis. The daily health screening is a mandatory survey that all students and adults must complete every day they are in the building for in-person learning. The survey (which is required by the NY State Dept. of Health) asks questions about travel history, fever, COVID exposure, or other factors that may impact an individual's ability to learn or teach in person.
Who receives the results of my student's COVID-19 test and daily health screening?
Health screening: All information submitted via the daily health screening is personal and confidential. Only essential administrative personnel have access to this information, and, in the case that a COVID-19 case is suspected or confirmed, no identifying personal details are shared in the school community, to protect privacy. Onsite COVID-19 tests: The onsite healthcare provider gives this information to the Director of School Operations. Should anyone test positive, we would then contact the student’s family.
What's the plan for Fall 2021?
Our vision is to return for a 5-day in person school week this fall, a collaborative goal set by the BPCS Board, network Senior Leadership Team, and Principals. We’re thinking deeply about how to make the planning process as inclusive as possible and want to ensure our parent community has a voice in how we build these plans together, so we hope you'll fill out the survey you received via email.
Will there be any summer programming this year?
As families start to plan for Summer 2021, we wanted to let you know that we are hoping to be able to offer Summer Camp to 1st - 11th Grade students this summer. At this time, our plan is to run an in-person, 5-week program from July 12th - August 13th, 2021. Please note that we are in the process of finalizing funding and our model. At this point, we are hopeful that we will be able to accommodate all interested students on-site, and we will provide further details as the funding and public health picture becomes more clear.
Will there be busing next year (2021-22)?
We are planning on utilizing the city-provided NYCDOE busing system next year. We are waiting to hear from the Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) about next year. As soon as we have an update from OPT, we’ll share with families.
Under what conditions would my school switch to remote learning from hybrid?
The network will switch to fully remote learning if the Percent Positivity Rate for Kings County (not NYC) rises above 9% (7-day rolling average, for 3 consecutive days), as identified on the Governor’s COVID dashboard. Should network closure happen, Prospect Schools will initiate re-opening conversations and set a target date for returning to hybrid when the Percent Positivity Rate for Kings County (not NYC) is less than 9% (for at least 3 consecutive days at the end of the 10-day period). Individual school closures would happen according to scenarios outlined in the document below. See the Board-Approved Protocol for PS COVID Testing & School Closure Triggers
for more details.
How will I learn about a positive COVID case at my school?
As we continue to hold in-person learning, Prospect Schools is working hard to keep families and staff informed about any instances in which a positive COVID-19 case comes into contact with your school community. This protocol is being enacted in an effort to keep all stakeholders informed about the health and safety of our school communities. Depending on the scenario, families can expect to receive email communications from their Principals about any suspected or known instances in which a positive COVID case came into contact with the school. Please be sure to read these communications carefully, as they contain important information about your child's school.
What is a “hybrid” model?
This means that students will receive a mix of in-person and remote learning. Remote learning will consist of both remote live classrooms (synchronous) and pre-recorded classes and work assignments (asynchronous) instruction.
What does the hybrid model at my school look like?
Each school will operate slightly differently based on the capacity of the building, grade level, school size, and the varying needs of students depending on their age. Please contact your Principal or school office for more details.
Where can I pick up food for my student(s)?
Please see the guidance below
regarding school food. Additional food services being provided by the City can be found here
My child needs a device to participate in remote learning. What can I do?
Please see the guidance below
regarding device pick-up and continuing support.
I have questions about my school's hybrid, remote or reopening plan. Who can I go to?