Given the continued evolution of the novel coronavirus and the need to plan for a variety of potential responses in the future, Harlem Academy will be closed for students tomorrow (Friday, March 13). Please note - this decision is not based on any information specific to the HA community but based on facts from around the city and more broadly. On a side note and unfortunately, this also means that our planned skating party (so kindly set up by Ms. Aponte, fifth grade parent) is canceled.
Today is being used for both regular instruction and to confirm that students have the books and technology they would need if we had to switch to a distance learning model for any period of time following spring break. We hope to be back in session as planned on Tuesday, March 31 but will need to continue vigilant assessment of the facts. As always, our priorities remain 1) the safety and well-being of our students, families, and team; 2) the best realization of our mission, and 3) strong communication and collaboration.
Preparation for a possible switch to distance learning began last week, and we want to have one full day when teachers can really focus on their planning. A distance learning structure would include some combination of independent reading, math and language arts work via IXL (and potentially other platforms), and reading/writing assignments in individual subject areas. Students would submit work via email and have regular feedback and instruction via email, phone, and/or video conference from teachers. I will keep you informed of overall developments, and individual teachers will take the lead on communicating details about each grade's specific plan should we need to go in that direction. Again, we are hoping that we don't need to implement such a plan but want to be ready if we do.
Finally, I want to reiterate how much I appreciate the way everyone is responding to this challenge - a serious focus on prevention (guidelines again pasted at the end of this email for good measure) and a concerted effort to continue to look out for and support one another.
Please continue to reach out with questions, concerns, or any relevant information to our work together.
With thanks always,