Current Status: We are preparing for a return to campus in September.

Beginning September 1, we expect all or nearly all students to be back on campus learning in person.

A limited cohort of students returned to learn on-campus in the spring and summer, prioritizing the children of essential worker families. Students on-campus participated in live virtual instruction.

Our Virtual School site will be ready as a backup plan in the event of future closures. We invested our time, energy and resources in developing a remote learning program that mirrored the academic and social emotional work we do on campus as closely as possible, providing small group differentiated instruction in synchronous, “live,” learning experiences.

Our daily, predictable schedule allowed for students to have consistent access to teachers and their learning. All major subjects were taught live through Zoom, along with their arts, physical education, dance, science, and afterschool programming. Our Virtual School also had our intervention programs happening, which include our English as a New Language program, our Academic Intervention program, and all related service providers for students receiving special education services.

About Our Reopening Plan

On October 13, 2020, we began providing on campus child care for a limited number of students who are children of essential workers and others with significant child care needs. In accordance with the Mayor’s directive closing public school buildings, we temporarily suspended this service on November 18, 2020.

Our on-campus reopening plan is robust and data driven, and you can find our full state-approved reopening plan, available here.

The plan relies heavily on needs expressed by families to determine the pace of returning to the campus. As of October 2020, fewer than 20% of families had expressed interest in returning to campus, and of those offered a slot for on campus child care, one-third changed their minds and declined the seat. Through surveys and town halls, family members have expressed trepidation and concerns about the state of the pandemic response across the city as the reason for choosing the (still stressful) learning remotely at home option.

Accordingly, the school has put additional time and resources into the remote learning plan. The approach includes the school’s trademark twin foci on social emotional learning and student support, as well as all the key elements of the school’s well rounded curriculum ordinarily provided in the brick-and-mortar setting.

Relationships Matter - Now, More Than Ever

When on campus, the school’s plan follows the best practices established by the Centers for Disease Control and the New York State Department of Health (DOH).

  • Class sizes are kept small to allow for six feet of distance between persons;
  • Masks are required for all persons at all times, except while eating and movement is limited around the building;
  • Staff members are tested for the virus every two weeks and families are provided information and encouraged to get tested;
  • Visitors to the building are suspended at this time.

The school has an Isolation Room for use in the event of COVID-related symptoms, integrated with the NYC Department of Education and NYC DOH’s Situation Room, Testing and Tracing program, and general COVID response.

A Timeline of Our COVID-19 Response

Initial Response February through March 2020

  • February: School Management Team begins planning COVID-19 contingency plans in earnest.
  • March 12: Harlem Link launches first of a series of family surveys about tech & other needs.
  • March 13: Harlem Link announces an indefinite closure of on campus activities.
  • Week of March 16: School staff provide at-home activities and wellness calls for 100% of students.
  • March 17: School board establishes broad pandemic-related goals in emergency meeting.
  • March 18: Family Resources hub launched to share info on COVID, food banks & resources.
  • March 23: Harlem Link launches Virtual School site and begins Chromebook distribution.

Virtual School: April to June 2020

  • Week of April 6: School conducts second round of wellness checks for all students.
  • Week of April 20: Nearly 275 Chromebooks distributed; Average Daily Attendance hits 80%.
  • May and June: School staff continues to fine tune academic program to reflect best practices and support student needs.

Reopening Planning: Summer 2020

  • June and July: School conducts Survey #2 and a series of family town halls for input & feedback.
  • July to early August: Harlem Link provides Summer Virtual Learning Academy for a subset of students.
  • August 15: Harlem Link’s Fall Reopening Plan is accepted by SUNY & NYS DOH.

Fall Remote Learning: September to November 2020

  • September 2: Virtual School re-opens with increased learning time and 95% faculty retention.
  • October 13: On campus remote learning begins for children of essential workers.
  • November 9-13: With more laptops distributed, Average Daily Attendance hits 90%.
  • November 18: On campus remote learning suspended indefinitely due to NYC buildings closure.
  • November 20: Family Survey #3 concludes, kicking off the next phase of strategic planning.
  • Nov 2020-March 2021: Over the holidays and winter, Covid cases spiked in the city, and school paused on campus learning.

Spring Remote Learning: March to August 2021

  • March 24th: On campus care for remote learning resumes, serving over 80 students.
  • July 6th to August 6th: Our Summer Academy served all students interested in attending, most through the Virtual School.

Return to Campus: Fall 2021

  • Stay tuned for our Reopening Plan, as we finalize it and await guidance from the state health and education departments.
  • September 1st: Anticipated Start Date for all grades on campus from PK-5.

Harlem Link August 2021 Town Halls

Throughout August 2021, we held family town halls to gather input and share information about the return to campus and COVID safety plan for 2021-22.

Below are the videos, slides, and translations from the town halls.

August 4th: Family Town Hall (COVID and Reopening)

August 10th: Staff & Family Town Hall (Community Safety)

August 11th: Family Town Hall (Federal Funding)

August 18th: Family Town Hall (Reopening Plan)

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