Current Status: The majority of our learning remains remote.
A limited cohort of students has returned to learn on-campus at this time, prioritizing the children of essential worker families. Students on-campus participate in live virtual instruction.
Our Virtual School site is the hub for all of our remote learning activities. We have invested our time, energy and resources in developing a remote learning program that mirrors 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 allows for students to have consistent access to teachers and their learning. All major subjects are taught live through Zoom, along with their arts, physical education, dance, science, and afterschool programming. Our Virtual School also has 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.
You can read through a full Day in the Life at our Virtual School here!
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.
"I appreciate how much growth I have seen within a short period in terms of responsibility with the school work and with things around the house."
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.
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.