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The Weekly Updates from the Upper School – 9/27/2020

September 27, 2020
An Update from the Upper School Learning Center

Katie and I in the Learning Center have been busy having our initial meetings with students and families. We’re hoping to tailor our support to the specific needs of your children during these challenging times and welcome any feedback from the community. To further that, the Learning Center will be hosting its first virtual Coffee Morning talk on October 8th 10:00am, where parents can drop in to have discussions with us about student support and learning strategies. 

These first few weeks of school, we recommend that the focus of your children be on organization, communication, and personal well-being. We encourage students to self-advocate and connect with peers and teachers. Although this year is unlike any other year, it can still be a positive beginning. Please feel free to email me at dwong@brooklynfriends.org with any questions and comments.

Best wishes,

Denis

A Note About Attendance for Upper School Families  

Parents, if your child is absent for all or part of the day, please remember to complete this  Online Attendance” form located on the dashboard of the website and in the 2020-2021 Student and Family Handbook .– 

Upper School Security and Zoom Protocols 

The Upper School has updated our Zoom Protocols to further maintain and uphold the safety and security of our community meetings. Below, please find a list of newly implemented Zoom protocols for all community members. 

Safety Protocols for Zoom: 
  • No community member is permitted to post a Zoom link and password on any public, private, or social media site outside of school sanctioned sites (Google Classroom, Calendar, etc.). 
  • Students entering a Zoom meeting must include their First and Last name in their profile. Their profile picture must be a current photograph – not an icon or other image. If a student does not have the appropriate credentials, they will not be allowed to enter the meeting. 
  • Students will only be able to log in to the Zoom meeting using their BFS email. 
  • Students may only log on using one device unless they have notified the US Leadership Team in advance.
  • Students should arrive to all-school meetings a few minutes early to allow the host time to admit them from the waiting room.
  • The host and co-host of each large gathering will both admit students and colleagues from the waiting room and monitor the room for irregularities during all meetings.
  • All meeting attendees will be muted upon entry.
  • All screen annotations for whole school and other large gatherings will be disabled. 
  • All Zoom embedded passcodes (one-click links) will be disabled. 
  • All BFS Zooms will use a password. We will work to make sure students receive the password as close to the time of the event as possible. Passwords sent too far in advance of a meeting pose an additional security risk.
  • All large school gatherings will be automatically recorded for additional security. 
  • All advisors will continue to take attendance during community Zoom meetings, noting any irregularities in the profiles of their advisees and other attendees. 
A Spotlight on Mental Health

As we enter the fall, students will be working on managing all of the feelings that come with beginning a new school year.  Check out these two articles for ways parents can help!

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/25/well/family/teens-mental-health-needs.html

https://www.apa.org/topics/children-teens-stress

If you’re interested in some stress-reduction techniques to try with your children, review the list compiled here.

https://www.verywellmind.com/relaxation-exercises-that-relieve-teens-stress-2608879

Reminders About Upper School Activity Pods

Dear Families,

This week the Upper School began our program for clubs, activities, and physical education (PE). We are thrilled to be able to facilitate in-person connections for students at the Lawrence Street Building and take advantage of the plethora of outdoor spaces and parks in downtown Brooklyn and environs. If you would like to read more about these opportunities and view the schedule, please visit the parent’s page of the Second Floor Commons website.

To introduce our students to the many opportunities available to them, we hosted our first virtual club fair last Wednesday. Students later in the week selected their connections via survey and confirmed their interest and attendance in each experience. We will be monitoring attendance of these experiences closely to ensure the health and safety of our community. If a student would like to amend their participation, we ask that they reach out to their Grade Dean. Students must be registered for an experience in advance to participate in an in-person experience so that we may appropriately prepare to welcome them. 

In order to safeguard the health of all of our students and colleagues, we have created health and safety guidelines for students which follow the CDC considerations and recommendations. For the safety of our community, we ask that you please review these guidelines with your child(ren). Additionally, in order for students to participate in in-person experiences, all health documentation for your child(ren) must be complete and submitted to the school nurse, Lisa Tondo

Additionally, this year we are using the Ruvna app to track the daily health of our students. Before participating in any in-person experiences students must complete the health questionnaire in the app. Upon arrival to their respective experience they will need to show their completed form to the colleague advisor and will have their temperature taken for additional safety precautions. 

Brooklyn Friends Upper School is committed to the health, safety and well-being of community members. We welcome any questions you may have about this program; please do not hesitate to be in touch with us.

Sincerely,

Angie Adams and Daniel Paccione