Information on Corona Virus
This page will be updated as new information becomes available. We will closely monitor the situation and will keep you updated. A new date will be added in order to make it easy for families to know if new information has been posted.
In addition we will email our families and staff each time there is a new post. You should have received the first email on Friday, March 13; if you did not, please text your current email to your operations director or teacher.
A Note from Dr. Kenny
Our hearts go out to all those who are struggling with the challenges caused by the coronavirus. My thoughts are with those who are sick, caring for someone sick, or close with someone in the hospital and can’t visit them. I offer my heartfelt wishes for a full recovery and I send my love to you. The crisis is affecting all of us. Let us continue to be kind to one another. And if you are among the healthcare workers and frontline workers serving people in need, we thank you and we honor you.
In our first few communications, we shared critical logistical information, student support information, and academic guidance. Thank you so much for all the energy you’ve put in setting up for remote learning. At this time, I would like to share with you our ongoing commitments.
We are committed to supporting the health and safety of our students, families, teachers and staff.
We are committed to providing a meaningful, effective learning experience that will intrinsically motivate students to be engaged in their learning. We remain dedicated to our high standards for excellence, as we work with humility and perseverance. Thank you to our teachers, staff and leaders who have their own personal and family challenges yet continue to serve our students admirably each day. As educators, we need your partnership now more than ever. Specifically:
It is very important that students…
- Read high quality books, 3 hours or more each and every day (e.g., one hour each in the morning, mid-day, and evening) a bit less for K-1st grade and a bit more for 8th-12th. For the little ones, this includes listening to books read aloud.
- Participate in online instruction and complete all work with best effort.
- Reach out if there are any problems so we can help. Especially if you are having any trouble finding books that you are excited to read, please let us know and we will help right away.
We are committed to the emotional well-being of our children and families. It is encouraging to see the photos of our HVA students engaged in mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is perhaps the single most effective thing that any of us can do for ourselves since we can’t control our external circumstances, but we can control our internal response. Mindful breathing is proven to reduce stress which strengthens the immune system. A consistent mindfulness routine–simply sitting quietly even for a few minutes each morning and evening, and breathing very, very, very slowly–helps us to build the emotional strength that we will need to care for ourselves and for those we love.
We are committed to transparency, ongoing communication and continually improving. We will keep you updated as we receive information and we will keep you informed about the challenges we are facing and what we are doing to address them. As you can imagine, creating a new remote learning infrastructure takes time, and it’s important that we approach all decisions and plans with careful deliberation. You have been kind, patient, and understanding during this time, and we appreciate you.
Our leadership teams and I have been working around the clock to address immediate needs as well as to plan thoughtfully for the long-term. We will continue to work hard and to do everything possible to support you.
We are here for you, we will continue to be here every step of the way, and we will get through this together, as a community.
Dr. Deborah Kenny
Founder and CEO
April 27, 2020
We are thinking of you and sending all our love and our warmest wishes for good health and uplifted spirits during spring break.
During break it’s even more important that our students read three hours each day. Of course, a high quantity of reading expands knowledge, comprehension and vocabulary, which is absolutely critical for admission into selective colleges.
Here are a few concrete, new strategies:
Keep a list of “books I loved” on the fridge. Send us a photo of the list, then we can use those books to make customized recommendations.
Go for a “virtual visit to the library” with your child on Epic and search together for books based on author, reading level, and topic of interest.
Ask your children to read out loud and have fun trying to make the book come to life. When students read with expression it improves comprehension.
Do you have a strategy to share that is working well? Please reply and let us know! We would love to share with everyone in our community.
We will miss you this week. Stay safe.
Your HVA Family
March 13, 2020
The health and welfare of HVA students, families, teachers, and staff are our primary concern. On Friday, March 13, major cities and over a dozen states announced that they will close schools in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Our schools are joining in that effort and will be closed effective Monday, March 16, until further notice. After significant consideration we have suspended on-campus learning and will transition to remote learning, which will include a full day of classwork for students and daily personal check-ins.
Did anyone at HVA test positive for coronavirus?
No, so far there have been no reported cases. However, we are closing out of an abundance of caution, because of the possibility that there may be undiagnosed cases, and because we are committed to protecting all of our students, families, teachers, staff, and all of their families.
Are HVA schools currently open?
HVA school buildings are closed for instruction as of March 13 until further notice, but learning will continue through remote learning, i.e., students studying at home with materials provided by HVA.
Our teachers will be working full time and students will be engaged in remote learning beginning on Thursday, March 19. Students and families will receive learning plans by March 18. We will continually reassess the situation, so please make sure to check email and this webpage frequently.
Are school activities and games cancelled?
Yes, all in-person activities are cancelled until further notice.
What work should students be doing?
Remote learning will begin on Thursday, March 19. Until then, it is critically important that students read books for at least three hours each day, and stay away from TV during school hours. Alternative activities include drawing, checkers, exercise, or educational videos.
Class materials and books were sent home on Friday, March 13. Additional resources will be sent in a few days. In the meantime, here are some quality educational websites your child may wish to explore:
- Brain Pop
- Khan Academy
- Big History Project
- The History Channel
- National Geographic for Kids
- Bill Nye the Science Guy
During this period where in-person classes are not possible, the single most important thing our students need academically is to read three hours per day. Research shows that a large amount of time spent on pleasure reading will maintain students’ reading comprehension level, which is the foundation of all other academic success.
What if I need support?
It is critically important that our students are learning a full day, every day. We know this may pose a challenge and we are all here to help our families. If you need personal or family support, please call your child’s school’s main office number. Together, we will ensure our students continue to learn and develop to their fullest potential.
- CDC Travel Notices
- Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks
- DOE Parent Letter (March 10) in English and Spanish
- Handwashing: A Family Activity
- Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
- NYC Health: What You Need to Know about the Coronavirus
- Stop the Spread