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Parents » Elementary K-5

Elementary K-5

Summary of Elementary Program Parent Meeting

April 7, 2022



I am sorry you were not able to attend the Elementary Program Parent Meeting.


COVID has been a challenge for everyone and I hope you and your family are doing well.  I want to thank you for trusting us with your child during this time.  We have tried to make the school as safe as possible and to follow the rules from the CDC, NYS Health Department and the NYC Health Department.


The following statistics will give you an update on COVID-19 issues at NYISE:

        100% of the staff are vaccinated

        In grades K-5 24% of the children are vaccinated

        Overall in the Schermerhorn Program in grades kindergarten to 12th grade, 58% of the students are vaccinated.


I encourage you to consider having your child vaccinated now that they are eligible.  This will help when your child is in close contact. If they are vaccinated and show no symptoms they can continue coming to school. We have not had any reports that children at NYISE reacted poorly to the vaccine. 



Since September 2021 the virus has effected the following groups:


  • Students -  13
  • Teachers   - 24
  • Non-Instructional - 3


We have 498 individuals on campus:  236 students, 198 teachers, assistants and related service providers, and 60 non-educational staff.


The number of staff and students getting sick from COVID-19 has been low.  Our facilities and housekeeping staff work every day to keep the school disinfected and sanitized.


Our current plan for the mask-wearing is as follows:

  • Outdoors -  masks are optional
  • Indoors -  we will review the use of masks on April 27th
  • Masks will be required indoors when there is a large gathering (Spring Performance) or when COVID-19 cases in NYC increase or if there is an increase at NYISE
  • Self- Test Kits will be sent home with your child for the Spring Break and each month to help control students coming to school sick.




Funding from New York State


We are waiting to hear how NYISE was treated in the State Budget.  The 4201 Schools (NYISE is a member) advocated for the following priorities:

  • An increase to our current budget
  • 30 million dollars allocated for the 11 schools over a 3-year period of time to raise the salaries of the direct care staff
  • Creation of a reserve fund if a school does not spend all the money allocated during the fiscal year
  • Consistent transportation for NYISE students when our calendar and the school district’s is different

We advocate each year for our funding but funding is not an issue for NYISE.  I don’t want anyone to worry that certain activities will be canceled or that we have trouble paying our bills. 


In addition to the NYS funding we have several fundraising campaigns for special projects:


Giving Tuesday Fundraiser -  the Tuesday after Thanksgiving


Writing grants


Various appeals during the school year

If you are not registered with Amazon Smile, you might consider this.  As you shop on Amazon a small amount is donated to NYISE.


We spoke about some possible activities and wanted to get feedback from the parents.


  • Virtual tutoring after-school for students in grades 3 to 5.  If families were interested they would let us know and we can see if this is something we could offer.
  • We discussed the possibility of virtual enrichment activities. Activities might include daily living activities, cooking, game night and seasonal activities.
  • We discussed Saturday in-person activities at NYISE. Some of the opportunities could include: golf, track/field, cooking, games, seasonal events. The student would attend with their parent(s) and we discussed the possibility of siblings attending as well.


One parent suggested the possibility of sending home ideas for activities to do at home. 


The parents wanted to have more connections with NYISE.  It was suggested that we place updates in a parent portal on the website as well as using the School Messenger App to text information. It was felt that the Zoom meeting format might allow for greater participation and the meeting could be recorded. A suggestion was made to have the child’s teacher send a reminder about the meeting in the backpack.


To improve communication, we will send home a monthly calendar with key events highlighted.  The calendar will be on the website as well as a copy sent home in your child’s backpack.


The parents present thought having a monthly meeting would be helpful. A summary of the meeting will be posted on under the parent tab.



Bernadette M. Kappen

Executive Director