Corona Updates

  • featured post

    NYS Exams and other news

    IPAD Distribution
    Above is an link with updated information about how the DOE plans to deliver devices to families who requested through the various surveys. 
    NYS Exams
    NYSED has officially announced that the NYS ELA and Math exams for grades 3-8 are cancelled for this year.
    Grab and Go
    Meals are available at the main entrance to RKA on 660 W. 237th St from 7:30 AM-1:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Families may go to any school close to them for Grab and Go meals. There is a hotline, as well: 1-877-877-FOOD.
    Parent Association
  • featured post

    NYC Public Schools closed starting 3/16 until 4/20

    NYC public schools are closed beginning Mon, Mar 16.
    Many teachers have shared resources for learning at home. We have put these on the below webpage. We will continue to update that page with news and resources as we receive them.

    If students don't have access to internet they can call 1-844-488-8398 during  
    the school shutdown for free internet from spectrum.
    Parent Association
  • Scholastic is here for families

    Scholastic is here for families.
    To support you, we’ve created the Scholastic Learn at Home website. This free resource provides all students with 20* days’ worth of learning journeys that span the content areas so you can keep your students academically active while your buildings are closed.
    The site supports students with approximately three hours of learning opportunities per day, including projects, articles and stories, virtual field trips, reading and geography challenges, and more. These daily learning opportunities were carefully curated by our editors to reduce the burden on teachers and families needing to create meaningful learning experiences.
    The Scholastic Learn at Home website has the username or password posted on the first page, so it is open freely to all, on any device. They are designed to limit the need for printing and allow students to learn independently or with their families.
 - Keeping Kids Reading, Thinking, and Growing
   - Teaching our World: The Coronavirus
    Parent Association
  • Artsonia Classroom Mode

    Please see this Artsonia newsletter put together by Ms. Maistre:
    Artsonia Classroom Mode
    PARENTS – Our school is offering a way for students to submit their artwork to their Artsonia portfolio from home.
    Your child can use iPads or similar devices (or even a browser) to photograph their own artwork, make edits and enter artist statements - all on their own! The artwork will be reviewed by the art teacher prior to being published.
    Download the Artsonia 6.0 app in the Apple or Android app store, select the "Students" option, then scan the Access Code below (or manually type in the code). You can also go to on a browser if you don't have a compatible device.
    Access Code: RRBD-KBHM
    You can view a short tutorial video by going to
    If you have any questions, please contact Artsonia at 800-869-9974 or
    Parent Association
  • Remote Learning Updates 3/22

    As we enter into the world of remote learning, please see the attached letter from the Chancellor HERE.
    Need another device? Check out how to use your XBOX for Google Classroom HERE.
    The Parents' Guide to Google Classroom in English HERE and in Spanish HERE.
    Parent Association
  • 2020 PS 24 Yearbook Ads

    Create a special ad for your child with a picture(s) and words. This year, you can keep life simple and order your yearbook ad now using the Josten's template! Your yearbook fee will be waived with the purchase of an Ad.
    Ad Sizes & Rates:
    1/4 page (4.25” w x 5.5”h): $35            
    1/2 page (8.5” w x 5.5”h): $50           
    Full page (8.5” w x 11”h): $75
    Two ways to submit your ad:
    Go to:, log in, upload your images, pick an ad size and template, create the ad and pay for it online. Ad Service Submission deadline is February 13 – MIDNIGHT. It is recommended to complete these steps on a computer.
    Create and format your own graphics and personalized message for your child. Ads must be 300dpi and submitted in one of the following formats: PDF, JPEG or TIFF. Please email your completed ad file to and write “YEARBOOK AD” in the subject line. Include your child’s name and class. Completed Ad Submission deadline is March 27th.
    Parent Association
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March 24, 2020

Click the following link to download this message (  School Self-Reported Case family letter 3 17 20.docx  )

March 24, 2020  

Dear PS 24 Families: 

As you know, the health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Much has changed very rapidly with respect to COVID-19 in our school community and citywide. School buildings are now closed to students until April 20, 2020, and remote learning has begun this week for all students.

 With respect to the PS 24 community, I am writing to inform you that a member of our school community has self-reported that they tested positive for COVID-19.  A disinfection of the school building has been completed in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines As a reminder, the DOE routinely conducts deep cleanings in your school. 

What You Should Do 

  • If you feel sick, do not go to school or to work.   
  • Call your doctor if you have symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, fever, or sore throat and tell your doctor that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. If you need help finding medical care, call 311.
  • Educate yourself about COVID-19 through the NYC Health Department’s website at    
  • Continue to practice general viral infection prevention measures including:  
    • Wash your hands with soap and water often.  
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.  
    • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.  
    • Do not shake hands. Instead, wave or elbow bump.  
    • Monitor your health more closely than usual for cold or flu symptoms.   
    • Get your flu shot – it’s never too late.  
    • Reduce overcrowding by walking or biking, if possible.  
    • If the train is too packed, wait for the next one. 

Please visit for important school-related guidance and at any time for critical updates, including ways to fight stigma and bias around the coronavirus. It’s important we come together and support one another during this time.  

Nothing matters more than the health and safety of our staff and students, and we are committed to keeping our school community fully informed.

 Please do not hesitate to contact Superintendent Hulla at with any questions.



Steven Schwartz

Links and Resources

For the latest updates from the DOE, click here.

Families Using DOE Devices at Home Please Use the Following Logon and Password
Windows Devices:
user: nycdoe
password: D1IT@D0e

Use the below educational resources to ensure that your child does not follow behind, especially if you are keeping them home during this situation:


DOE Learn at Home





More resources found on our PA page on this site 


Get official notifications from NYC about this evolving situation

Notify NYC


Talking to kids about COVID-19 (new coronavirus)

Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus

Fear of Coronavirus- A Good Time to Talk to Kids About Keeping Fears Realistic and Manageable. Lois M. Collins, Deseret News, Jan. 28, 2020

How Do You Talk to Children About Coronavirus? Stay Honest and Simple to Avoid Anxiety. Gene Myers, USA Today, Feb. 28, 2020

How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus (and Ease Their Fears). Vivian Manning-Schaffel, NBC News, Updated March 2, 2020

Note from Executive Board

Dear Parents,

In an effort to better keep everyone informed, we will post the latest updates from the school administration on this webpage as we receive them. Only information that we receive directly from communication with the school administration will be posted here. The latest information will always be at the top. As the situation continues to change very rapidly, please always use your discretion and contact the school directly if anything is unclear.



The Members of the Executive Board of the PS 24 Parent Association


March 22, 2020

Click the following link to download this message (  Family Letter_Remote Learning rhead _3 22 20.pdf  )

Please see the attached letter from DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza about remote learning. Visit the DOE website frequently for the latest information about remote learning:

Here are the highlights:

  • Electronic Devices: If your child needs an internet-connected device to participate in remote learning, and you have not yet filled out a device request form, please visit to request a device on loan from DOE.
  • Students with Individualized Education Programs(IEPs): If your student is recommended for integrated co-teaching, special class, or special education teacher support services, your school will make every effort to arrange for them to continue to receive instruction from the same special education teachers and classroom paraprofessionals that usually teach them. Someone from your school will contact you to discuss how instruction will be delivered. To make a referral for initial evaluation or reevaluation, you can email your principal or, or call 311. 
  • Free Meals: We will continue to offer free meals in the weeks ahead at more than 400 sites across the city. Food hubs will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. through 1:30 p.m., and any student of any age can get 3 meals daily. Visit to find a site near you
  • Regional Enrichment Centers: On Monday, March 23, the City will open Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) for the children of front-line workers in the fight against COVID-19—including first responders and healthcare workers. If you believe your child may be eligible to attend a REC, please visit
  • Enrollment and Placement Support: Family Welcome Center staff are available by email, and are prepared to assist with enrollment and placement of new admissions, questions around admissions, information about offers, and waitlists. They do not handle REC enrollment. Parents can email the FWC for their borough (Bronx: or can also call 311 and say “Schools” to be routed to someone who can help with school-related questions.

If you need help with a problem that cannot be resolved at the school level or wish to report a complaint, please reach out to your district superintendent’s office. Contact information for your district support team can be found here:

March 20, 2020

Click the following link to download this message (  schwartz_letter_03202020.docx  )

Dear Parents and Guardians of PS 24,

I hope everyone is healthy and well during these times. Please see the following updates as of March 20:


Remote Learning

Our remote learning instruction will begin on Monday, March 23 rd . I want to thank my unbelievable teachers who were able to set up their online classrooms in just under 3 days. We ask for your patience as many of our staff members are new to this platform and will continue to develop their classrooms as time develops. If you have not had your child activate their Google Classroom through their account, please do so before Monday or contact your child’s classroom teacher for information.

Request for devices

We have received some request for additional technology devices. If you would like to request a device, please fill out the following survey for each of your children.

Information on how these devices will be delivered will be released soon.


Other Thoughts

I would like to thank the entire PS 24 community for being so supportive during this time. At our last School Leadership Team meeting, both staff and parents spoke about how lucky we were to be a part of such a warm and collaborative community.

As we enter into a new chapter of our journey together, I am confident that the spirit of PS 24 will be stronger than ever. If you need anything at all, please reach out to myself or any member of the PS 24 staff. We will always be here for you, and especially your children. Be well, take care of yourself and each other.


Steven Schwartz
The Spuyten Duyvil School

March 19, 2020 (Update 1)

Below is an update from the NYC Department of Education (DOE)

We know that due to the extraordinary circumstance of COVID19, schools are working diligently this week to ensure that students are equipped and ready to learn remotely. We understand that administering the environment survey during this time can be challenging and we are considering multiple options for how to move forward. For now, we have extended the 2020 NYC School Survey deadline to Wednesday, April 8. In addition, we are making every effort to ensure that all parents/guardians, support staff and teachers are able to take the survey online. 

  • If any parent/ guardian, loses their access code to complete the survey online, you should refer to the code lookup tool on the online survey login page (accessed by clicking on “take the survey NOW” on or to the survey hotline at 1-877-819-2363.
  • Parents/ guardians could request access codes through the code lookup tool and hotline even if they never received their paper survey materials.


Preliminary response rates as of Thursday, March 19 at 9 am*:

91% teacher response rate (49 teacher surveys received)

29% parent response rate (225 parent surveys received)


We would greatly appreciate if you would take roughly 5 minutes to complete this survey to provide the school feedback on what we are doing well as a community and possible next steps we can take.

Be well,

March 19, 2020 (Update 2)

Click the following link to download this message (  Coronavirus Update for Families-RECs_March 19 2020.pdf  )

Please see the attached letter from DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza.

Here are the highlights:

  • We have created Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) - places where the children of first responders, health care providers, and transit workers can be safely cared for while their parents continue to serve the city in this time of need. Regional Enrichment Centers will be available citywide. RECs will be open from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Staffed by DOE employees and community-based organization partners, the centers will provide children with three hot meals daily, remote learning time with their teachers, activities like art and music, and social and emotional support. Each room will have a maximum of 12 children, supported by at least one adult; RECs will also have nurses on site.
  • If you are a first responder, health care provider, or transit worker whose child is a New York City resident, and you have no other child care option, CLICK HERE to begin your enrollment process. You will then be contacted about assignment to a site near your home. Children will be offered a site based on their home address and their parent or caregiver’s role in providing essential services. These centers are not available for any other New Yorkers at this time.

If you have questions about enrollment for the Regional Enrichment Centers, please call (718) 935-2200.

March 18, 2020

Click the following link to download this message (  March 18th.docx )

March 18th

Good Morning Parents of PS 24,

I hope each and every one of you is safe and healthy during this time.

I want to personally thank you for your overwhelming amount of e-mails showing care and appreciation of my staff for their sacrifice and dedication. It means the world to them and it is one of the many reasons their focus is on supporting our parents and children.

Please see the following updates as of March 18th:

Remote Learning

Remote learning will begin on Monday, March 23rd. By now, you should have received an e-mail account from your child’s classroom teacher. If you have not, please contact your child’s classroom teacher and copy Ms. Amster at You will need this e-mail to access your child’s Google Classroom. Your child’s teacher, if they have not already done so, will be in touch shortly to explain how this will work. (Note: your child will receive a email. Make sure you use this email to access Google Classroom).

Distribution of Technology

In order to help all students adjust to remote learning environments, Apple and T-Mobile will ensure that in the coming weeks, up to 300,000 New York City public school students who don’t currently have an internet-connected device will have one for their schoolwork while we are conducting remote learning. This will begin with the delivery of 25,000 iPads next week. We anticipate approximately 50,000 devices will then be delivered for each week after that. Our Chancellor is asking families to complete the survey below, sharing your best contact information over the next few weeks as well as whether they have access to a smartphone, a laptop/tablet/computer, the internet, or none of the above. They will use the information to prioritize device distribution and inform families of pickup location.


I will do my best to continue to update our community as updates come in. Thank you again for your support during this time and please do not hesitate to contact me if you need additional support or resources. Please continue to check our school website for updates.

Be well,

Steven Schwartz

March 16, 2020

Click the following link to download this message (  Coronavirus Update for Families_March 16 2020.pdf )

Please see the attached letter from DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza.

Here are the highlights:

  • For the next three and a half weeks, we are moving to a remote learning model, with a projected reopening of school buildings the week of April 20, 2020.
  • Students and families can pick up medication or receive any standard medical services from Tuesday through Thursday, during regular school hours; school nurses and school based health center staff will be on site. During that time, teachers will also be expected to report to their buildings and receive full-day professional development on remote learning
  • All throughout this week, grab-and-go breakfast will be available at the entrance of every school building from 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM. Any student can pick up breakfast and lunch at any school building.
  • On Monday, March 23, we will be opening several dozen Regional Enrichment Centers across the City, to serve the children of our City’s first responders, healthcare workers, transit workers, and our most vulnerable populations.
  • On Monday, March 23, we will also launch remote learning for grades K-12. 
  • There are already instructional resources available for every grade level in every subject at
  • We will continue to communicate with you in the coming days, and encourage you to visit our website at for more information and updates on this transition.

March 13, 2020

Click the following link to download this message ( COVID-19 Update 313.docx )

Parents and Guardians of PS 24,

Quote of the Day: "One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing." Jean Vanier 

I want to thank our entire school community of children, staff and parents for persevering through this unprecedented week. Earlier today I met with my Administration and our Building Response Team. The purpose of this meeting was to ensure my staff and I are prepared for any situation that presents itself. We also discussed and appreciated our parent feedback which was mostly positive and offered a few next steps for us to think about. Thank you to those who have sent e-mails to my staff and I.

Here are the following updates as of March 13th:


Today marked the lowest student attendance rate since I became your principal 4 years ago. It is likely that this rate will continue to decline in the days ahead. As a reminder, COVID-19 related absences will not impact promotional decisions or applications to middle school. A child’s absence will be coded “Reason Code 14” or COVID-19 related absence in our ATS system to indicate any absences related to the virus. (RISA). This includes situations when:

  • Students are staying home with any illness related to COVID-19 (students who are ill should stay home).
  • Students who have returned from COVID-19-affected areas and are self-quarantined.
  • Students who are absent due to exposure to COVID-19 and possess a doctor’s note.
  • Families/caregivers who choose to keep students home in an effort to reduce their child’s risk of exposure to COVID-19.

All students who remain home will be provided numerous resources from their child’s teacher so that their education is not interrupted. I have also asked that all grade-wide resources that are sent by teachers be uploaded on to the school web site under the section marked “Academics”.


This section will be updated every Monday and Tuesday afternoon and will include at least two weeks of grade appropriate work. You can also visit the DOE Learn at Home website for additional resources (



Contact Information

Your child’s teacher should be reaching out to you to ensure we have the most updated contact information. This includes phone numbers and e-mail addresses. Please make sure you submit an updated emergency card immediately so that the school can easily contact you for any reason.


Future Updates

As a best practice, I will be sending updates regarding COVID-19 through our Robo-email service, PA e-blast and on our school website. We are also currently working on revamping the links on our website to make it more parent friendly thanks to your feedback.


Final thoughts for the week 

This week is another example of the strength and determination that is within the PS 24 community. It is important for us to continue supporting one another as a community until we have beat this virus. Our community has conquered many obstacles and this unforeseen one will be no different. Please remember to be well, be safe, and be united in keeping our community together.




Steven Schwartz


The Spuyten Duyvil School



March 12, 2020

Click the following link to download this message312.docx )


Parents & Guardians of PS 24,

Earlier today, I had the opportunity to have a conference call with our Superintendent and my fellow District 10 principals. Based on this conference call, I also met with my staff to discuss many community concerns ranging from supporting students (those at home and at school), importance of hygiene, upcoming events and parent meetings.

After synthesizing all of this information and hearing feedback from all stakeholders in our community, I have decided on the following next steps for our community:


Upcoming Events

The following activities will continue as normal:

    • Saturday Test Prep Academy
    • After-School Programs including our chorus, band and Riverdale Y program

The following activities will be postponed until further notice:

    • Saturday Latin Club
    • Parent Association Meetings
    • Inside Broadway (CASA)
    • All school trips


Instruction for students at home

Teachers have begun creating grade appropriate packets and links that will be sent home shortly to our families. I have asked that teachers use their Tuesday afternoon time to send out 1 week worth of work for their families. This will begin next Tuesday. In addition, you can use many online instructional materials including I-Ready. There are also many educational resources on our school web page. You can also use the DOE Learn at Home Link.


Emergency Contact Information

Your child’s teacher should be reaching out to you within the next 24 hours to ensure the school has the most accurate and updated emergency contact information. This includes providing and updating phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses.

It is also recommended that you register with Notify NYC  to receive information about emergency events, and call 311 for additional information about a school during an emergency.


Other Thoughts

During this period of time where we are most concerned about the physical health of our children, I want to make sure we do not forget the mental health of our children. It is important that during this time, children are allowed to be children. They should not have to deal with the fear and anxiety that this situation can create.

Additionally, it is important that we assist in dispelling rumors and misunderstandings. Below are resources that address mental health needs of students and communities during an infectious disease outbreak. In addition to utilizing the mental health professionals in schools, available resources to assist schools include:


Following are resources that may be helpful in talking to students about the COVID-19:


My team and I understand how unsettling and concerning this situation is to our community.  We will continue to work together to respond to this evolving health crisis.  Please be assured that we are maintaining constant contact with health officials from NYC and NY State Health Departments. 

We will continue working to make sure we have the latest information and always with a commitment to community health and well-being first.  My team and I will continue regular communications to stay in touch with our community. We will get through these challenging times together. 

I want to take time out to recognize and thank my wonderful staff. This includes teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians and of course my wonderful administration. It has been amazing to see that the usual dedication and professionalism has not missed a beat, even during these unique times. With this in mind, I would like to leave you with the following quote:


"Times of chaos and uncertainty can lead to new doors opening, especially when we are willing and able to look for the growth opportunities in a situation rather than simply being overwhelmed by outside circumstances."  (Shakti Gawain)





March 11, 2020

Click the following link to download this messageParents and Guardians of PS 24.docx )

Questions answered by Mr. Schwartz in response to several parent inquiries.

Q: Will school trips be cancelled? If parents do not want to send their child on a trip (but do not want that child to miss a day of school), would the school be able to accommodate this, and if so, how?

A: As of now, school trips will go on as planned. If this policy changes, you will be notified immediately. A parent has the right to request for their child not to attend the trip. If a child is present in school but does not attend the trip, they will be placed in another classroom for the day (within the same grade if that option is available).


Q: What additional precautions has the school taken during this time? How often is the school being cleaned? Has the school received a "deep clean" and what does that entail? How are teachers addressing the situation in their classrooms?

A: As previously mentioned the custodial crew has done an amazing job of going above and beyond what is expected. At least twice a day, they are wiping down the entire school including, but not limited to walls, door knobs, and floors. Teachers have a full supply of cleaning products and regularly remind students to wash their hands. The school has also purchased numerous cleaning supplies. Unfortunately most of those supplies are on back order.


Q: If my child is absent from school, how will it affect their attendance and the possibility of being accepted into a middle school of our choice?

A: A child’s absence will be coded “Reason Code 14” or COVID-19 related absence in our ATS system to indicate any absences related to the virus. Reason Code 14 will be considered excused for NY student-attendance reporting and will appear as “E” on the student’s individual attendance report (RISA).

This includes situations when:

  • Students are staying home with any illness related to COVID-19 (students who are ill should stay home).
  • Students who have returned from COVID-19-affected areas and are self-quarantined.
  • Students who are absent due to exposure to COVID-19 and possess a doctor’s note.
  • Families/caregivers who choose to keep students home in an effort to reduce their child’s risk of exposure to COVID-19. 

As noted in recent communications:

  • For current fourth and seventh graders, this year’s attendance will not be used as a screen for admissions.
  • However, all absences, including both excused and unexcused, appear on student records (STARS report card and NYC Schools Account).


Q: Can you please confirm whether or not any P.S. 24 children who attend the local karate studio were in close contact (as defined in the CDC Risk Categories for Coronavirus Exposure) with the child who was diagnosed with COVID-19?

 A: We are working to keep our students and families safe, healthy, and informed as  the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve. Currently we do not have a confirmed case in our school. In the event that The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) determines that there is a need for investigation, closure, or other action at PS 24 you will immediately be notified.   

Ultimately if there is a confirmed case in the school, the school will be closed for at least 24 hours while DOHMH investigates and determines whether additional closure is needed.   Accurate, up-to-date information will continue to be provided through official communications from the school, DOHMH or DOE.

DOHMH is monitoring all confirmed cases and advising all stakeholders as to next steps. As a school, we are working in close partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to enhance protocols in schools. The health and safety of our students continues to be our chief priority, and we will continue to follow all guidance and take all appropriate measures accordingly, and stay in consistent communication with our families.