Zeynep's Family Updates 


Catalogue of weekly emails during remote learning


August 1, 2020

Dear IS289 families and students,


As we close out July, I’ve compiled an update on many topics regarding services and school opening.  Before I launch into the list of announcements below, I feel it’s important to pause for a moment to acknowledge the passing of a civil rights giant, John Lewis.  If you haven’t watched Congressman Lewis read his own note to his younger self, I encourage you to take less than 7 minutes now.  It makes me proud to know that our graduates are familiar with many of these civil right images due to their work in their Social Studies classes and their 8th grade interdisciplinary Disrupting Racism unit.


Here are our general announcements:

  1. Please help us reach our Chinese and Spanish speaking community members. We still need help with Spanish and Chinese translations and interpretation. You can post summaries on WeChat, interpretation during town halls, translations of our emails, or more. Reach out to Anne and me if you are willing to help... even a little help makes a big difference.

  2. The Chancellor’s information about reopening can be found on the DoE website: schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020.  Anne emails them when they come out and she sent you a new letter this week. 

  3. Complete the DoE learning preference survey if you plan to stay all-remote this fall. The deadline is August 7 and is essential to help us plan effectively for school opening.  Reach out to Anne or me if you’d like to discuss your options.

  4. Our first summer town halls were on July 21 for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade families.  You can view the powerpoint slides, and track the FAQs on this document.  FAQs will be edited and answered, as much as possible, by Friday, Aug. 7.  The videos will be posted on our website as soon as we receive the DoE’s ranking of our website accessibility.  We will send the link and details as soon as we have it.

  5. The next town hall will be scheduled for a day during the week of August 16th. Hopefully, we’ll have more details about school opening, classes, schedules, and other protocols to share at that time.

  6. The next Chancellor’s Information Sessions are August 12 and 24.  Register here and submit your questions.

  7. 7th and 8th graders save the date: August 24 and 25 for picking up your locker materials.  There is still no access to lockers for our 7th and 8th graders and if there is no further guidance by August 17, Anne and I will empty the lockers, bag the contents, and label them with your child's name.  We will invite families to collect their belongings in the schoolyard on August 24th and 25th, weather permitting.

  8. Return your DoE device if you are leaving the DoE.  Reach out to Anne (aalbright@is289.org) for details.

  9. The high school admissions guidebook is now posted online.  Updates to the guide are explained on this flyer.  Sign up for notifications about events and updates here.

  10. I will send a separate email next Friday to families specifically about facilities upgrades and updates, the new test and trace protocols for fall, and other planning updates specific to IS289. 


Here are other NYC updates:

  1. The DOE is providing free access to summer reading and learning resources for all NYC students, via Sora, an online ebook reader. Students can log in to Sora, using their DOE credentials, and instantly access hundreds of ebooks and audiobooks on virtually any device. For additional guidance on accessing and using Sora, visit discoversora.com/nyc.

  2. Some Open Streets are also designated “cool streets” in neighborhoods vulnerable to heat-related health risks-- with spray caps on fire hydrants, water fountains, and trees for shade cover. Find your nearest sprinkler hydrant, fountain, or tree-friendly street here.

  3. There are slightly more than 90 days until the presidential election.  Make sure that you are registered to vote by going to vote.org. You can also register to vote through that site.  

  4. Have you read Anne’s emails?  Anne is the IS289 Parent Coordinator and she sends resources for families (including food, job, and technology resources), as well as updates from the school and the DoE.  Here’s Anne’s July 24th email with a long list of great information.

  5. The State's COVID rent relief program may serve as a critical tool to alleviate rent burden, It will provide eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent directly to the household’s landlord. Applicants will not need to repay this assistance.

  6. Get your covid test for free.  Location of testing sites can be found here www.nyc.gov/COVIDtest or by texting “COVID TEST” to 855-48. You can also call 1-844-NYC-4NYC to connect with a medical provider.  All New Yorkers can get tested, even those who do not have symptoms or are unsure if they were exposed to COVID-19. 

  7. Complete the census. It's not too late, you can be undocumented, and you can be out of town due to covid. It's essential that you do this for funding public schools and ensuring representation of everyone.


You’ll get another one of these general emails in mid-August and again in late-August.  Along the way, we’ll continue to send updates and information.  Be well, and I’ll see you on our next Zoom!

Zeynep (and Hudson - lounging at my parent’s home in Nevada)

P.S. I’ll be returning to NYC this weekend and will enter another 2 weeks of quarantine.  These are the books I plan to read: Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb (for escapist fun), and On My Watch: A Memoir, by Virginia Buckingham (for a new book club I'm joining). What are you reading?  Got any recommendations for me while in quarantine?

Be well and be strong,

Zeynep and Hudson



















201 Warren Street, 5th Floor, New York NY 10282


Zeynep Ozkan, zozkan@is289.org

Assistant Principal

Dr. Andolyn Brown, abrown@is289.org

Parent Coordinator

Anne Albright, aalbright@is289.org