Coronavirus Updates

Dear WEDS Community: 

As the days go by and the global pandemic intensifies, West End Day School is doing everything we can to keep our community safe and do our best to respond to the needs of our students, faculty and families. It is time for us to prepare for long-term scenarios that we all know are on the way. We do not have any return date in sight at this time and understand what a great loss this is for every member of the West End Day School community. However, this is also an opportunity for growth. At the heart of our program, is our motto “All Problems have Solutions.” Here are our solutions going forward: 

  • We recognize the need for more synchronous learning! We are developing plans to have video conferences for small reading and math groups starting April 20th. Our strategy is to phase in more group learning experiences, including whole group STEM lessons on a week-by-week basis. Be on the lookout for more information in the week ahead. 
  • Spring Break: Our upcoming break will continue as planned. Keep in mind, we were up and running on March 16th and did not skip a beat. Our faculty will use this break both for planning and restorative purposes. During Spring Break, you can still utilize the Remote Learning Extra Resources provided in google classroom and we will also provide fun learning and family activities to keep our students engaged. 

During this time, I want to remind you that you are part of something special, something more than a school. Our Distance Learning Program is no different, and I hope you can find gratitude to celebrate everything we are offering in our remote learning model: 

  • INDIVIDUALIZED and CHALLENGING education model 
  • SMALL class sizes with BIG CONNECTIONS
  • FLEXIBLE learning where children feel COMFORTABLE meeting high expectations  
  • Programming that recognizes EMOTIONS 
  • RELATIONSHIP based model
  • PARENT SUPPORT every step of the way 
  • FUN and ENGAGING ways to connect 
  • CLINICAL CHECK-INS including Counseling, Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy 
  • Administrative SUPPORT and technical ASSISTANCE 

I have said this before and I will again, “We’ve got this. We are West End Day School.” Together We will come out of this stronger and more resilient than ever. 

With love, 
Carrie Catapano, LCSW
Head of School
Remote Phone Number: 646-640-600

Dear Families:

In the past 8 days, we have grown so much as a community. Our collaborative approach is stronger than ever and we will continue to work together to have the best possible response for our community. Our administrative team is actively working to make sure that our current plan is going as well as it can be (we know it is not easy) and strategically thinking through different scenarios as we move forward.  

Week 2
To recap, this week we continued our distance learning model and added check-ins with Reading, Math and Writing Teachers. Our clinical team has added social groups to provide positive peer interactions for our students. Our goal is to continue to add in more learning and group opportunities at a pace that allows everyone to adjust and fine-tune as needed. Please keep in mind; we need parents/caregivers to supervise their child during teacher and clinical check-ins. We cannot take on this responsibility in a remote setting.

Your feedback matters more than ever. We are navigating unchartered waters and your voice (positive, negative, honest and fair) will help us develop the best road map we can. Click here to complete by Sunday, March 29th, 2020.

Through March 27th, we will continue to share news on any possible exposures to the Coronavirus. So far, only one family member has reported that they have tested positive for COVID-19. The last time the person was present at school was Wednesday, March 11th at pickup. At this time, no other family members have reported symptoms or have been diagnosis. Today, March 24, 2020, it has been 14 days since the suspected infection date. If you have any symptoms or are not feeling well, please follow the CDC guidelines for getting tested.  

Please keep in mind, we will stop reporting any possible cases and urge families to monitor the NYS DOH site regularly. We do encourage any families to share any cases of Coronavirus with your child's counselor, or myself, as it impacts the family.  

Stressed?  We can help! 
Parent Linda Bjork, executive coach and founder of Mindfulness Intelligence, will provide a stress reduction for parents and faculty next Tuesday, March 31st at 3:00 PM. Invite to follow.

I am on this journey with each and every one of you. I can be reached by email or at the number below just like any day at West End Day School. 

In good health, 

Carrie Catapano, LCSW
Head of School
Remote Phone Number: 646-640-6000 

P.S.- If you haven’t yet, I highly suggest you check out today’s morning announcement! 

Dear Parents:

Many of you have asked if we will follow suit with the NYC Public School System who has closed down. It is with a heavy heart that I answer yes. All schools need to follow the guidance of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They are recommending that all NYC nonpublic schools remain close until at least April 20, 2020. I hesitate in giving a return date, because we simply do not know what will happen in the weeks ahead. 

What this means for West End Day School (a.k.a. the greatest community on Earth!): 

  • We will continue our Distance Learning Instruction. Most families are getting the hang of it and it’s really starting to take off. 
  • Like everything we do at WEDS, we like to break our plans down into small manageable chunks. This means we will have 8 more instructional days to plan for (as of now)!
  • We will close for Spring Recess as planned from April 9th - April 17th. Our faculty is working harder than ever—while many are also caring for their own families—and we will all need a break to unplug and restore. Parents can continue to make use of the many online resources that were provided. 

Need for More Socialization
I recognize that our original two-week model does not include the social interactions that are central to West End Day School. Although we will continue our individualized learning model, because we believe that is the best plan for our students to learn remotely, our incredible clinical team is setting up a game plan for small social groups. Be on the lookout for more information—each class will have a school counselor as their point person for coordinating these groups.  

Finding ways to connect
I am grateful for the social media tools that keep us connected as a community. Our morning announcements were just a start. Be on the look-out for quick installments of exercises and stretching with Mr. Kelly, cooking with Ms. Moore and mediation with Ms. Manes. One of my favorite school projects will be keeping us connected through a school song (details to come!) 

Each and every day, we are finding creative ways to unite and supply our students with all the extras that make us “more than a school”. We ask that you send any pictures to Sara so everyone can stay connected 

My promise
I will continue to work around the clock (minus some time to connect with my family) to make the best plans possible in light of what information we have.  

I thank you for patience, understanding and praise. Let’s continue to find our strength and in this challenging moment, rise as a community. 

With love, 

Carrie Catapano, LCSW 
Head of School
Remote Number: 646-640-6000