Family Letter – September 13th, 2021

Dear Families,

Welcome to the 2021–2022 school year—our long-awaited homecoming!
I am beyond excited to begin our historic return to full-time, in-person instruction—after the most challenging 18 months of our lives. This year, the first day of school means everything to me. Not only because I’m your Schools Chancellor, but because I’m also the mother of a New York City public high school student who is over the moon to return to the classroom full time.

My daughter’s experience is a living, breathing testament to what I’ve learned in more than 20 years as an educator: nothing replaces the experience between a child and a teacher in a classroom. That is why it feels like a dream come true to welcome all our children back to safe, supportive, rigorous school environments. The first day of school is a true homecoming for our school communities.

I know that COVID-19 and the Delta variant are on all our minds, and I want to be clear that the health and safety of our children, families, and school staff is our highest priority. For the last several months, we have worked with school leaders, public health experts, and union partners to develop and health and safety approach that provides multiple layers of scientifically proven prevention strategies.

We are meeting or exceeding Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting surface areas in our schools, inspection and certification of ventilation in our buildings, and regular random testing of staff and students for COVID-19. We know masks work to reduce the spread of disease, and we are requiring all students and staff to wear face coverings when riding on school buses and anywhere on school property, indoors and outdoors. This is regardless of vaccination status unless students have a medical exemption.

The most important step you can take to protect you and your family from COVID-19 is vaccination. All New Yorkers ages 12 and older can receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. In partnership with the NYC Test & Trace Corps and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, all school sites serving children 12 and over are offering Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations to eligible New Yorkers during the first week of school (with second doses provided at the beginning of October). No appointment is needed, and you can learn more about site hours from your school or by visiting schools.nyc.gov/covid19.
You can find the most up-to-date information on how we’re working to keep students and staff healthy and safe on the DOE’s website for school year 2021–22 at schools.nyc.gov/homecoming.

I hope you are as thrilled as I am about the first day of school. You can be sure I’ll be out visiting classrooms throughout the week, welcoming back our students, families, and educators—and celebrating all we have done to get to this point.
As always, I am honored to have you at my side as we usher in our most important first day of school ever. Thank you for entrusting your children to us.

In partnership,

Meisha Porter
New York City Schools Chancellor

The consent form for in-school testing.
Family Update on health & safety

Welcome Letter from the School Principal

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is with great honor and excitement that I write this letter of introduction to you as the new Interim Acting Principal of John Dewey High School. I am humbled to have the opportunity to lead a school with such a rich legacy of success and so many points of pride. I have been dedicated to the field of education for more than twenty years. I have worked with a variety of students’ ranging from elementary age, where I started my career, to middle school and high school. These experiences afforded me the opportunity to grow as an educator, teacher coach and school leader. Those priceless years led me to my most recent administrative role here at John Dewey. I have had the privilege to serve as the assistant principal supervising English and English as a New Language teachers for the past four years as well as leading our professional development initiatives for all staff members. I have worked hand in hand with my predecessor principal, Mrs. Hamilton and I am excited and eager to continue the vision that was created with our school community. I look forward to working with you as a partner in education to ensure your child’s success in career and college pathways.

I know that our students and community encountered many hardships as a result of COVID-19. However, this will not deter our mission to make this school year the best one ever. Along with our teachers and staff, I will work hard to expand on the success established by Dewey’s commitment to excellence by building strong relationships with you, our students and community partners. Together, we will continue to provide experiences that are rigorous, relevant and equitable. We understand that we must pay attention to not only academics but to the social, emotional health of our young people as well.

As your new principal, it is important to me that everyone who steps through our doors-teachers, students and parents-are excited to be here! We believe that a nurturing, compassionate environment enables us to meet the challenges of academic excellence but also keeps our students happy and motivated to attend school each and everyday. This is our primary goal. Our students cannot achieve if they aren’t engaged and participating in school.

Please feel free to call or email me to discuss any concerns you might have throughout the school year. My door is always open. If you need to get in touch with me please call Ms. Gattuso our Parent Coordinator at (718) 373-6400 Ext.1681 KGattuso@schools.nyc.gov And or my secretary, Daniela Cingari (718) 373-6400 Ext.1071.

I look forward to working with you to support your child’s needs and to ensure that all of our students have a successful school year!

Sincerely,

Heather Adelle

Mrs. Heather Adelle Principal, IA

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