Although New York City public schools are delaying in-person classroom learning, other schools in the neighborhood have already hit the ground running.
Earlier this month, the Martin Luther School (MLS) in Maspeth began its school year by offering students the option of either going fully remote or a hybrid learning model, where they come into school every other day.
According to MLS executive director James Regan, about half of the school’s students have chosen remote, while the other half have opted for blended learning. Students have the flexibility of changing their preferred learning situation later in the school year.
Regan said the teachers have been fantastic, and are meeting the challenges that come with this new environment.
“They’ve embraced it in a way that makes us beyond proud,” he said.
Martin Luther School is using the 1:1 iPad learning program, where every student is given a new iPad and access to the latest technology. They can take the iPads home to do homework, collaborate on group projects and connect with teachers daily.
Students also have a daily “advisory period” when they can be proactive, reach out to teachers and ask for help on any subject. They also have online “breakout rooms,” where they can have discussions among peers just like a traditional classroom setting.
“It has increased our student engagement,” Regan said.
Prior to the school year, Martin Luther School conducted a deep cleaning of the facility to “make sure everything was on par” and meeting state and federal safety standards, Regan said.
Everyday, the school’s maintenance and housekeeping staff are cleaning all of the site’s touchpoints, including handles, doorknobs, bathroom facilities and everything in between. In the evening, the school is disinfected daily, Regan said.
The school also has hand-sanitizing stations in classrooms, offices, hallways and other common areas.
Every morning before they enter the building, students have to fill out an online health survey that asks if they have been traveling, or if they feel sick. They also go through a temperature check when they walk in.
Classrooms are well-ventilated with fans, creating “tremendous air flow,” Regan said. The school is also installing HEPA filters in all classrooms to provide purified air.
Every student is required to wear a mask, and can also wear a face shield. They must maintain six feet of distance in the building, classrooms and hallways.
Teachers, meanwhile, have a protective shield in front of their desk. Regan added that they are provided with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to feel comfortable and safe.
Lunch is grab-and-go as well, which Regan said is another example of how “safety is a priority” at the school.
“We feel we are on top of things,” he said. “Martin Luther Schools is safe and organized, and the students are getting educated.”
Here's a video that describes the new, safe initiatives at Martin Luther School.
For more information please contact Mr. Obed Figueroa at 718-894-4000 Ext. 150 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit MLS' admissions page.