Bank Street College, including the School for Children, is physically closed through June. We are continuing to monitor city, state, DOH, and CDC guidelines.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions for BankStreet@Home.
When will school reopen?
Who do I contact if I have a question during BankStreet@Home?
For general school questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions specific to your child, please reach out to your child’s teacher(s). For division-specific questions, please contact:
We will do our best to respond to all questions within one business day.
What is the status of SFC events and field trips?
To the greatest extent possible, we will be migrating school events, such as admissions open houses, Parents Association meetings, the State of the School Address, etc., to a digital platform. Rescheduling of events will be reviewed case by case and will depend on CDC and government guidelines. Until further notice, all scheduled field trips will be either postponed or canceled.
Will my child be on a screen all day long?
Absolutely not. The amount of screen time will vary by the child’s age and grade. Our outstanding faculty have designed teaching and learning plans that are developmentally appropriate. Breaks, off-screen time, wellness, physical activity, and regular whole group, small group, and one-to-one check-ins are all part of the design of BankStreet@Home.
How will my child receive learning support and/or counseling support?
BankStreet@Home includes plans for learning support and counseling support. Each division, in consultation with teachers, learning specialists, and psychologists, will offer support in a way that is consistent with students’ needs. Members of our Student Support Team are available via email and video conference as requested by families.
How will attendance be handled?
The School for Children will continue to monitor attendance during BankStreet@Home. If your child will be unavailable for learning on a given day, please email their classroom teachers and the appropriate Division Assistant:
What is the type and frequency of communication that I can expect to receive from the School for Children?
- Mondays: Weekly Dean’s Office communications
- Wednesdays: Virtual Backpack newsletter
- Thursdays: Weekly Division Heads communications
- Daily and Weekly: Classroom Teachers and Specialists communications
Will families receive a tuition refund while students are not on campus?
Our faculty and staff are more committed than ever to providing your children with high-quality learning experiences even while physically distanced from one another. BankStreet@Home requires an all-hands-on-deck effort with our faculty, leaders, technology team, and admin support staff putting in countless hours to migrate our rich program and curriculum to a virtual format. Teaching and learning will continue, and therefore the School for Children will continue to collect the annual tuition. Families who are experiencing extreme hardship due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic should contact our Director of Financial Aid, Jessica Anzelone, at email@example.com, to receive information about Financial Aid. For information about restructuring your current payment plan contact our Director of Finance, Alex Kogan, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if my child, or I, require technology support during BankStreet@Home?
The Bank Street Help Desk will be open to support students and families from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM Monday through Friday. You may email email@example.com or call 212-875-4642 with tech support-related questions or issues.
What is the role of the Health Office during BankStreet@Home?
Robin Taylor, RN, will be available by email or teleconference to answer questions and provide guidance for families who have questions or concerns. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, so that we can track data that will enable us to make informed decisions regarding BankStreet@Home, we are asking that all members of the School for Children report positive cases of COVID-19 in their immediate families to Robin.
What is the plan for standardized testing such as the CTP5 (ERBs)?
Following the lead of New York State and our fellow independent schools, we are canceling standardized testing in the spring. We are in constant consultation with ERB and will reassess in the Fall.
How can I support my child/ren during BankStreet@Home?*
The School for Children understands that a shift to BankStreet@Home requires all members of our community—students, teachers, and families alike—to make adjustments, be flexible, and respond to what we are learning. We also know that a strong partnership between school and home remains essential to supporting each child. Our Dean’s Office, Division Heads, Student Support Team, Technology Department, and faculty are all available to guide students and families as we launch and continually refine BankStreet@Home.
The following are some guidelines for families to help children achieve success and happiness with BankStreet@Home. As much as possible, we encourage you to embrace this time at home as a new adventure with great possibilities.
Establish a Regular Schedule for Your Child & Stay Engaged with their Learning
During BankStreet@Home, it is essential for families to help students establish and maintain a routine and structure for their day, beginning with a regular bedtime and wake-up time each day. While some students may want to stay up late and sleep in, establishing a regular school day routine will help your child retain a sense of normalcy and stay engaged in learning. Be sure to help your child build in breaks during the school day, encouraging them to stand up and move around so they are not remaining sedentary throughout the day. Begin and close each “school day” with a brief check-in as well as checking in throughout the day at regular intervals to ensure that your child is successfully engaging BankStreet@Home. Reach out to your child’s teacher if you observe your child struggling to stay focused. Setting clear expectations with your child about regular school day hours will help your child maintain a schedule and stay on top of their schoolwork.
Create a Work Space for Your Child
Productive learning relies on a conducive environment. If possible, we recommend that you create a dedicated work space in your home for your child to engage with their schooling. The family sofa with close proximity to a television or your child’s bed may not be the optimal place for your child to learn. As not all children have separate work spaces in their homes, we recommend that you choose an open area in the family living space (kitchen table, dining room, etc.) to avoid isolating your child and to allow grown-ups to monitor your child’s learning and screen activity. We also suggest that students make a sign or put a blanket on their chair so other members of the household know it’s work time.
Stay in Communication with Your Child’s Teachers
Your child’s teachers and Division Heads will maintain regular communication with families. The frequency of the communications will depend on your child’s age, developmental stage, and level of independence. While teachers are available as resources for your child and for you, please keep in mind that our teachers will need to be in regular email communication with all of their families, so we ask that you be mindful when communicating with teachers, strive to be succinct, and focus on the essential.
Encourage Independence and Allow for Productive Struggle
Stay engaged in your child’s learning by asking them questions and having them share their thoughts while encouraging their independence so they can take ownership of their own learning. Some productive struggle is essential to learning, so we ask that families allow their children to grapple with problems and come up with ideas for tackling them. Stepping in too quickly to help solve problems will deprive your child of the opportunity to learn, try new approaches, and gain greater independence and confidence. If your child becomes discouraged and/or overwhelmed by schoolwork, please reach out to your child’s teachers, learning support team, or school psychologists.
Help Your Child Maintain Social Contact with Peers
Social connections are important to all children. Just as before this time of physical distancing, ways of being social vary according to age.
For younger children:
- Considering the screen time involved in resuming school, decide if and how often during a week your child might benefit from FaceTime or Zoom playdates.
- Periodic digital lunch dates might fit more easily into a family’s schedule since lunch needs to happen anyway.
- Phone conversations.
- Snail mail!
For older children:
It will be very important for your child to stay in social contact with their friends and peers during BankStreet@Home. Encourage your child to interact with friends through FaceTime/Google Meet/Zoom or through phone conversations while physical distancing is required. They can form study groups created by their teachers or informal groups that they develop on their own. Social interactions, such as virtual lunch buddies, will help your child stay connected and feel a part of the school community.
Wellness: Encourage Physical Activity and Movement and Monitor Student Stress
Physical movement and exercise are vital to maintaining physical and mental health, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving concentration and focus for more effective learning and retention. Families should monitor student stress levels, adhere to the guidance of the CDC, and reach out to the School Psychologists for advice as needed. The health and wellness of our students is of the utmost importance to us, and so our Movement and PE department offer time each week for students to maintain a level of activity even if homebound. For younger children, a grown-up’s participation can both encourage your child’s participation and be a physical break for the grown-up. Families of older children can partner with the school by checking in on their child’s physical activity and ensuring that they participate in the activities provided.
With younger children, time management intertwines directly with the family schedule each day. See this letter from Emily and this letter from our psychologists as resources for help with setting daily schedules and routines.
Throughout BankStreet@Home, many older students will likely need help with their own time management. Teachers are available to assist, but it is also important for families to ensure that students are spending this time on school work. Even if a student says that they are done with assignments, this is a valuable time to check in with teachers, collaborate with peers, and/or read independently. Students should be actively working during the designated times. If children are reluctant to share, we encourage families to ask specific questions about the assignment, such as, “What was challenging? What did you learn? Did something surprise you?” Encourage children to check and double check their work. Establish routines where children share with you and track how they managed their time, including what worked and what was hard.
We realize that different families have different access to wi-fi technology at home and have therefore designed BankStreet@Home to allow for a balance of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Further, with the potential of multiple devices being used simultaneously at home, bandwidth could be taxed. It will be important for families to monitor so that one user isn’t streaming or playing video games while another is having class via Zoom.