PS/MS 498 The Van Nest Academy for Environmental Health Sciences & Technology

                                                                  Mission Statement...

The Van Nest Academy is a community of HEROES* and life-long learners who work together to develop our students into exemplary citizens, positively impacting our society for a brighter future…...globally, nationally, locally and personally.


*H-helping others E-engaging in learning R-respecting all people and property O-organized E-everyday responsible S- safe, first and always

Important Announcements


    Hello Everyone!!!

    Can you all please do me favor and send this message  out to other VNA students and Families on social media? We are getting word that some parents are having difficulty accessing the Pupil path messages from their App. We need word to get out to Log into Pupil path at least twice a day on the INTERNET web browser version. NOT the APP and look for messages. You will find what we are sending out.  go to and log in.

    I need you to please be patient as everybody, teachers, students and parents in the city who use the platform are sending out lots of introductory info at the same time. This glitch will be fixed as IO Classroom adjusts. Please be patient and check back often on the internet.


    Hello, All VNA Students and Families,

    We were talking a lot about you today, boys and girls!!! Were your ears ringing? Do you miss us? Well, we miss your smiling faces here and the whole staff and I worked really hard to plan for you today, gathering books and materials, online resources, learning how to use Google classroom and Zoom and deciding on the best ways we can to bring the learning to you in your homes in the next few weeks til April 8th. Then you'll have Spring break and hopefully we will all see one another in person on April 20th. Cross fingers!!!

    In the meantime, we will be "seeing" you a little bit each day starting on Monday, March 23rd as we begin to communicate online with Zoom video conferencing in real time, sometimes in recorded video or in real time on collaborative documents on google classroom. We are trying to keep to a set schedule for you each day and we ask for your patience as this is truly a BIG task for all of us as we are learning it as we go. Imagine we told you to write an essay and didn't tell you what it was about, or how to write it, what genre writing it is supposed to be and we didn't give you any rubric or guidance. Weird, right? Well, that's what it feels like here in learning to make remote learning plans for all of you, except now we have LOTS of Guidance and resources and we are sorting through all of them to find the best ones for you. We'll get there, I promise!!!

    We are planning to make this as engaging and even fun for you as possible. Each morning we'll begin with announcements and the pledges on a ZOOM video conference, have time for some messages from students that are sent to me to read out, especially since we are still in Women's and Irish History month and are heading into April's LatinX/HIspanic Heritage month!! I will still need to hear from you to help me start everyone's morning. Email me at if you want to share.

    Imagine hearing from Mr. Galasso for morning fitness exercises or Ms. Glass and Ms. Gjidija for some mindfulness or Brain Power activities. Your mornings will be for breakfast and for catching up with us on Zoom.

    To help you get started on your lessons beginning Monday, your teachers and paras spent today moving ALL of your books down to the cafeteria. They are in student piles with your name on them and we are having your parents come tomorrow and Thursday to pick all up. BRING BAGS WITH YOU!!!  You have texts, notebooks, workbooks, pacing calendars of what you'll learn next week (SUBJECT TO CHANGE as we finalize plans this week), packets of work and letters for those students and parents who have not yet logged in to all of our many systems: Myon library, IReady math, NYC schools accounts, Pupil Path, google classroom, VNA school gmail accounts for the students, Discovery education and our American Reading Company free library of levelled reading books for your IRLA reading online!!!

    Moms and Dads, we are asking you to come to the school tomorrow and Thursday in the following schedule to pick up your children's bundles. We ask you to line up in single file outside the front door and maintain a safe distance as we open the doors, ask which children you are picking up for and then go get the bundles to bring to you. If you have multiple children in the school, please bring a bag for each child as the bundles are large and loose. Please be patient as there was a lot of organization that went into this process and we want to keep it orderly and make sure my staff and you remain at safe distances from one another.

    For Wednesday and Thursday Pickup:

     K-2nd grade  from 8:30- 9:30am

    3rd -5th grades from 9:30-10:30am

    6th-8th grade from 10:30-12:00pm

    We will be open for general pickup after that from 1:00-2:45pm each of those days

    For students who have medications on file with the nurse and who will need those meds, please call our school nurse, Ms. Speights, to ask for pickup tomorrow or Thursday. You will need to sign them out.


    We have a small number of laptops available for families who do not have a phone, tablet or desktop to get onto the internet for our planned remote learning. They are older and converted to chromebooks, may be missing a key, but they are still useful and work if you have nothing at home. There are some parents who already called Ms. Vanessa to request and I have about 40 more to LEND to families WHO TRULY HAVE NO WAY TO ACCESS THE INTERNET.  Please call or email Ms. Vanessa at X1052 or and please be honest if you truly need it.  The platforms we are going to be using for remote learning can be accessed form your phones, tablets, desktops or tablets.

    If you do not have internet at home, spectrum and Optimum are offering free internet for a set period of time to those families or households without.

    Tomorrow and Thursday, your teachers will be sending out directions on the basics of using your child's Google classroom account and I will be sending out an email to you with directions on how to set up a ZOOM Cloud meetings account on the web or on an Android or Apple app. If you are ahead of me in creating an account, please sign up with your real name...not a nickname, as we will be taking attendance at online meetings, lessons or conferences.

    If you use Class Dojo  in your classes with your teachers, please know this is the last week you will be using it. We are transitioning everyone over to Pupil path and google classroom to have everyone on similar platforms and to make sure we can translate our messages to you as much as possible into your home languages.If you use Class Dojo in your classes with your teachers, please know this is the last week you will be using it. We are transitioning everyone over to Pupil path and google classroom to have everyone on similar platforms and to make sure we can translate our messages to you as much as possible into your home languages. You will be receiving final messages from your teachers in Dojo this week.

    Breakfast and lunch on the go bags can be picked up for your children all week at the front door, if you need them.

    Lastly, Attached please find a letter from the Chancellor, resources from Superintendent Vaughan, a list of all soup kitchens and food pantries in the city if you are in need and info on getting free internet.

    We hope you are all safe and well and practicing really good hygiene to stay healthy. We do miss you but will "see" you soon!


    Thank you for your patience and support!!!

    Be well, 

    Ms. Gilligan

    PS/MS 498 The Van Nest Academy for Environmental Health Sciences & Technology
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