IN SEPTEMBER, Valerie N. Macey, the principal of P.S. 705 Brooklyn Arts and Science Elementary School, ordered 30-foot red carpets from Amazon. The first day of the 2021–22 academic year was approaching, and Macey—who became principal two months before the lockdown—thought her students should have an entrance as grand as that of the Grammys or the Met Gala. “I wanted the ropes and everything. I wanted white doves,” she said. On September 13, the students at the elementary school strutted down the carpet and into the building. The two educational assistants DJ-ed. “We took a picture of every student. We shouted out their names,” said literacy coach Tatum Boothe. “We said, ‘We see you. Welcome back.’ ”
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