Letter from Chancellor Banks

Dear Families:

Welcome to the 2022–2023 school year!

As the father of four children, I still remember the excitement of September and my kids’ jitters over what the new school year would bring. Would they like their teachers? Would it be easy to make new friends? Would they do well in their classes? I reassured them that the adults in their school would cherish them as much as I did at home.

Now, as I prepare to experience my first “first day of school” as Chancellor, I am grateful for you and for our educators, who are as excited as I am to welcome your children back. I also appreciate that in sending your children into our classrooms, you are placing great trust in us—trust that we will challenge your children intellectually so they can live out their wildest dreams. Trust that we will keep them safe and help them grow as human beings. Trust that they will graduate with a pathway to a rewarding career and enjoy long-term economic security. Trust that we will teach your children how to be a positive force for change in our world.

I am committed to doing all of this—and more.

My team and I have spent the summer reimagining the student experience so that it better serves your children. Literacy, which is the foundational building block of all learning, will be a major focus this school year. We are transforming how we teach reading by implementing a high-quality, phonics-based literacy program in all elementary schools. We are extending learning beyond the four walls of the classroom, offering students regular visits to local museums, parks, and all the incredible resources our great city has to offer. At the same time, we are improving students’ digital learning experiences.

This year, we are also offering more of the learning opportunities you have requested, enhancing the way we serve all children. This includes an increase in Community Schools, Gifted & Talented programs, bilingual education programs, and programs to improve long-term academic outcomes for students with disabilities. Wellness and its role in student success is another priority you’ll be hearing more about.

I can’t write to families without recognizing you as the lifeblood of our school communities and our true partners in your child’s education. Be on the lookout for improved ways to access the information and support you need to help your children succeed. This will include expanded language access supports for families who speak languages other than English and more opportunities for us to work together.

Thank you for choosing NYC Public Schools. I know that there have been challenges, and I hope
you agree that our schools stand ready to put all children on the path to the bright, bold futures
they deserve. I encourage you to visit schools.nyc.gov/bts2022 to find the most up-to-date
information about the new school year.

As always, I am honored to partner with you to better serve our children. I truly believe that the
best is yet to come. So, let’s get the 2022–2023 school year started!

Soaring high,

David C. Banks

New York City Schools Chancellor

You can download translations of the Chancellor’s Letter here at: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/messages-for-families

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