Social Media Threats- letter from the Chancellor

Dear Families,
It has come to our attention that there is a social media challenge proposed on TikTok and other social media platforms encouraging students to “call in bomb threats, school shooting threats, etc.” at schools across the United States. This social media challenge is not specific to only New York City, and many of the posts are general and not specific to one school.


The safety of everyone who enters our school buildings is always our highest priority and responsibility. Every threat to a school community is taken extremely seriously and we work closely with the NYPD to investigate threats made to any school community. If your school is named in a specific threat, please call 911 immediately and 1-888-NYC-SAFE. Additional supports will be deployed to the school as needed.
Safety and security are a community responsibility, and we are encouraging you to have conversations with your child about responsible social media use and the consequences of making threats. Schools and families can find information about digital citizenship on the DOE webpage: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/school-environment/digital-citizenship.

Any social media posts or challenges involving threats or actions of violence against school communities will not be tolerated. Threats of violence have very real consequences regardless of the reason the threat was made, and we do not want our young people to jeopardize their bright futures over social media challenges such as these.
If you or your child witness any suspicious activities on social media, please call 911 or notify a trusted adult if at a school. We are committed to continuing to closely monitor this matter.
Thank you as always for everything you do to keep our school communities safe, and please do not hesitate to reach out to your principal.
In partnership,
Meisha Porter
New York City Schools Chancellor

Message of Gratitude from Chancellor Porter

Dear Families,


Since March, I have had the honor of a lifetime to serve as Chancellor for the incredible schools, educators, communities, families and most importantly, your children who make up the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Today, I am sharing the bittersweet news that I will be stepping down from my role as Chancellor at the end of this calendar year.


My biggest message to you today is one of gratitude – thank you for the trust, patience, kindness, and commitment to our schools you have shown over the past few months. With your partnership, we have done so much together to welcome students back to a school year like no other – this year of homecoming.


As a mother of a school-aged child myself, I know that the return to fully in-person schooling has been at times both joyful and challenging. Coming out of a once in a lifetime pandemic, when our children needed immense academic and emotional care, it has taken a village to provide the support our students deserve. I’m thrilled that we did the impossible, and led the nation by safely reopening every single school for in-person learning to ensure our babies got the support and attention they needed.


The intense work that has gone into supporting all students goes far beyond any single person or leader. Some of the priorities and initiatives I know will continue include:

  1. MAINTAINING SAFE AND HEALTHY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS: New York City is leading the nation both with a staff of 100% vaccinated educators, and families rapidly accessing the opportunity to get their children vaccinated who are 5 years or older. In just the last few weeks, our schools have helped vaccinate over 43,000 students against COVID-19. If you haven’t had your child vaccinated yet, it’s never too late! Visit schools.nyc.gov/coronavirus to find locations nearby and to make an appointment.

    I’m proud of the decision we made in New York City to prioritize in-person student learning, and am so grateful for the trust and partnership of parents and educators in making this a reality for our students. Progress is not possible without your active participation; having your children vaccinated is central to our ability to maintain a healthy school environment.

    Through the measures we’ve taken like increasing vaccination rates, universal masking, daily health screenings and random weekly testing of students, we’ve managed to keep our in-school positivity rate extremely low at 0.24% and minimize disruptions to learning this year. We will continue to be vigilant about these measures to keep schools open for your children. I encourage you to visit schools.nyc.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on COVID-19 health and safety protocols in our schools, testing and vaccination updates, and more.
  2. GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION NEEDS: As we began this school year, it was essential that we knew where students were both academically and emotionally, so that we could provide them with targeted resources and support to meet their needs. To do this, our educators have begun using new academic and social and emotional ‘screeners’ across all of our schools this year. These tools provide low-stakes opportunities for teachers to get an idea of where students’ strengths and needs are at a certain point in the school year, so that we can connect them with the right resources or targeted interventions to support their learning and development. We encourage you to work with your school and teachers to learn more about these tools, and to work together to utilize the results to help understand and provide what our students need.
  3. INVESTING IN NEW SUPPORTS AND RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS: As we shared in July, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan this school year in the form of new resources and additional staff – including social workers, literacy teachers and coaches – so that all students in NYCDOE schools receive the tools and support they need to thrive.

    Our focus areas include: new social and emotional investments to help students heal from the past year, academic investments to make your child’s literacy skills a priority, more special education support available to students with disabilities, helping high school students get ready for college and career, and ensuring that all children learn challenging material that reflects who they are throughout their time in our schools with our new Mosaic curriculum. Learn more here: schools.nyc.gov/about-us/funding/

    Lastly, I simply want to say thank you again for all that you do for your children and our schools. We have worked hard every day to support our families and colleagues get back to a sense of normalcy while recognizing this moment in history as a critical time to make important and innovative changes that better address our students’ needs. We could not do this without your partnership, and I am immensely grateful for the trust you have put in the DOE and in me.

    Your partnership has made it possible to keep our students safe and healthy, to get to know their education needs even better than before, and to provide them with stronger and more durable tools to meet their immense potential. Despite the challenging year-and-a-half we’ve endured, I believe we have a great opportunity to learn from our recent experience and to move forward toward a brighter future for our children. I know the next administration will share in this commitment, and I will work closely with the next Chancellor to ensure that a positive, welcoming, and affirming experience for all children continues this year and beyond.

In partnership,
Meisha Porter
New York City Schools Chancellor

Letter from Chancellor Porter

Dear NYCDOE Families:


Spring Recess begins Monday, March 29. With the weather warming up and more parents
and grandparents getting vaccinated, you might be considering traveling. Travel is not a good
idea because COVID-19 is still a serious risk and puts you, your family, and your community
at risk of getting and spreading the virus. The federal Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention is urging all of us to avoid leaving town.


Please help stop the spread of COVID-19 and do not travel. If you must travel, remember
these COVID-19 prevention tips:

-Keep distance from others, bring and use hand sanitizer, and make sure
everyone over age two wears a face covering.
-Consider staying at a hotel rather than at someone’s home. If you have out-of-town
guests, suggest they do the same.
-Pick activities that allow you to safely keep distance from others. Avoid large crowds,
especially indoors.
-If you are going to spend time with people who are not members of your household,
outdoors is safer, as COVID-19 spreads easier indoors. Get together in parks, at the
beach, or in the backyard, or meet up for outdoor dining.

Please be aware that visitors and returning New Yorkers may be required to quarantine upon
entering New York. For more information, see the New York State COVID-19 Travel Advisory
at coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.
If you travel, when you return home to New York City it is extremely important to:
-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms;
-get tested;
-strictly follow COVID-19 prevention measures such as wearing a face covering
whenever around other people and maintaining six feet of distance from others; and
-immediately isolate if you feel unwell or test positive for COVID-19.


We hope you enjoy Spring Recess and the many safe, fun activities you can find right here
at home. Together, we can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Translations are available at schools.nyc.gov/messagesforfamilies

Meisha Porter

Chancellor, New York City Public Schools

Letter from the New Chancellor


Dear Families,

This was my first week as your new Chancellor, and I couldn’t be more excited to take on this role. Not only because I am a New Yorker born and bred, but because education is in my blood. Both my mom and auntie were teachers and I became a New York City public school English teacher because of them, and the amazing educators I had as a student myself growing up in Queens.
Since I started at the DOE 21 years ago, I have also worked as an assistant principal, and then principal. More recently, I served our school communities as a superintendent and Bronx executive superintendent.


And now it is my honor and privilege to lead our schools citywide. I have spent much of this week seeing our brilliant students and educators from every borough in action, in-person and remotely. I saw pre-k students learn about the water cycle, joined sixth graders in learning ratios by mixing just the right ratio of food coloring into frosting, and joined seventh-graders in sharing special objects that reveal something about who we are. Despite all the changes and challenges we’ve faced this past year, our school communities are still joyful, vibrant places of learning.


As I reflect on this week’s visits, I am also heartened by the beautiful diversity of our classrooms, communities, and our City as a whole. In our schools, “respect for all” is not just a slogan, but a way of life. We value every student, staff member, and family for who they are. We ensure everyone feels welcomed. This is at our very core.


But the horrific anti-Asian hate crimes we’ve been seeing citywide and this week in Atlanta make it clear that we must work harder to end systemic racism. Justice and inclusivity have been pillars of my career as an educator. As Chancellor, I promise to continue to advance equity and dismantle any biases in our school system. And I want to make it clear: there is no room for racism or discrimination of any kind at the Department of Education or in any of our schools. Just this week, we provided our educators with updated resources to combat hate crimes in our schools and provide our students with social and emotional supports. You can find resources for discussing racism and hate crimes with your children at schools.nyc.gov/togetherforjustice.


Creating environments that encourage all students to be who they are will be on my mind on March 22, when all our public high schools will begin welcoming students back to in-person and blended learning. Like elementary and middle schools, as well as our District 75 programs, high schools will follow the strong practices we have established to help keep school communities healthy and safe. This includes weekly random testing of students and staff for COVID-19, physical distancing, masks, and nightly deep cleaning. In the meantime, I’m excited about this important milestone in the city’s recovery. And I’m proud to lead a school system that has set the standard for the nation in reopening efforts.

This is such a hopeful and historic time for our schools and our city, and I want to thank you for all you have done to support our students and schools. In the coming weeks, there will be opportunities for us to meet and talk. I promise to hear and include your voices as we finish out this school year and plan for the next.


Let’s go. Let’s do this. We’re ready.

Sincerely,
Meisha Porter
New York City Schools Chancellor

Letter from the Chancellor regarding Halloween activities

Dear Families,
As Halloween approaches, we know many children and families across the city are looking forward to celebrating. We are excited to share ways to safely have fun with your family, while still being mindful of key COVID-19 prevention measures.

Here are top tips for a healthy Halloween:
 Stay outdoors
: Try going to a scavenger hunt in a park or walking around your neighborhood to see all the spooky decorations. Do not attend a haunted house or other indoor events.
 Keep your group small: The best idea is to keep to your own household. If you meet up with people outside your household, stay outdoors and keep the group small. You should not go to parties. It is not safe to host or attend large gatherings indoors or outdoors even if everyone feels well.
Trick-or-treat safely: If you go trick-or-treating, be sure everyone is wearing a face covering, stay outdoors and 6 feet away after knocking on a door, and bring plenty of hand sanitizer.
These precautions are very important, because we now know that there is significant transmission of COVID-19 by people who do not have symptoms, and that COVID-19 spreads more efficiently indoors.

No matter where you are, remember these key actions that help prevent COVID-19 transmission.

  1. Stay home if you are sick or were recently exposed to COVID-19.
  2. Keep physical distance from others.
  3. Wash your hands often.
  4. Wear a face covering.
    For more tips on how to protect yourself, your children, and others, review the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Halloween guidance at nyc.gov/health/halloween.
    We wish you a spooky, safe celebration!

School Update-letter from the Chancellor

Dear PS 101 Families-

Please read the attached letter from the Chancellor: Update for Families_September 8 2020
. Translations are available on the InfoHub.

Some key points you should pay attention to in the letter are the requirements for daily live teaching, including the amount of time teachers are expected to be live, as well as what remote learning expectations are.

GK