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

 

Letter from the Chancellor (School opening updates)

Dear PS 101 families-

Please read the letter below from Chancellor Carranza:

Update for Families_August 17 2020 (also printed below)

August 17, 2020

Dear Families,

In good times and in challenging times, I know that you want the best for your children. You want them to be safe, healthy, and happy. And you want them to always be learning, growing, and getting ready to take on the world. Our schools play such an important role in that, especially now, when the children of our city have been through so much.

For us, health and safety always lead the way. Our vision for the fall is a safe, strong, and supportive learning environment and an excellent education for every one of our students. Schools will be in session and students will be learning five days per week—no matter where they are.

We know a lot more now about how the learning experience is going to work. In this week’s Reopening Update for Families, you will find:

The latest health and safety information, including on ventilation, school nurses, and testing and tracing in schools

How to stay informed on confirmed COVID-19 cases in your school community

How families can change their children’s learning preference to/from fully remote learning

What happens if students attend school in-person on a day they are not scheduled to attend

 Supports for students with Individualized Education Programs

Supports for students in temporary housing and foster care

We know that planning for the new school year isn’t easy—for you, for our educators, for school staff, and for our communities. But I believe that by working together we can start the school year strong. I want to acknowledge the tireless work of your principals and school leaders, who have been hustling all summer to be ready for the first day of school.

I also want to thank you. Your partnership has made it possible for us to consider and plan for both in-person and remote learning. Your continued investment and engagement in your school communities is a vital part of ensuring our students’ success not just during this upcoming school year but for years to come. We are privileged to serve you and your children, the young people who not long from now will be the ones leading our city.

If you have questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact your principal. You can find principal contact information by searching for your child’s school on Find a School: schoolsearch.schools.nyc. Principal information is on each school’s web page at schools.nyc.gov, in the “School Contacts and Information” section. And as always, all information regarding back to school can be found at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020.

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor

New York City Department of Education

Reopening Update for Families: August 17, 2020

The updates below are included on our school reopening webpage at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020, available 24/7 to help you find information about the upcoming school year.

The Latest Health and Safety Information

For school buildings to open in September and remain open, the city must see fewer than 3 percent of all COVID-19 tests come back positive on a weekly average. Since June, the city positive test rate has been between 1 and 2 percent. We have strict protocols for testing, tracing, and quarantining if there is a confirmed case in school, and we will use every effort to prevent the spread of infection in schools if a student or staff member is feeling sick or has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Many families have questions about ventilation. Our commitment is simple: if a room does not have adequate ventilation, it will not be used by students or staff. We are assessing and performing maintenance in buildings to maximize ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible. We expect maintenance to be completed by the opening of school.

Finally, this fall, every school building in New York City and all early childhood programs across the city will have access to nurses. Through a partnership with NYC Health + Hospitals, in addition to our established nursing workforce, every student will have access to a qualified nurse every day as we reopen schools safely and continue to stop the spread of COVID-19. Nurses will be in-place by the first day of school.

How to Stay Informed on Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Your School Community

When the school year begins, we want to make sure we can contact you quickly and effectively to share information, including about confirmed COVID-19 cases in your child’s school. Please sign up for a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) so we can contact you via phone, email, or text message.

Your NYCSA account can also help you find your child’s grades, test scores, schedules, transportation information, and more— from anywhere, and in all nine standard DOE language translations. I encourage you to keep your contact information up to date, so we can get in touch with you in the event of an emergency. If you don’t have an account, sign up today at schools.nyc.gov/nycsa. It only takes five minutes!

How to Change a Child’s Learning Preference to/from Fully Remote Learning

Your school principals, in partnership with district and central administrators, are continuing to develop school-level plans for every public school in New York City. We are currently planning for around three-quarters of our students (over 700,000 students) to begin the school year in a blended learning mode. This means that they’ll learn in-person in a school building part of the school week and continue learning remotely from home for the rest of the week. The remaining families in our DOE community will begin the year in fully remote learning mode.

You can move your child into 100 percent remote learning at any time using the Learning Preference online form: nycenet.edu/surveys/learningpreference. Families who choose 100 percent remote learning can opt back into blended learning on a quarterly basis, beginning in November.

What Happens if Students Attend School In-Person on a Day They are Not Scheduled to Attend

Schools will work closely with families to clearly communicate which days their child will attend school in-person. The DOE encourages you to make alternate childcare arrangements and to build a plan to help ensure that your child does not arrive at school on unscheduled days. If a student arrives at school on days when they are scheduled for remote learning, your child’s school will inform you. All children attending on an unscheduled day will need to be picked up or will be sent home, depending on age and other factors. For more information on policies for students who attend school on a mistaken day, visit schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020.

Supports for Students with Individualized Education Programs

The DOE will provide students with disabilities access to in-person instruction during blended learning. If your child’s IEP recommends related services, you will soon receive a survey where you will be asked to express your preference for in-person or remote therapy. Upon school opening, your child’s school will contact you to discuss your child’s specific schedule and make every effort to align your request to available services. The DOE will release additional guidance and information for families of students with disabilities shortly.

Supports for Students in Temporary Housing and Foster Care

Students in temporary housing and foster care face unique challenges as a result of COVID-19, including the shift to remote learning. We have been providing additional supports to these students, including ensuring their early receipt of remote learning devices. Any remote learning devices given to students in shelter have cellular capabilities. As possible and appropriate, students in temporary housing and foster care may also receive additional in-person instruction, depending on a school’s programming model, overall student needs, and capacity.

Important Health and Safety Updates for September

Dear PS 101 Families:

As we continue to keep you informed regarding to the return to school, we urge you to check back often to the Return To School Webpage, as updates have been made to some pages, including Health and Safety.

Today the Chancellor released a letter containing Health and Safety Protocols for schools

Download here or read below:
Update for Families on Health and Safety Protocols – August 3 2020

Translations will be available shortly on the InfoHub.

Letter from the Chancellor:

August 3, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope you are safe and healthy, and finding some rest and relaxation this summer. As we are approaching the start of the 2020-21 school year, I want to share some important new information with you about health and safety protocols in your child’s school—and every school—for the upcoming year.

All schools are preparing for blended learning, during which students learn in-person in school buildings for part of the week, and continue learning remotely from home on the other days. However, any family can choose 100% remote learning for any reason. If your preference is 100% remote learning, we ask that you let us know by this Friday, August 7, so that schools have enough time to plan. Please visit schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020 to fill out a short web form, or call 311.

In this letter you will find:

Criteria to Open Schools and Keep them Open

What Happens if Someone Gets Sick: New Information on COVID-19 Testing and Tracing in Schools

Overall Health and Safety Protocols for Every School

Criteria to Open Schools and Keep them Open

While we continue to carefully monitor a constantly changing health landscape, one thing remains steadfast: our commitment to the health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff. This priority is the foundation of all of our policy moving into September.

On July 31, the Mayor and I announced that for school buildings to open in September and remain open, on a weekly average the city must see fewer than 3% of all COVID-19 tests come back positive. Additionally, if 3% or more of New Yorkers who are tested for COVID-19 are found to have the virus after we open, school buildings will close again, and 100% of learning will be remote for every student.

Since June, we’ve hovered around 1-2%, and are working closely with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health), NYC Test + Trace, and the Mayor’s Office to prepare for a coordinated school reopening. If staff and students aren’t healthy, they can’t teach and learn, and we are doing all we can to ensure that schools remain safe and healthy for learning.

What Happens if Someone Gets Sick: New Information on COVID-19 Testing and Tracing in Schools

In close collaboration with our expert colleagues at NYC Health, we have developed strict protocols that address prevention, precaution, and response to one or more of our students or employees having a confirmed case of COVID-19. It’s important to know that a “confirmed case” means that a parent or guardian, student, or staff member submits a positive test result from a healthcare provider or laboratory—like a City-run testing site, a private doctor, or an urgent care center—to the school.

Our protocols to keep school communities healthy include:

Prevention: Starting with the first day of the 2020-21 school year, if a student or staff member is feeling sick, they are required to stay home. Additionally, if their symptoms are consistent with COVID-19, they will be asked to get tested.

Feeling Sick in School: If a student begins experiencing symptoms in school, they will be isolated and monitored by a school staff member until they are picked up by their parent or guardian. Staff members who become symptomatic at school must notify administration and immediately leave the building.

Testing: All school staff members are asked to get tested for COVID-19 in the days leading up to the beginning of school, and will be prioritized for expedited results at the 34 City-run testing sites. All school staff are also asked to get tested monthly during the school year. This free testing is also available for families citywide.

Tracing: In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, NYC Test + Trace and NYC Health will investigate to determine close contacts within the school. All students and teachers in the classroom with the confirmed case are assumed close contacts and will be instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days since their last exposure to that case. In older grades where students may travel between classes, this applies to all classes that the confirmed case was in.

If there’s more than one case in a school, and it’s not in the same classroom, learning will continue remotely and the school building will close for at least 24 hours while NYC Test + Trace and NYC Health investigate. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, affected classrooms or the whole building will remain closed for 14 days for quarantine.

Students will continue their learning remotely during any necessary quarantine periods.

Communication: Whether symptoms begin at home or in school, there will be a clear flow of information to facilitate fast action and prevent spread. If a COVID-19 case is confirmed, schools will communicate to all families and students at school.

Overall Health and Safety Protocols for Every School

Testing and tracing are part of several strict health protocols designed to keep our school communities healthy. Here are the key things that you and your family should know about NYC Department of Education (DOE) health and safety practices, policies, and protocols as we re-open our school buildings in September:

 At all times, students and staff must wear face coverings protecting their nose and mouth while at school or on their way to school. Exceptions will be made for children who can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons, and for younger children who aren’t developmentally able to wear a face covering.

 Students and staff must maintain six feet of physical distancing throughout the school day, anywhere on school grounds and to and from school.

 Schools will be cleaned throughout the day and disinfected each night, with special attention to high-touch areas.

 Face coverings, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies will be readily available in throughout every school.

 Every school will have a school-based team ready to respond in the event that there is a health concern in a school.

 Every school will have a designated isolation room for use in the event that a student becomes ill during the school day.

For more details on these and other policies, please visit schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020 and click “Health and Safety” for additional information and all the latest updates.

We are approaching reopening by centering health and safety and basing our policies on the expertise of health professionals—period.

I’ve been a public school parent, teacher, and principal, and I know what it feels like to want the best possible education for your child while ensuring the health and safety of your entire family. We have collectively learned a lot since March—both about the virus, and about our ability to react and respond to it in real time. That’s why we won’t settle for anything but the strictest and most rigorous processes for coming back to school.

We will send more information in the coming days and weeks. As always—thank you for being part of the DOE family.

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor

New York City Department of Education

 

Dates to keep in mind:

August 7th – Remote Learning Preference Survey Due. You only need to fill out the survery if your child will opt for 100% remote learning. Click here to submit your Survey

August 19th – Community Education Council District 21 Meeting -7:00 PM. Visit the CEC 21 Website for the links to the meeting: CEC 21

August 12th and August 27th Chancellor Info Sessions regarding school Reopening. Click here to register: Virtual Learning Info Session

Letter from the Chancellor- September 2020 Options

Please read this Letter from the Chancellor carefully:

Dear Families,

I hope you and your children are well and enjoying some time off this summer. September will be here before we know it, and I am writing to you today to keep you updated on the 2020–21 school year and make sure you know how to be part of the conversation. Throughout this summer, as we diligently work to clarify operations for the fall, I promise to be transparent about what we know—and what we don’t yet know.

Your Learning Options

First things first: New York City students will be learning five days a week, whether in person or at home. As previously announced, schools are planning for blended learning, in which students will be taught in school buildings for part of the week, and will continue learning remotely from home on the other days of the week. Any family can also choose all-remote learning, for any reason. We know that the majority of families want as much in-person instruction as is safely possible, and we will work to maximize it at every turn, consistent with health and safety requirements. However, if you intend to choose all-remote learning for your child and have not yet notified us, please let us know by August 7 so schools can plan accordingly. You can fill out a web form at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020 or call 311.

To enable you to make a more informed choice, we have prepared some important comparisons about what you can expect from each mode of learning, which you can find at the end of this letter. Families who choose all-remote instruction will be able to opt back in to blended learning on a quarterly basis throughout the school year, beginning in November.

No matter whether you are at school in-person or you are learning remotely, you and your child are still enrolled in and part of your school community. Your child’s schedule and learning experience will be fully managed by your school. The vast majority of students who participate in fully remote learning will be taught by teachers from their school. While there may be some limited exceptions on a school-by-school basis, you should expect your child to be assigned teachers from their school when they receive their full schedule before the school year begins.

As our plans continue to come together, we must be nimble. We will make adjustments as public health conditions continue to evolve.

How to Learn More

Every week, we will be posting more information about school operations to schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020. Please bookmark this page and visit it frequently. On this page, you will find information on Physical Education, Arts Education, and more. We are asking for your patience and flexibility throughout this process as we work through a great deal of planning in collaboration with our teachers, principals, and school-based staff.

Your voice and feedback are essential as our work continues. We are creating many opportunities for you to discuss the year ahead with the DOE, and we hope you will get involved. We hosted our first citywide information session on July 16, and received many great suggestions from families across the City. Please join us for one of the upcoming info sessions Tuesday, July 28; Wednesday, August 12; and Thursday, August 27. You can visit schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020 to register and submit a question.

In addition, each school will host a parent meeting to discuss the proposed school schedule and to review planning for the year ahead, and we will be holding community and advocate round-table meetings, briefings with Community Education Council leaders and elected officials, and more.

While the world around us continues to change, our commitment to the health and safety of our students, teachers, staff, and families remains steadfast, and so does our focus on equity and excellence. We will deliver what your child needs to succeed academically, knowing the traumatic impact this crisis has had on New Yorkers of all ages. We will ensure your child feels welcome and supported in their school community, no matter what.

Thank you for continuing to share your comments and questions. I have said it before, but it’s no less true now: You are our most important partners and I am grateful for you today and every day. Please stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor

New York City Department of Education Comparison of Remote and Blended Learning Experiences: School Year 2020-21

Fully Remote Learning Experience

Fully remote instruction at home

Blended Learning Experience

Combination of learning in-person at school buildings, and remote instruction at home

Students participate in a regular schedule of age-appropriate, standards-based remote learning from home every day.

Students will have live interaction with teachers every day.

Every class will include live instruction. The amount will vary by grade, depending on what is developmentally appropriate.

Students will use a DOE-approved online platform (such as iLearnNYC or Google Classroom), available in multiple languages, for lessons and submission of work.

Students will experience whole class, small group and/or individualized instruction in an online environment, as well as collaboration with classmates and teachers.

We will make every effort to ensure students consistently have the same instructors throughout the year.

There will be an emphasis on social-emotional learning across school communities to ensure the mental health and wellness of students and staff.

Students will be able to access video-recorded lessons, assignments, and tasks.

Teachers will regularly engage students and families to check student work, provide timely feedback, and adjust instruction as necessary, via remote learning platforms, calls, emails, video chats, etc.

Students and families will have access to one-on-one support to help with instructional activities.

Students go to school buildings for age-appropriate, standards-based, in-person instruction on some days; and continue their learning from home remotely on the other days of the week.

On in-person days, students will attend classes in their school building.

On in-person days, students will have the opportunity for whole class, small group, and individual work and collaboration with classmates and teachers.

Students will use a DOE-approved online platform (such as iLearnNYC or Google Classroom), available in multiple languages, for lessons and submission of work.

We will make every effort to ensure students will be taught by a consistent set of teachers in-person and remotely, who work together throughout the year to maintain continuity and maximize learning.

There will be an emphasis on social-emotional learning across school communities to ensure the mental health and wellness of students and staff.

Students will be able to access video-recorded lessons, assignments, and tasks.

Teachers will regularly engage students and families to check student work, provide timely feedback, and adjust instruction as necessary, in-person and via remote learning platforms, calls, emails, video chats, etc.

Students and families will have access to one-on-one support to help with instructional activities.

Letter from the Chancellor (July 8, 2020)

Dear PS 101 Families-

Please read this letter from the Chancellor: Update for Families-Reopening_July 8 2020 .

Please visit the Return to School 2020 webpage –  schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020 – for more detailed information and ongoing updates. Translations of the attached document will be available for download on the Infohub later today.

GK

Regarding Recent Events -from the Chancellor

Dear Families,

It is hard to recall another time as gut-wrenching and heartbreaking as these recent days have been. George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police officers last week was horrifying. I am sickened. But, like many of you, I am not surprised. We have seen this abominable disregard for Black lives so many times before, including multiple times in recent weeks. It is truly agonizing to witness; it is nothing short of another pandemic presenting itself on the streets of America.

The New York City Department of Education condemns police brutality and this brutal loss of life. My heart breaks to know that yet another Black family has lost a son, a father, a brother. I stand in solidarity with Black New Yorkers and Americans, and with everyone who is mourning yet another senseless loss. Pain ripples and resonates across communities all over the City. I am with all of you as we individually and collectively reckon with this tragic injustice. The demonstrations happening in the five boroughs and in nearly 140 cities across the country are a reflection of this anguish, and the desire for a better world.

It is incredibly difficult to be a parent or caregiver right now: grappling with emotions, seeking actions that both feel of service and of the magnitude needed in this moment, and thinking through ways to begin or deepen conversations with children and families about recent horrific incidents and the systemic racism from which they spring—all at the same time. The pain and struggle are very real.

For communities of color, nothing about this pain is new. It’s been in the bodies, minds, and hearts of millions of New Yorkers and Americans for generations—because racist violence has been perpetrated for that long.

Racism also causes new harm in other ways, every day, because it is systemic—woven deeply into the fabric of our institutions, our economy, and the systems that make up our shared community. That is true in New York City, as progressive and forward-thinking as we are, including in our public school system.

At the DOE we have said, and we will continue to say: no more.

We must answer the call to be actively anti-racist and work every day to undo these systems of injustice. We will continue in our resolve to advance equity now. We will honor the dignity and humanity of every student, parent, educator, employee and member of our community every day.

No matter the form teaching and learning takes—in brick-and-mortar classrooms or on a digital device—the goal remains the same: providing an excellent education to every single student. In doing so, we must also continually find ways to dismantle institutional racism and reverse its effects.

That work is underway. It includes implementing restorative practices, training all educators and employees on implicit bias, providing mental health supports to school communities, and more. This work creates a lifelong effect in children and has the potential to transform our society in ways that make that the world safer, more just, and better for everyone.

When, for example, children learn from books featuring protagonists and lessons featuring stories from people of different races, abilities, genders, ethnicities, languages, and more, they learn also to value difference and diversity. When students experiencing anger or resentment are taught healthy ways to communicate, it’s more likely they won’t react out of unfounded fear.

We will not relent in the work to intensify equity until, student by student and school by school, change comes. We all need this, because racism doesn’t just harm Black, Brown, or Asian families—it harms us all.

Everyone has a role to play. In addition to continuing our work centrally, we are supporting educators with resources to teach episodes from our history and our present, episodes where these same shudders of injustice and outrage, peaceful protest, and also violence and destruction have ripped through our city and society.

At the same time, many of you have already been doing this work at home or are otherwise putting personal resources into these efforts—your time, your energy, your heart, or your voice. We see you, and we are grateful for your powerful commitment. Children see and feel the world around them, and now is an important time to guide them in understanding and engaging with their experiences and those of their friends, families, and fellow New Yorkers.

Below you will find resources to help start, continue, or deepen conversations with children about racism and injustice. We are also sharing resources to help with stress, exhaustion, and self-care. As parents and caregivers, caring for yourself is essential in order to be able to care for others. We will continue to update resources as we move ahead.

I have been reminded of this quote by the writer James Baldwin that resonates so powerfully in this moment: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” These are difficult days of reckoning, but we have the opportunity—and a calling—to go farther in facing injustice.

You are our most important partners in the education of the children of New York City and the building of a better world. We are grateful for you today and every day.

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza
Chancellor
New York City Department of Education

Resources for Families

How to Talk to Your Children About Race and Current Events

June Calendar- June 4, 9 and 26th

Dear PS 101 families-

Please read the letter below from the Chancellor:

__________________________________________________________________________

Dear Families,

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility in response to this ever-evolving crisis. We are writing today to share some important updates and reminders about the end of year school calendar.

We have two days coming up in June that were originally scheduled as times when students would not be in attendance. However, with the ongoing pandemic, students will be expected to participate in remote learning on both of these days:

  •   Thursday, June 4 was originally scheduled as a non-attendance day for all students in observance of Brooklyn / Queens Day (also known as Anniversary Day).
  •   Tuesday, June 9 was originally scheduled as a non-attendance day for students in schools serving grades K-8, as well as District 75 schools and programs.

    On June 4, all students are expected to complete work independently as staff will be engaged in professional development. Teachers are not expected to engage students on June 4; instead, schools will set students up in advance with independent work for the day.

    On June 9, students who attend a school serving grades K-8, or who attend any District 75 school, are expected to complete work independently as staff will be engaged in reorganization work. Teachers in these schools are not expected to engage students on June 9; instead, schools will set students up in advance with independent work for the day.

    If you have questions or concerns regarding the school schedule for your student, please contact your school for additional information.

    As a reminder, June 26 is the last day of school and a half day for all students. We will issue additional guidance to families about the end of the 2019-20 school year in the coming weeks.

    Thank you again for your partnership as we continually navigate unfamiliar terrain. I often say that we have the best students, staff, and families in the world. You and your children continue to prove that, every day. Together, we will continue to weather this storm.

    Sincerely,

    Richard A. Carranza
    Chancellor
    New York City Department of Education

 

Upcoming Engagement on Policy for 2020–21 Admissions

Dear PS 101 families-

Please see the letter below from the Chancellor regarding admissions to Middle School and High School. As we already know which Middle School our students have made, this policy is more around placement within the school:

Due to COVID-19, some factors that middle and high schools consider in admissions decisions, such as state test scores, attendance, and end-of-year grades, are not available. The admissions process for middle and high schools for the 2020–21 school year has to adapt to account for the absence of this information, which schools use in ranking prospective students.

The DOE announced a citywide engagement plan on admissions for the 2020–21 school year, and will continue its plans to gather feedback from parents, students, school leaders, and others to help inform the policymaking process. The engagement plan describes upcoming parent engagements with deputy chancellors and executive superintendents in all five boroughs. Please share this letter with students’ families, so that they can be made aware of the opportunity to participate.

Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings, listed below:

  • Bronx with Executive Superintendent Meisha Ross-Porter on May 27 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
  • Queens with Executive Superintendents Mabel Muñiz-Sarduy and Andre Spencer on May 28 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
  • Staten Island with Executive Superintendent Anthony Lodico on May 29 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
  • Manhattan with Executive Superintendent Marisol Rosales on June 1 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)
  • Brooklyn with Executive Superintendents Karen Watts and Barbara Freeman on June 2 (6:00–8:00 p.m.)

Letter from the Chancellor: PMIS

Dear PS 101 Families.

Please see the attached letter from the Chancellor:

Update for Families_PMIS_May 11 2020 and read below regarding Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, or PMIS, a new health condition appearing in children in New York City and elsewhere, and which may be associated with COVID-19 in children.

The attached letter offers more information to families about the illness and guidance about when to seek medical care. Please share it with all the families in your communities now; translations will soon be available and posted to the Coronavirus Parent Letters page on the Info Hub.

This situation is still developing, and we will provide further updates and guidance as new information becomes available.

Stay safe-

GK

Letter from the Chancellor/Mayor on NYC Schools Closing

T H E CI T Y O F NEW Y O R K

April 13, 2020

Dear Families:

Less than one month ago, we came together and began transforming the largest school system in the nation. The battle against COVID-19 left us no choice but to close school buildings to students and staff, transition to remote teaching and learning from home, and adjust to distancing from each other to remain safe.

Now, we face another painful decision. After consulting with public health experts about the ongoing trajectory of the virus, and with educators about the potential for continued disruption for the remainder of the year, we have decided that New York City school buildings will not reopen during the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers and students will finish the school year in remote learning. We will continue to operate our 400+ school-based Meal Hubs, which serve three free meals a day to any New Yorker who needs them, and we will continue to ensure child care for the children of essential workers.

This is a painful but necessary decision for two reasons. First, public health experts have determined that community transmission of COVID-19 will be widespread well into the end of the school year. Even at low-level transmission, we’d have new cases, which would be extremely difficult to contain school-to-school. We believe there simply wouldn’t be enough time to bring our students back.

Second, we, as parents, know how important it is to have some sense of predictability in order to effectively plan for your family. This crisis is hitting all of us very hard. But we are hopeful that this sense of certainty will allow for more stability and the ability to better plan for our work and home lives.

We know this will have an immense impact on the 1.1 million students and 150,000 staff who make up our New York City public schools. But we are inspired by the extraordinary ways everyone in our school communities has risen to this challenge. Every day, we see how you – students, families, and the dedicated staff serving and supporting our public schools – are going above and beyond to connect in the face of this crisis, all in service of making sure learning continues. We also know that you’ll need support to continue this tremendous undertaking. That’s why we’re making the following commitments to you as we extend the closure of our school buildings until the end of the school year:

1. Every student who has requested an internet-enabled device will have one by the end of April. No student will go without the tools they need for learning. We have already delivered tens of thousands of devices to our most vulnerable students, including those in shelter and temporary housing. We are committed to closing the remainder of the digital divide for each of our kids. If you still need a device, please fill out the Remote Learning Device Request Form at schools.nyc.gov, or call 311.

2. We will make sure that parents can ask and get answers to their questions about remote learning. We know you need someone to turn to who will answer any question you have about

education during this time—from social-emotional support to academic progress to graduation requirements. Your school is always ready and willing to support you, and we will also make sure that additional support is available as we continue in our remote environment. This means increasing hours and staffing of our parent hotlines so you can get the answers you need. Call 311 to be directed to the right DOE support.

3. We’ll continue to invest in instructional resources, enrichment programs, and student supports for your families to engage in learning at home. Our students need and deserve rich, deep programming and remote learning opportunities as we go further into the school year, and we will continue to provide them. This includes learning resources provided by your teachers and schools, but it also includes enriching and fun materials from the world-class cultural institutions, libraries, museums, parks, and more right here in New York City.

4. We will ensure every high school senior is supported towards graduation. We’ll provide 1:1 counseling support to every senior, working closely with schools and families to understand if students are on track—and if not, provide opportunities to help them get there. Guidance counselors from every high school will reach out to every senior to make sure they are on a path to graduate.

5. We will reopen schools stronger than ever in September, ensuring the safety of our buildings and the resources in place to combat any learning loss and provide emotional support to our students, families, and educators as needed to resume learning and reconnect our communities.

Nothing about this is easy. For the last six years of this administration, public schools have been the anchor of our fight against inequality. They are how we’ve delivered increased opportunity, and we can’t overstate the loss of the concrete sense of community our schools provide. But this is about saving lives.

We are so grateful for your flexibility and patience; we know how hard every one of you has worked to support your children’s learning at home. And we will continue to make every effort to both support you and keep learning going during this unprecedented time.

We will also continue to keep you updated. As a reminder, you can visit DOE’s website anytime at schools.nyc.gov for more information and updates on our plans for the rest of the school year.

Sincerely,

Bill de Blasio/ Richard A. Carranza

Mayor/ Chancellor

New York City Department of Education