Please bookmark https://downdetector.com/ to see if online services are up and running.
DOE-loaned Ipad Important info
For anyone who has a DOE-loaned ipad, we have some important updates for you. It is essential that you take the actions below to ensure your child’s ipad is ready for use for return to school. The first day of school is only a few weeks away, and all students will be working remotely for at least a few days a week. Your child will need their ipad to be ready for learning for the fall. Please note that when we have other updates, we will send messages to you and your iPad on Thursdays, and we will let your schools know about the updates.
Important Update on School Start
I know how hard you are all working to ready your schools for fall. It is not an overstatement to say we are reinventing nearly every part of what it means to be an educator, student, staff member, or parent in New York City public schools, in real time. We are right there with you, going nonstop to develop and implement guidance on everything from health and safety protocols to remote learning systems to staffing and everything in between. I have never seen or experienced anything like it.
This is the most complex start of school we have ever worked on, and I know you are asking for additional time to prepare. I hear you loud and clear. I wanted to share with you that in-person learning will begin on Monday, September 21. School staff are still expected to report to schools on September 8. Starting on September 16, teachers will remotely work with all students for an instructional transition and orientation period. A later start date will allow you more time to thoroughly prepare for the start of a school year like no other. We will release additional guidance on the calendar and transitional period soon.
Additionally, beginning October 1 and recurring each month, mandatory testing in schools will be comprised of a random sample of 10-20% of a school’s student and staff population. This will bolster our commitment to health and safety for everyone in our school communities. We will also share additional guidance and information on testing soon.
We have accomplished so much together to support our students through this unprecedented time. I look forward to deepening that work in the upcoming school year.
Thank you for all you do.
Chancellor Richard Carranza
August 17, 2020
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.
Richard A. Carranza
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 COVID19 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 schoollevel 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
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 inperson. 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