Messages for Families

September 11, 2023: A Welcome Back Message for Families from Chancellor David C. Banks

American Sign Language (video)

I’m thrilled to welcome you to the 2023-24 school year! Thank you for choosing New York City Public Schools. I hope you all are returning from the summer break refreshed and ready to jump into an exciting new year of learning.

For me, nothing compares to September and the first exhilarating week of classes—when I get to visit schools throughout the five boroughs, meet parents, and welcome students and teachers back. When I get to see the hope and promise in children's faces and feel that familiar nervous energy that charges the air with electricity. When I get to watch students tap into their curiosity and creativity, and experience awesome “aha” moments as they challenge themselves academically. When I get to see children’s brilliance and unique abilities, knowing that their families and teachers will inspire them to reach even greater heights with each passing day.

To ensure we set up our students for success, this September I am doubling down on our mission: to offer every child a bright start...and a clear pathway to a bold future. This means a year full of strong academics, enriching sports and arts programs, healthy and delicious school meals, safe, inclusive classrooms, and so much more.

NYC Reads, our groundbreaking initiative to ensure that all students are proficient readers, continues to lead the charge. This initiative features new, evidence-based curricula rooted in the “science of reading” and supplemented with phonics—the proven method for teaching children to be confident readers. Literacy truly is the foundation for all learning and is essential to clearing a path to our students’ bold futures.

Whether that future includes college, technical training, or an apprenticeship, we will make sure that all students graduate with a plan to achieve long-term economic security—and equipped with the tools, resources, and support they need to unlock their full potential and open every door of opportunity.

You can find important information and updates about academic policies, health and safety protocols, and more at To download a printable Back to School checklist, please visit

September is just the beginning of what I know will be a truly exceptional school year. Thank you for your partnership. Thank you for entrusting your children’s education to us. I’m so excited about all the great things we’ll accomplish together this year!

August 28, 2023: Update for Families on Yellow Bus Service

Dear Families:

We are writing to inform you of a possible disruption in yellow bus service this fall. This may impact your child’s transportation to school if your child uses yellow bus service to get to school. In the event of a strike, our top priority remains ensuring that every student, especially our most vulnerable, can continue attending their schools without interruption.

This possible strike is due to a labor dispute between bus companies that provide yellow bus service to our schools and a union that represents bus drivers and attendants, and could impact as many as half of our bus routes. NYC Public Schools and the Mayor's Office are monitoring the situation closely and working with our partners across the city to support a resolution, with the goal of avoiding the substantial impact a strike would have on our students and families. However, since such a strike is a possibility, we want you to be aware and informed. Please review the information below and continue to visit our website — — to ensure that you are aware of the latest developments and resources available.

  • NYC Public Schools Online Resources: Bus service interruption resources for families will be available on our website at Here you will find information on emergency MetroCards, transportation alternatives for students and families, attendance procedures for your child, and other assistance available until yellow bus service fully resumes. Please visit this page frequently as we will be updating it with the latest information.
  • Updates on Social Media: We will also be sharing updates through our social media accounts (@NYCSchools on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
  • Additional information: You can also call our transportation call center at 718-392-8855, email us at, or call 311 at any time for information and the latest updates on yellow bus service.
  • Notifications in the Event of a Strike: If a strike does occur and your child will be impacted, you will receive an automated call, email, and text message from us, as well as a second set of notifications on the first morning of interrupted bus service. Notifications will go to the contact information provided to us by your school, so it is important to ensure your contact information is up-to-date with your school and on your NYC Schools Account (learn more at Once bus service resumes, you will receive automated notifications again to inform you of this update.
  • Alternative Transportation in the Event of a Strike: NYC Public Schools is actively working to arrange alternative transportation for impacted families. All families impacted by the strike will have the option of an emergency MetroCard for both the student and a caregiver. In addition, NYC Public Schools will provide pre-paid rideshare and offer reimbursement to Students with Disabilities who have transportation recommended on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Accommodation Plan (504); Students in Temporary Housing or Foster Care who receive yellow bus service; and Students with an approved transportation exception, as defined on our as defined on our exceptions to transportation eligibility web page. We will provide additional information in the coming days. In the event of a strike, your school’s transportation coordinator will work with you to evaluate the needs of your child so that your family can make the best possible arrangements for transportation to and from school during this service interruption.

We know how many of our students and families depend on yellow bus service and that even the possibility of an interruption in service will create concern and worry, which is why we wish to be as transparent as possible with our families. We will continue to provide you as much notice and information as possible. All parties are working diligently towards a resolution, and it is our hope that these plans will not be necessary.

We are committed to supporting you and all of our families in all ways possible.

Emma Vadehra
Chief Operating Officer

NYC Public Schools

A Message to Families on Mindfulness Breathing from Chancellor David C. Banks: June 26, 2023

American Sign Language (video)

The end of the school year is full of excitement and enthusiasm, but for some it might be stressful and include nervous energy. I know that day-to-day pressures and difficulties can be challenging and overwhelming, especially for young people. As part of our continuing effort to focus on the wellness of our students, I want the NYC Public Schools to do even more to help students build social-emotional skills. I want to ensure that our students have access to the tools and resources they need to develop habits for good mental health and overall wellness throughout their lives. 

As such, Mayor Adams and I are directing that each school set aside time every day for your children to engage in 2–5 minutes of Mindful Breathing activities. Schools can offer these activities in any class or school program. For example, your children may experience mindful breathing in their physical education classes, advisory classes, homeroom, or even during school announcements.

To support schools, we have developed a simple set of mindful breathing exercises that schools may use. We believe these simple techniques can help students focus on being fully present and reduce anxiety. Over the past few months, several hundred school-based staff members were trained in these Mindful Breath Practices. These simple exercises take only about 2–5 minutes a day to perform and do not require significant training.

Over 70% of our schools are already practicing mindfulness on a regular basis, but our expectation has been that every student practice 2–5 minutes of mindful breathing daily starting this school year and continue in September. As we enter the summer, these resources, training, and support will continue. We will also collaborate with schools to offer mindful breathing during summer school as I want our children to have these tools whether school is in session or not.

As you know, the mental health and wellbeing of our students is a key priority for the city and school administration, and this is one more effort to create the strong mind/body connection that is so important for our students. Thank you.

An End of Year Message to Families from Chancellor David C. Banks

American Sign Language (video)

Thank you for being a part of the New York City Public Schools. I hope you had a wonderful school year.

This week marks the end of my first full school year as your New York City Schools Chancellor. As I reflect on the past year, I am grateful for the feedback you have shared with me to help make our schools the best they can be, and I’m energized by all that we’ve accomplished together since last September.

We are committed to reimagining the school experience and giving our students Bright Starts and Bold Futures.

That starts with ensuring that our students have the strong foundations they need to be able to thrive. That is why this year, we launched NYC Reads. It will transform the way that we teach kids to read in our schools, and we’ve already begun the Professional Learning sessions for tens of thousands of our teachers. For far too long, we have been operating from the wrong playbook when it comes to literacy. This was not the fault of our students or educators; it was the result of not providing strong enough guidance and support. NYC Reads is rooted in the “science of reading” and a phonics-based curriculum—the proven methods for teaching children to be confident readers.

In order to connect our students to Bold Futures, we’ve created Pathways programs like FutureReadyNYC. These programs open up a world of possibilities for our students and help make school more relevant. Throughout the year, we have been building powerful partnerships with major local employers like Northwell Health and JPMorgan Chase and connecting thousands of high school students with paid internships.

Across all of our schools, we have been working hard to create welcoming and inclusive learning environments for all our students. We are building on what works and leaning into the innovative, homegrown approaches that families believe in by expanding programs that support kids with dyslexia, emotional and sensory needs, and autism. To our students with disabilities and their families: we see you, and we are moving to make our schools places where you can be served. This includes our early childhood education programs. When 3-K and Pre-K launched, there were not enough seats for students with disabilities. We have finally righted this wrong, adding 700 seats to meet the needs of our families, and of our youngest learners.

When we meet our students’ needs, school becomes a place that they are excited to go to every day. For this reason, we have transformed 80 cafeterias in our schools into new, modern places that emphasize choice. These cafeteria enhancements will increase student participation in school meals and encourage healthier eating, so that our students have a place to nourish not just their minds, but their bodies, too.

In addition to our students’ health, their safety has been top of mind for me this year. Project Pivot brought together 144 partner organizations and schools in support of our most at-risk students. I am happy to report that since the program launched last fall, we have received positive feedback from our schools and have seen improvements in a number of safety measures.

Our city has also led the way as our schools have opened their doors to 18,000 students in temporary housing since last July. Through Project Open Arms, we provided over $110 million dollars to schools to ensure that they had the support they needed to welcome our newest New Yorkers. When faced with difficult challenges, our school communities stepped up and were exemplars to other districts across the country as they quickly made critical adjustments to support and welcome new students. I’m tremendously grateful to all the staff and families who showed such inspiring generosity in opening their arms wide for these families. You showed just what makes New York City such a special place.

As we look towards the 2023-24 school year, I know that the best is yet to come. I hope that you and your children have a great summer and are able to take advantage of the many amazing things that our city has to offer. Thank you for choosing New York City Public Schools, and for being true partners in your child’s education. I look forward to seeing you all in September.

Week of June 26, 2023: Update for Families on the School Year 2023-24 Calendar

American Sign Language (video)

The 2023-24 school year will begin for students on September 7, 2023. You can view and download printable files of the calendar for the full 2023-24 school year in multiple languages at Here’s some important information for the coming school year:

  • On days when school buildings are closed due to severe weather or other emergency conditions, all students and families should plan to participate in remote learning.
  • Under New York State law, public holidays (also referred to as legal or federal holidays) that fall on a Saturday are not observed on a weekday; where such holidays fall on a Sunday, they will be observed on the following Monday. Per New York City Public Schools’ policy, when non-public holidays fall on a weekend, schools remain open on the weekdays immediately preceding or following that holiday.

The following are non-public holidays observed by New York City Public Schools: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Election Day, Diwali, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Lunar New Year, Good Friday, Eid al-Fitr, Passover (first two days), and Eid al-Adha. 

This year, schools will remain open on the weekdays immediately preceding or following the holidays noted below, which fall on weekends during the 2023-24 school year:

  • Rosh Hashanah (Saturday–Sunday, September 16–17)
  • Veteran’s Day (Saturday, November 11)
  • Diwali (Sunday, November 12)
  • Lunar New Year (Saturday, February 10)

Please reach out to your school with any questions about the school calendar.

To help our families and school communities with future planning, we’re pleased to be sharing the approved calendars for an additional two school years: the 2024-25 and 2025-26 school years.

Week of June 12, 2023: Update for Families on Summer Rising 2023 and Summer Meals

American Sign Language (video)

Summer Rising Enrollment

We are happy to say that approximately 94,000 students have been matched with a Summer Rising seat so far, with the remainder set aside for students required to attend summer academic instruction. A select number of seats may become available over the coming weeks. Enrollment for these open seats will be broken into two stages.

Stage 1 (existing applicants):

An initial list of Summer Rising sites with available seats along with the corresponding Community Based Organization (CBO) contact information will be available at beginning Friday, June 16. Placement priority for these seats are as follows:

  • Priority 1: Siblings that were placed in a different program or did not get a seat
  • Priority 2: Students connected to the CBO and school
  • Priority 3: All other students

Families for whom a seat becomes available will be contacted directly about stage 1 by CBOs via the email they provided during the initial enrollment period beginning June 16.

Stage 2:

Any available seats following stage 1 will be posted on on Friday, June 23.

  • For families who did not apply to Summer Rising in April NYCPS will reopen the enrollment portal (available through for sites with availability on Friday, June 23.
  • Families will be able to apply for the remaining seats.
  • CBOs will inform families of their acceptance to a CBO/Summer Rising program and the necessary forms for enrollment.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your student's school, Summer Rising CBO, or email for assistance.

Summer Meals Begins June 28

Summer Meals service begins Wednesday, June 28! NYC Public Schools’ Summer Meals program provides free, nutritious breakfast and lunch meals to anyone ages 18 years and under throughout New York City. Meals will be available at designated public schools, community pool centers, parks, and food trucks. No registration, documentation, or ID is necessary.

Important Dates

  • The Summer Meals program runs June 28 through September 1, 2023
  • Select locations will be open Wednesday, June 28 (Eid al-Adha). All citywide locations are open for service Thursday, June 29, 2023.
  • There will be no Summer Meals service on Tuesday, July 4, 2023 (Fourth of July)

Please visit to learn more and for all the latest information.

June 9, 2023: Remote School Day

We hope you are staying safe and appreciate your ongoing flexibility as we respond to the air-quality issues.

For schools serving 3K, Pre-K, K-5, 6-8, K-12, and D75:

As previously planned, tomorrow is a Clerical Day and a regularly scheduled non-attendance day for students in these schools.

For schools serving grades 9-12 and 6-12 in Districts 1-32 and 79:

Students in these schools were scheduled to attend school in-person on June 9; we are instead shifting to remote instruction.

Students have been assigned devices by their schools to use for remote instruction. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teacher or principal.

Families with children in NYCPS affiliated early childhood programs will be receiving guidance from the Division of Early Childhood Education and individual providers.

While the Air Quality Health Advisory remains in effect, all New Yorkers should limit outdoor activities and stay inside when possible. Information on air quality is available here:

We continue to collaborate with the city’s emergency response and health agencies on the air-quality situation and will provide updates as necessary.

Week of April 3, 2023: Update for Families on Summer Rising 2023

Summer Rising 2023: Kindergarten Through Grade 8

Summer Rising Overview

A partnership between the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), Summer Rising will connect elementary and middle school students to fun, culturally relevant, and hands-on experiences that strengthen their academic, social, and emotional skills. Programming will include academics led by DOE staff and enrichment activities led by DYCD Community Based Organizations (CBOs).

Summer Rising is free and open to any NYC student currently in kindergarten through grade 8. Families can apply at between April 17 and May 1. This year’s enrollment process will prioritize students mandated for summer school for academic reasons, Students in Temporary Housing and Students in Foster Care, students in 12-month Individualized Education Program (IEP) settings, and students with a local connection to the school-year CBO program or school community.

The program will begin July 5, and will run Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the months of July and August. Students will be provided with free breakfast, lunch, and snack. Summer Rising will run for six weeks for all students, with a seventh week of enrichment for students in grades K–5. Learn more at

How to Apply

Beginning on April 17, you can submit a Summer Rising application to enroll your child at The application will ask for your student’s nine-digit ID number, which you can get from your school if you do not know it.

Families can list up to 12 program options in their application, and should rank as many programs as possible to increase the likelihood of being placed in a program of their choice. They can choose any program or summer location option presented in the application portal.

Unlike last year, this process is not first-come, first-served. Families can apply at any point within the application window (April 17–May 1). Approximately one week after the final application deadline, families will receive an email confirming their placement in a Summer Rising program, pending seat availability.

If you have questions or need support with the application, please contact your school’s parent coordinator or email

Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans

12-month / Extended School Year (ESY) programs: Students attending 12-month / Extended School Year (ESY) special class or ASD Nest or Horizon programs will receive the program and services recommended on their IEP at an Extended School Year (ESY), District 75, or ASD Summer Program site. Families who wish to participate in IEP programming and extended-day CBO-led enrichment through Summer Rising (which runs until 6 p.m.), should use the application portal. These families will have priority for seats in Summer Rising and will choose from the CBO program(s) operating in connection with their IEP program.

If a family does not want extended day enrichment for their child, and their child will only be participating in ASD programming (until 12 p.m.) or D75/ESY programming (until 2:30 p.m.), the family should contact their child's school instead of using the application portal.

Accommodations: Students who require supports, such as a paraprofessional or nurse, to participate in Summer Rising will receive them based on their individual needs.

NYC School Survey Deadline Extended

If you have not already completed your NYC School Survey, you now have until April 20 to do so! Just go to or log onto your NYC Schools Account (NYCSA) at to submit your feedback and help school leaders make your child’s school a better place to learn.

February 8, 2023: A Message to Families about the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

Per the Mayor’s announcement on Monday, the New York City Board of Health is expected to make changes to the City’s current vaccination requirements this week. Specifically, as of February 10, 2023, NYC Department of Education (DOE) staff and other individuals in DOE schools and buildings – including visitors and family members – would no longer be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. This means that COVID-19 vaccination would be optional for DOE staff and others who work in DOE buildings, as well as for volunteers at school-led functions such as field trips and others participating in activities in school buildings.

Schools will continue to provide masks and have COVID-19 tests available for distribution for students and staff. These tests can be used by students, staff, and family members for testing due to symptoms, in case of known exposure, or for testing after participation in high-risk activity (such as travel and large gatherings).

As a reminder, staying up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations is still the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and to keep our schools safe for all our students. Children aged 6 months and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters are now available for people aged 6 months and older. We encourage all those eligible to receive these boosters. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated or boosted against COVID-19, please take the opportunity to make an appointment at for more information on COVID-19 vaccination schedules. To stay up to date with our current covid information please visit here:

To protect against COVID-19 and other viruses, and in alignment with the recent health department advisory, we strongly recommend that everyone wear a mask at all times when in a crowded, public indoor space, including at school; practice frequent handwashing; and cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Additional information about this change is included below.

Thank you for your continued partnership.

Will parent-teacher conferences be in-person?

Parent-teacher conferences will continue to be conducted remotely, though Parents and caregivers may always request in-person conferences at a mutually agreeable date and time.

Does this mean non-vaccinated parents can enter schools again? Attend PSAL games?

Yes, this means non-vaccinated parents and community members can enter schools and attend Public School Athletic League (PSAL) games and other activities that take place in school buildings.

How does this affect PSAL and other sports activities at schools?

As announced in September 2022, students are no longer required to be fully vaccinated to participate in high-risk sports or extracurricular activities.

Week of January 9, 2023: A Message to Families about Education Council Elections from Chancellor David C. Banks

One of our core pillars is to engage you as our true partners. You are the experts on your children and their education, and your involvement can help them thrive inside and outside of school. That is why I am encouraging you to take a leadership role in our public schools by applying to run for a seat on one of the City’s 36 Community or Citywide Education Councils (CCEC).

The Councils are made up of elected and appointed parent volunteers just like you. If you win a seat, you will play a vital role in shaping important decisions in your school district. For example, you could approve zoning lines or review improvements to your child’s school building, as happened recently in the northwestern portion of District 15.

To raise enrollment and promote more diversity, Community Education Council (CEC) 15 members worked with New York City Public Schools, education researchers, and community leaders to develop an elementary school rezoning plan. The CEC also successfully advocated for a much-needed middle school option in the Red Hook, Brooklyn neighborhood. These are the kind of policy changes that make a real difference in the lives of our children.

To bring even more diversity to our Education Councils, I’m excited to share that for the first time ever, families with a child in a District 75 school or program can vote for a District 75 representative to sit on each local Council. This is a big win for our families, and I encourage eligible parents to run for a designated District 75 seat.

Our Family and Community Engagement team is providing a host of resources to walk you through the election and voting process. These include information sessions via Zoom in different languages and more details on the structure and roles of the Education Councils, eligibility guidelines, key dates, and Frequently Asked Questions. You can access all of this and submit your application at through February 13.

As parents, I believe we all share a loving mission: to help young people flourish and succeed. When you run for a seat on an Education Council, you commit to being a voice for change in your child’s education. When you lend your voice to the important issues affecting our schools by voting and sharing your opinions with your CCEC representatives, you show your communities that you are part of the solution. Please consider running for a Council seat and help put all our students on a path to the bright futures they deserve.

Week of December 19, 2022: Chancellor's End of Year Letter for Families

American Sign Language (video)

Thank you for choosing New York City Public Schools and for trusting us to do right by your children. As I complete my first full year as Chancellor, I am filled with so much gratitude, admiration, and respect for you. Thank you for your unwavering partnership and the sacrifices you make to support your child’s education.

Before we close out the year, I want to acknowledge some of the great things we have accomplished together, from enhancing our literacy programs and simplifying our admissions processes to reimagining special education and creating new pathways to launch all our students into the bright futures they deserve.

Every day I’ve been in our schools this year has reinforced the brilliant promise of our children. I see it in the light in their eyes, the warmth of their smiles, and the strength of their spirit; it always energizes and inspires me. I will take their promise and their energy with me into the new year, as we keep a sharp focus on our mission: to ensure each student graduates on a pathway to a rewarding career and long-term economic security—and is equipped to be a positive force for change.

I know that the holidays mean different things to different people, but I believe that no matter what or how we observe, the holidays bring out the best in us. Now is the time that we pause to reconnect with the people we love. To appreciate all that is good in our lives and, of course, to reflect, relax, and celebrate. For me, the holidays are also about looking forward to the second half of the school year. Part of my job is to ensure that my team and I return in January full of energy and enthusiasm, ready to create even more pathways for our children to achieve their dreams.

I wish you a joyful holiday season and a healthy, prosperous new year, and I very much look forward to seeing you and your children in the new year.

Week of December 12, 2022: Update for Families on Weather Closures and Remote Learning

American Sign Language (video)

As we head into winter, we may have snowstorms or other weather conditions that require school buildings to close for the day. This year, if New York City public school buildings are closed due to inclement weather, remote learning will be conducted on that day. Students in kindergarten and above will be expected to log on and participate in their classes from home. Children attending LYFE or a 3K or Pre-K program in an elementary school or Pre-K Center should participate in the remote learning experiences outlined by their program.

Our ability to teach and learn remotely across the system allows us to continue working with our students even when school buildings are closed. As in previous years, you will be notified when NYC Department of Education (DOE) school buildings are closed due to bad weather, and your school will provide you additional information. Please do not hesitate to contact your principal if you have any questions.

To help families prepare, this letter explains how to access remote learning tools and platforms and how to ensure you receive the latest information regarding school building closures and other important news from NYC Public Schools.

Additionally, we are sharing updated recommendations on masking in schools and other indoor settings, given the high rates of flu and other respiratory viruses, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), this season.

Remote Learning

Internet-Enabled Devices

To participate in remote learning, students will need access to a computer, laptop, or iPad that can connect to the internet. If your child does not have an internet-ready device at home, you can request a DOE-loaned device from your school. If your child needs a DOE device, please ask your school now, to ensure your family is prepared; do not wait for a weather closure. You can find guidance on how to get started using your DOE-loaned iPad or laptop at Your DOE-loaned iPad or Laptop. 

DOE Student Accounts

Students can access all the DOE technology platforms they will need for remote learning through their DOE account, which is created automatically when your child enrolls in school. You can access your child’s DOE account by signing in to TeachHub ( using the username and password that your school provided. (If you are not sure of your child’s username and password, please visit or ask your school for help.) From there, students and families can connect to all DOE applications with one click. Platforms include, but are not limited to:

  • TeachHub 
  • Google for Education (including Google Classroom) 
  • iLearnNYC 
  • Microsoft Office 
  • Zoom 

Learn more about DOE Student Accounts on the DOE accounts page on our site.

Technology Support

Having trouble with a DOE device or online learning platform? We can help! You can find answers to many common questions or open a support ticket at SupportHub:

Stay Connected

New York City Schools Account

One of the easiest ways to learn about school building closures is through your New York City Schools account, or NYCSA:  If you do not yet have a NYCSA account and want to learn more, visit New York City Schools Account (NYCSA). We strongly urge all families to set up a NYCSA account to stay connected with your school, keep track of your child’s grades, and receive other important news and information such as alerts regarding building closures. 

NYC Public Schools Online

Keep up with what’s happening in NYC public schools! Check out our website and follow @NYCschools on social media for all the latest news—including urgent information about school building closures—from the NYC Department of Education. Find us: 

Update on Mask Guidance for Students and Families

The safety of our students and staff is our absolute top priority. Given the high rates of flu and other respiratory conditions and viruses as we head into winter, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) has issued a universal indoor masking recommendation for all indoor settings, including schools and daycare centers.

As always, we follow the guidance of our health experts, and at the recommendation of our partners at DOHMH, we strongly encourage every student and staff member to wear a well-fitting mask indoors. All our schools have masks available – if your child needs a mask, they should reach out to school staff for assistance. We also encourage all members of our school community to stay up to date with vaccinations, including flu and COVID-19.

For more information about COVID-19 health and safety precautions and guidance at New York City public schools, please visit our COVID Information landing page. 

September 8, 2022: A Message to Families on the First Day of School from Chancellor David C. Banks

American Sign Language (video)

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 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!

Week of August 29, 2022: Update for Families on Health & Safety

We’re excited to welcome you back to school on Thursday, September 8! As you prepare for the first day of school, we want to ensure that you’ve received New York City’s most up-to-date guidance on health and safety.

Reduce COVID-19 Risk

  • Get vaccinated! This is the best way to reduce COVID-19 risk.
    • We strongly encourage all eligible New Yorkers to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots. To find a vaccine site near you, visit or text your zip code to 438829. For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, visit
    • Vaccination is still required for all visitors entering school buildings. This includes NYC Department of Education (DOE) employees; anyone who works in DOE buildings; and anyone participating in high-risk extracurricular activities, including Public School Athletic League (PSAL) sports. To learn more, please visit
  • Wear masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Masks will be available at your school. We recommend wearing well-fitting masks when indoors, and when exposed to someone with COVID-19 in or outside of school. All students and staff are required to wear a mask when:
    • Entering the school medical room, nurse’s office, or school-based health center,
    • Returning to school (including traveling by school bus) between days 6 to 10 after a COVID positive test or, if earlier, after the onset of symptoms, and
    • Showing symptoms of COVID-19 at school.
  • Test for COVID-19. Starting on the first day of school, schools will offer home test kits to students and staff who may be at risk of exposure and students or staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In addition, each staff member and student will receive four tests per month to take home. In-school PCR testing will not be a part of the 2022-23 school year.
  • Stay home if you are sick. If students and staff show any symptoms of COVID-19 or other illnesses, they should stay home and get tested for COVID-19. This year, you will not need to complete a Daily Health Screening to enter school buildings.
  • Isolate if you are COVID-19 positive. Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least 5 days and can return to school on day 6 (masked through day 10) if they have no symptoms or if symptoms are improving. Be sure to report a positive case to your child’s school.

This year, schools will continue to follow CDC guidelines, using air purifiers and updated HVAC systems. Building ventilation will be monitored daily, and surfaces cleaned regularly.

Get Vaccinated Against Polio

Poliovirus has been identified in wastewater samples in New York City, following a case of polio identified in Rockland County. Everyone who is unvaccinated against polio — especially children — should get vaccinated immediately. Parents can check the records for their children here: Vaccination against polio is required to attend school in New York City.

If your child needs to get vaccinated against polio, make an appointment with your pediatrician or regular health care provider. If your doctor does not have the polio vaccine or you do not have a doctor, call 311. Children should get four doses of poliovirus vaccine, starting at age 2 months. Anyone starting the vaccine after age 4 months should receive a total of three doses.

Find out more about protecting yourself and your children against polio at

Learn About Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus, usually spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with the sores of someone who has monkeypox. It can also be spread through contact with clothing or bedding, or from respiratory droplets during face-to-face contact. In this current monkeypox outbreak, the virus has spread mainly among adults during close contact, such as during sex, kissing, cuddling, and massage. It can cause sores that may look like pimples or blisters, be firm to the touch, and have a dip in the center. Some people also have flu-like symptoms.

  • Do not assume someone has monkeypox if they have a rash or sores. Most rashes and sores are not caused by monkeypox virus. Sores are very common among children, and are usually due to bug bites, acne, allergies, or other causes that are not contagious and do not require staying home from school, child care, or afterschool activities.
  • Children who have a new or unexplained rash or sores should be seen by the school nurse or by their health care provider. You can find more information on monkeypox at

Get Ready to Go Back to School on Thursday, September 8!

As you and your child gear up for the first day of school, get off to a flying start with these suggestions. For more tips, read our Back to School Checklist at

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