Messages for Families

A Message for Families from Chancellor Banks: May 25, 2022

American Sign Language (video)

Today we find ourselves in the heartbreaking position of having to process, once again, the senseless and devastating murder of students and teachers. We have endured so much these last few years and our school communities have shown incredible resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges. What they should not have to worry about is the threat of gun violence in their own classrooms. No parent should have to worry about the safety of their child when they drop them off for school every morning. No teacher or principal should feel fear when the door of a classroom or school building opens throughout the day. No child should have to a light candle for lost friends and classmates.

In these times, it is important that we all pull together and do what our city does best: support one another. School staff members are willing and able to provide support and assistance. Remind your child that their school is a safe place and encourage them to discuss their feelings. Please do not hesitate to share your child’s concerns with school staff members so we can provide appropriate supports.

I want to reassure all members of our school community that we are focused on safety every day. The NYC Department of Education will continue to work closely with the New York Police Department and partner city agencies to provide support and information during major incidents that impact our school communities. All New York City public schools follow strict safety protocols designed to keep your children safe at all times, especially in the event of an emergency. You can find information about the protocols we follow to keep children safe on our website at Emergency Readiness.

Please make sure your school has current emergency contact information for your family. In addition, you can register for Notify NYC (a858-nycnotify.nyc.gov) and create an NYC Schools Account (schoolsaccount.nyc) to ensure you receive up-to-date information on emergency events.

The health and safety of our students continues to be our highest priority and we are here to help you during this challenging time.

COVID-19 High Alert Level: May 17, 2022 

Due to recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in New York City, the city is now at a COVID-19 high (orange) alert level. This means there is significant spread of COVID-19 in the city.

We urge you to take the following proven precautions to protect your family and our communities:

  • Wear a mask. We recommend that everyone age 2 and older wear a well-fitting mask in all public indoor settings, including at school and early childhood education (ECE) programs, even if not required. Encourage your child to wear a mask while at school or ECE program and when gathering with friends. Your child’s school has masks available.
  • Get vaccinated and boosted. Everyone age 5 and older should get vaccinated against COVID-19, including getting a booster shot when eligible. Vaccines have saved countless lives and are our best defense against the virus. Find a vaccination site at nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692). You can get vaccinated for free, regardless of immigration or insurance status.
  • Stay home when sick. Everyone should stay home if they are sick or test positive for COVID-19 and follow all guidance, including wearing a well-fitting face mask for 10 days.
  • Get tested. Everyone should get tested if they have COVID-19 symptoms, were recently with someone who has COVID-19, recently traveled or were at a large event. Schools are giving each child four
    at-home tests per week and testing is available throughout the city. To find a testing site, visit nyc.gov/covidtest. Testing is free at many sites.
  • Consider other precautions, such as avoiding crowds, limiting gatherings to a small number of people, increasing ventilation, and wearing a higher quality mask. This is especially important for people who are at increased risk due to age, underlying medical condition, or because they are unvaccinated.

If you or your child tests positive for COVID-19, call your health care provider or 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) to ask about treatment options for people age 12 and older. To learn more, including about who is eligible, visit nyc.gov/health/covidtreatments. If your child tests positive, please inform their school or ECE program. Children who test positive or are home with symptoms can receive free online learning and office hours while out sick.

If we all do our part, we can beat this COVID-19 wave and enjoy a safe and healthy spring and summer.

Update for Families on Proms and Dances: May 10, 2022

We are pleased to announce that the New York City Department of Education (DOE) will be allowing students to attend proms and similar one-time end-of-year dances this spring regardless of vaccination status. That decision is based on guidance from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that proms and one-time end-of-year dances are not subject to the Health Commissioner’s Order requiring vaccination for high-risk extracurricular activities.

The DOE is now providing all students with four COVID-19 home test kits per week, and we strongly recommend that your child take one test within 24 hours prior to the dance or prom and a second test five days after the event. If your child experiences symptoms of COVID-19 in the days after attending a dance or prom, please help your child take a home test immediately. We also strongly recommend that students and staff wear a high-quality N95 or KN95 mask at the event as an added layer of protection.

Additionally, any dance or prom will require completion of the daily health screening form, which is available at healthscreening.schools.nyc. For events held at school buildings, all chaperones are still required to show proof of vaccination. Please also note that if a prom or end-of-year dance is held at an outside venue, participants must follow the venue’s COVID-19 health and safety requirements, including providing proof of vaccination if required.

As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and keep our schools safe for all our students. Children ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, please make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site near you. The vaccine is free to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status.

Vaccine booster shots are also now available for all fully vaccinated people ages 12 and older who received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine at least five months ago. For more information about booster shots, see www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19vaccines.page#boost.

Update for Families on Continued COVID-19 Home Test Kit Distribution: April 27, 2022

Our school communities remain safe following spring recess. We thank you for using the COVID-19 home tests that were distributed earlier this month. As cases rise again across New York City, we will continue to provide every student with four COVID-19 home tests each week until further notice. Two tests are for use on your child and two are for a family member to use. Please use these tests every week, at least five days apart, unless experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Please note, if there is a classroom exposure your child will still receive two test kits and a notification letter from the Situation Room, and would then receive two more test kits during the week.

If you or anyone in your household tests positive, we are very pleased that safe, effective COVID-19 treatments, including anti-viral medications, are available for some individuals ages 12 and older who test positive. You can access these medications through your doctor or health care provider, or you can call 212-COVID19 to discuss treatment options with a medical professional. Treatment works best when it is started as soon as possible after symptoms start and can help reduce symptoms and help to avoid hospitalization. For more information, please see the COVID-19 Treatments Available document for additional information.

What should I do if my child tests positive on one of the tests?

  • Kindergarten and older: Please inform your school and isolate your child at home for five days. Your child may return to school on the sixth day if they have no symptoms or their symptoms are improving (including being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication). Your child must wear a well-fitting mask while at school through the tenth day after their positive test.
  • Pre-K and younger: please inform your school/program and isolate your child at home for ten days. Your child may return to your school/program after the tenth day.
  • For all ages:
    • Please remember that if your child tests positive, your child is entitled to asynchronous remote learning and Office Hours for the duration of your child’s isolation period.
    • Please refer to our COVID-19 Guidance Charts, available at schools.nyc.gov/2022Health for additional steps to take if your child tests positive.
  • Where can I find instructions about the test kit?
    • The test kits come with printed instructions that you should follow when administering the test. You can also watch videos in multiple languages on how to use your test kit at schools.nyc.gov/HomeRapidTestKits.

Please make sure your child completes the daily health screening form every day, available at healthscreening.schools.nyc.

As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and keep our schools safe for all our students. Children ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, please make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site near you. The vaccine is free to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status.

Vaccine booster shots are also now available for all fully vaccinated people ages 12 and older who received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine at least five months ago. For more information about booster shots, see www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19vaccines.page#boost.

Update for Families on Summer 2022: Week of April 11, 2022

American Sign Language (video)

This Family Update provides important information about Summer 2022 learning and enrichment opportunities, and how to provide important feedback to your child’s school by completing the NYC School Survey before April 15.

Summer Rising 2022: 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, hands-on experiences to strengthen their academic, social, and emotional skills.

Summer Rising is free and open to any NYC student currently in kindergarten through grade 8. Seats are limited, so we highly encourage families to apply early to secure a seat at their preferred location. Students who are required by their school to attend over the summer are guaranteed a spot. 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 and lunch, with snacks available in the afternoon on request. 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 nyc.gov/SummerRising.

How to Apply

Beginning on April 25, you can submit a Summer Rising application to enroll your child at . The application will ask for your student’s 9-digit ID number, which you can get from your school if you do not know it.

You can apply to any Summer Rising site with available seats for your child’s grade level. You should apply as soon as possible to ensure your preferred placement! Immediately after enrolling, you will receive an email confirming your spot. If enrolling multiple students, please note that you must submit each application for separately.

If you have questions or need support with the application, contact your school’s parent coordinator or email summer@schools.nyc.gov.

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. Parents will also be able to enroll their child in extended day enrichment activities. We will follow up with these families with more information on their options.

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

Summer Programming Grades 9 and Up

Academic Recovery

High schools will also be creating flexible summer schedules to support the completion of graduation requirements, academic acceleration, and college preparation. Students will have a chance to make up previously failed courses, with academic and social emotional support designed locally to meet the unique needs of older students. The process for high school students to enroll in summer programming is separate from the K–8 Summer Rising program and will be managed by your child’s school.

College and Career Planning

This summer, high school students will have the chance to participate in a record 100,000 summer opportunities supporting college and career pathways, through programs such as the Summer Youth Employment Program and College Now.

Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP): Students currently in high school can explore summer work and career development opportunities through SYEP, open to NYC youth aged 14 to 24. Participants in SYEP explore their interests and career pathways, develop workplace skills and engage in learning experiences that help to develop their social, civic, and leadership skills—all while earning a paycheck! Students can learn more and submit an application at application.nycsyep.com by April 22.

Summer Design Institute: Students interested in designing and creating career-themed projects for their portfolio while developing professional skills in fields such as advertising, visual art, digital design, web development, engineering, robotics, and architecture are encouraged to apply to one of three Career and Technical Education (CTE) summer hub sites. Students completing program projects are eligible for stipends. CTE and non-CTE students are welcome. Sign up to learn more at: tinyurl.com/SDI2022CTE

Next Steps Advising: High school students can also sign up for Next Steps Texts at schools.nyc.gov/choosing-the-right-path to receive messages each week to help them plan and pursue their future. Texts include links to youth employment opportunities, scholarship information, access to workshops, and deadline reminders. For additional support, Next Steps can also connect students with access to free, one-on-one virtual meetings with expert advisors after school and on weekends.

Students graduating in 2022 can use Next Step Texts to connect with their College and Career Bridge Coach, a current college student trained to help recent graduates navigate the transition between high school and the next stages in their college and career pathways. Learn more at Choosing Your Path After High School.

CUNY College Now

For the 2022 summer semester, CUNY College Now will be offering a mix of online, hybrid, and in-person courses open to NYC public high school students entering grades 11 or 12 in September 2022. Participation is free. For more information, visit k16.cuny.edu/collegenow/summer-programs.

NYC School Survey

Extended Deadline: April 15

If you have not already completed your NYC School Survey, you now have until April 15 to do so! Just go to NYCSchoolSurvey.org or log onto your NYC Schools Account (NYCSA) at schoolsaccount.nyc to submit your feedback and help school leaders make your child’s school a better place to learn.

Update for Families on COVID-19 Home Test Kits for the Spring Break

This letter to families provides guidance about COVID-19 home test kits for use before returning to school after Spring Break.

Our “Stay Safe, Stay Open” plan has succeeded in allowing us to keep our schools open and remain among the safest places for young people to be during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as we have lifted the mask mandate for students in K-12. To keep our school communities safe after spring recess, we strongly encourage all students to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to school on April 25, regardless of vaccination status. Your child can take a PCR, lab-based test, or a home test. Your child was given four COVID-19 home tests; two for your child and two for a family member.

If you or anyone in your household tests positive, we are very pleased that safe, effective COVID-19 treatments, including anti-viral medications, are available for some individuals ages 12 and older who test positive. You can access these medications through your doctor or health care provider, or you can call 212-COVID19 to discuss treatment options with a medical professional. Treatment works best when it is started as soon as possible after symptoms start and can help reduce symptoms and help to avoid hospitalization. For more information, please see https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/covid/treatments-available.pdf for additional information.

When should my child take the home tests?

  • Please help your child take one of the COVID home tests provided on the evening of Saturday, April 23.
  • Then help your child take the second home test 24 hours later, on the evening of Sunday, April 24.
  • If your child tests negative on both tests and feels well, they should come to school on Monday, April 25.
  • Please note that if your child has recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they do not need to take a test and should attend school on Monday, April 25, as long as they are feeling well.

What should I do if my child tests positive on one of the tests?

  • Kindergarten and older: Please inform your school and isolate your child at home for five days. Your child may return to school on the sixth day if they have no symptoms or their symptoms are improving (including being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication). Your child must wear a well-fitting mask while at school through the tenth day after their positive test.
  • Pre-K and younger: please inform your school/program and isolate your child at home for ten days. Your child may return to your school/program after the tenth day.
  • For all ages:
    • Please remember that if your child tests positive, your child is entitled to asynchronous remote learning and Office Hours for the duration of your child’s isolation period.
    • Please refer to our COVID-19 Guidance Charts, available at schools.nyc.gov/2022Health for additional steps to take if your child tests positive.

Where can I find instructions about the test kit?

  • The test kits come with printed instructions that you should follow when administering the test. You can also watch videos in multiple languages on how to use your test kit at schools.nyc.gov/HomeRapidTestKits.

Thank you for doing your part to keep COVID-19 out of our schools! When your child returns to school after the break, please make sure they complete the daily health screening form every day, available at healthscreening.schools.nyc.

As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and keep our schools safe for all our students. Children ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, please take the opportunity during the spring recess to make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site near you. The vaccine is free to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status.

Vaccine booster shots are also now available for all fully vaccinated people ages 12 and older who received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine at least five months ago. For more information about booster shots, see www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19vaccines.page#boost.

Vaccinations Pop-up Sites: March 22, 2022

If your school has been identified for a vaccine pop-up for students ages 5-11, you can find the schedule on the Vaccination Pop-up Site location document. Please backpack home the letter to families in the appropriate language.

The pop-up sites will operate from 8AM to 5PM.

As you are hopefully aware, all New Yorkers ages 5 -11 can now receive a free Pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This is great news for the health and safety of your child, your family, your school community, and the whole city.

In partnership with the New York City Health Department and NYC Health + Hospitals/NYC Test & Trace Corps, some school sites – including your child’s – are now offering vaccinations to make it as easy as possible to stay safe. Please see the attached schedule to find out when the vaccine will be available at your child’s school. Please note that this vaccine opportunity is only for children ages 5 -11. No patients under 5 years of age or over 11 years of age may be seen.

Getting your child vaccinated is safe, confidential, and easy. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You will not need to provide proof of immigration status or a social security number to get vaccinated. Identification is only required for proof of age.
  • You do not need health insurance to get vaccinated.
  • Students aged 5 to 11 must be accompanied to the vaccination site by a parent or guardian, or another adult caregiver designated by the parent or guardian. Consent must be provided.
  • All records and information associated with vaccination are kept strictly confidential.
  • Vaccines are administered by trained medical professionals.
  • On-site telephone interpretation in multiple languages will be available

All sites will be able to administer both the first and second Pediatric Pfizer vaccination. While vaccination at these sites will be strictly for those who are ages 5-11, testing will be available for all patients 4 and above. Testing will be available to the public with PCR tests (results in ~48 hours) and rapid antigen tests (results in ~30 minutes).

While strongly recommended, vaccinations are not mandatory. However, citywide vaccination has already dramatically reduced COVID-19 positivity rates, helping to reopen the city, restore in-person gathering, and deliver a brighter future.

If have any questions, visit nyc.gov/covidvaccine for all the facts. We hope you will consider getting your child vaccinated soon.

Update for Families on COVID-19 Health and Safety Policies: March 4, 2022

Update on Social Distancing - March 10, 2022

As an update to our March 4 guidance, schools have been advised to continue to maintain at least 3 feet of social distancing at all times in cafeterias until further notice, and as the DOE phases in further changes. In order to limit potential exposure, schools may continue with distancing strategies already in place, including staggered lunch service and delivery to classrooms.

American Sign Language (video)

COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy Updates

Our “Stay Safe, Stay Open” plan has succeeded in allowing us to keep New York City public schools open and remain among the safest places for young people to be during the COVID-19 pandemic. As our schools did their part in reducing transmission rates, so have New Yorkers as a whole. We are pleased to announce that as a result, we will be implementing changes in our current COVID-19 health and safety policies in our schools in accordance with the latest guidance.

Mask Policy Updates

We are pleased to announce that, face coverings will be optional on school grounds for students in kindergarten through grade 12 beginning Monday, March 7.

To maintain the safety of our staff and students, we will continue to practice strict COVID-19 protocols, including increased ventilation, a daily health screening, and test kit distribution. Mask-wearing will become optional indoors, outside, and on school buses. Anyone who chooses to wear a mask may continue to do so, and your child may request a mask from their school if they need one.

The indoor mask mandate is still active for LYFE, EarlyLearn (Infants & Toddlers), 3-K, Pre-K, and 4410 classrooms. Children two years old and older and all staff and visitors in these classrooms, must continue to wear a face covering indoors. Since children under the age of five are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine, face coverings remain our strongest defense against COVID-19 for our youngest learners.

In addition, any staff member or student in grades Kindergarten or higher returning on Day 6 following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or after having COVID-19 symptoms without testing is still required to wear a well-fitting mask at all times on school property through Day 10.

Masks are strongly recommended for any staff member or student who knows they have been exposed to COVID-19 within the previous 10 days. Mask wearing is still required in medical rooms and nurses’ offices, as well as in School Based Health Centers. Nurses will have masks on hand for anyone entering who may need one.

Social Distancing

There are no requirements for social distancing in public spaces, including classrooms, cafeterias and auditoriums.

Visitor Policy

Visitors are still required to show proof of vaccination and complete the daily health screening (healthscreening.schools.nyc) before entering a DOE building.

Vaccination 

As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and to keep our schools safe for all our students. Children ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, you can make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site near you. The vaccine is free for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status. We thank you for your continued partnership.

Update for Families on Outdoor Mask Policy

This Family Update provides important information about our latest outdoor mask policy. This policy will take effect on Monday, February 28, 2022.

Outdoor Mask Policy

Beginning on Monday, February 28, masks or face coverings are optional when outside on school grounds. Masks will still be required for all students, staff, and visitors inside schools. We will continue to maintain strict COVID-19 protocols, including increased ventilation, distancing when possible, a daily screener to make sure those with symptoms do not come to school, and test kit distribution.

As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and to keep our schools safe for all our students. Children ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, you can make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site near you. The vaccine is free for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status. We thank you for your continued partnership.

Update for Families on COVID-19 Home Test Kits for the Midwinter Recess

This letter to families provides guidance about COVID-19 home test kits for use before returning to school after the Midwinter Recess.

Our “Stay Safe, Stay Open” plan has succeeded in allowing us to keep our schools open and remain among the safest places for young people to be during the COVID-19 pandemic, including during the Omicron surge. To keep our school communities safe after the midwinter recess, we strongly encourage all students to get tested for COVID-19 before returning to school on February 28, regardless of vaccination status. Your child can test through a PCR, lab-based rapid test, or a home test kit. Your child will come home with two COVID-19 home tests, which may be packaged in one box or two.

When should my child take the tests?

  • First test on February 26: Please help your child take one of the COVID tests provided on the evening of Saturday, February 26.
  • Second test on February 27: Please help your child take the second test 24 hours later, on the evening of February 27.
  • If your child tests negative and feels well, they should come to school on Monday, February 28.
  • Please note, if your child has recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they do not need to take a test and should attend school on Monday, February 28, if they are feeling well.

What should I do if my child tests positive on one of the tests?

  • Kindergarten and older: Please inform your school and isolate your child for five days. Your child may return to school on the sixth day if they have no symptoms or their symptoms are improving (including being fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication) and your child can wear a well-fitting mask while at school through the tenth day after their positive test.
  • Pre-K and younger: please inform your school/program school and isolate your child for ten days. Your child may return to school/program after the tenth day.
  • For all ages:
    • Please remember that if your child tests positive, your child is entitled to asynchronous learning and Office Hours for the duration of your child’s isolation period.
    • Please refer to our COVID-19 Guidance Charts, available at: schools.nyc.gov/2022Health, for additional steps to take if your child tests positive.

Where can I find instructions about the test kit?

  • The test kits come with printed instructions that you should follow when administering the test. You can also watch videos in multiple languages on how to use your test kit at schools.nyc.gov/HomeRapidTestKits.

Thank you for doing your part to keep COVID-19 out of our schools! When your child returns to school after the break, please make sure they complete the daily health screening form every day, available at healthscreening.schools.nyc.

As a reminder, vaccination is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19 and to keep our schools safe for all our students. Children ages 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If your child is eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, please take the opportunity during the Midwinter Recess to make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site near you. The vaccine is free to all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status.

Vaccine booster shots are also now available for all fully vaccinated people ages 12 and older. For more information about booster shots, see www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccines.page#boost.

Update for Families on COVID-19 Health and Safety Policies: February 4, 2022

American Sign Language (video)

This Family Update provides important information about our latest health and safety policies. These policies will take effect on Monday, February 7, 2022.

COVID-19 Testing

Increased In-School COVID-19 Testing

In anticipation of the Midwinter Break, we are increasing the number of students who will be included in the city’s in-school random surveillance testing program. Beginning on February 7, schools will test the larger of either:

  • 10 percent of the school’s student enrollment in grades 1 through 12, up to a cap of 250 students 
  • 20 percent of the school’s unvaccinated student population

This change allows schools with highly vaccinated student populations to test a larger group of students every week. Additionally, 10 percent of staff continue to be able to get tested weekly.

We encourage all families to consent to in-school testing through their NYC Schools Account (schoolsaccount.nyc) or return a signed paper form to the school. More information about COVID-19 testing in schools and printable version of the consent form in multiple languages can be found at COVID-19 Testing for Students.

Testing is a critical part of keeping schools open and protecting the health of our students, staff, and neighbors. Thank you to those families who have already consented to testing for your support and partnership in keeping our school communities safe!

Home Test Kits 

During the week of February 14, schools will distribute at-home rapid test kits to all staff and students ages two and up. You can watch videos in multiple languages on how to use your test kit at Home Rapid Test Kits.

We strongly encourage all staff and students to take an at-home rapid test before returning to school on February 28, regardless of their vaccination status. Staff and students are not required to show proof of a negative test result before being allowed to return to school.

If your child tests positive on a home test, your child must isolate for 5 days if they are in grades K–12, or for 10 days if they are in a LYFE, EarlyLearn (infant & toddler), 3K, or Pre-K classroom, following the positive result. Please contact your child’s school immediately and report the test results. K–12 Students who test positive for COVID-19 and are isolating at home will continue to be provided asynchronous remote instruction and access to office hours with their teacher.

If your child has recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they will not receive a test kit and may continue to attend school unless they develop COVID-like symptoms. You can find charts that outline the steps you should take if your child feels sick, was exposed to COVID-19, or tested positive for COVID-19, at Health and Safety in Our Schools.

COVID-19 Testing Sites

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) continues to open new testing sites throughout the five boroughs. We strongly encourage that all students get tested for COVID-19, through a PCR, lab-based rapid test, or a home test kit on a regular basis, regardless of vaccination status. For a list of testing sites, including sites with at-home rapid tests, call 212-COVID19, visit nyc.gov/covidtest, text "COVID TEST" to 855-48, or call 311 to find a nearby testing site. Additionally, many pharmacies and doctors’ offices are offering COVID-19 testing. Please check with your pediatrician’s office or local pharmacy to see if you can schedule a test.

Attendance

Attendance Update

In light of the 95% reduction in COVID cases reported in schools since the peak of the Omicron surge, the Attendance Policy has been updated. Effective immediately, students participating in asynchronous remote instruction may be marked present only when isolating consistent with health guidance due to a positive COVID-19 test result.

Your school will provide details about how children in those circumstances can access remote instruction and office hours. Students who are absent for reasons other than a positive COVID-19 test result or school/building closure will be marked absent and can no longer be marked present for remote instruction.

Update for Families on COVID-19 Health and Safety Policies: January 28, 2022

American Sign Language (video)

Under our “Stay Safe, Stay Open” plan, our schools have remained open and among the safest places for young people to be during the pandemic, including during the Omicron surge. We are determined to build on that progress. This Family Update provides important information about our latest health and safety policies, which will take effect on Monday, January 31.

Updated COVID-19 Health and Safety Policies 

Printable Decision Charts

We recognize that families need clear information to help them make decisions. For a visual guide to the policies explained in detail below, visit schools.nyc.gov/2021health for two charts that outline the steps you should take if your child feels sick, was exposed to COVID-19, or tested positive for COVID-19:

  • COVID-19 Chart for Early Childhood Families (LYFE, 3-K, Pre-K, or EarlyLearn)
  • COVID-19 Chart for Kindergarten–12 students

Shortened Isolation Period for COVID-19 Cases

Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (DOH) guidance, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) has shortened the isolation period for K-12 students with a positive COVID-19 test result from 10 days to 5 days. This means if your child tests positive for COVID-19 and is in kindergarten or higher, your child can return to school on Day 6 if they have no symptoms or their symptoms are improving, and they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Students returning from isolation on Day 6 must wear a well-fitting mask such as a KN95, KF94, or a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask on Days 6–10.

Please be aware that any child (in any grade) who has completed their isolation period is NOT required to show proof of a negative test result before being allowed to return to school.

Shortened Quarantine for COVID-19 Exposure

The CDC and DOH also shortened the quarantine period for students exposed to COVID-19. Students in grades kindergarten or higher will continue to use home test kits to stay in school after an in-school exposure. If your child is NOT fully vaccinated and was exposed to COVID-19 outside of a school setting, your child must quarantine for at least 5 days; this is reduced from 10 days. If your child is fully vaccinated and was exposed outside of school, your child can continue to attend school so long as they do not have any symptoms. All students are required to wear masks while on school grounds, and students returning from isolation or quarantine on Day 6 must wear a well-fitting mask such as a KN95, KF94, or a cloth mask over a disposable surgical mask on Days 6–10.

Children who are at least 2 years old in LYFE, 3K, and Pre-K classrooms only need to quarantine for 5 days if they are symptom-free, able to wear a well-fitting mask through Day 10, and have a negative COVID-19 test from a health care provider on Day 5 OR two negative home test results from Day 4 and Day 5.

Children under 2 years old in LYFE classrooms must still quarantine for up to 10 days but can return to school on Day 8 if they are symptom-free AND have a negative COVID-19 test from a health care provider on Day 5 or later. Home tests are not considered valid for this age group unless administered at the direction of a health care provider.

Any child in a LYFE, 3-K, or Pre-K classroom that was exposed but does NOT get tested for COVID-19 can return after completing a 10-day quarantine.

For an unvaccinated student of any age who is exposed to COVID-19 in the home, if the COVID-positive household member and student are staying in the same home, the student must continue to quarantine for at least 5 additional days after the household member’s isolation period has ended.

Please note: if your child has recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they do not need to quarantine following an exposure and may continue to attend school unless they develop COVID-like symptoms.

COVID-19 Home Test Kits

Children ages 2 and up who are exposed to COVD-19 at school will receive two tests. The test kits come with printed instructions that you should follow when administering the test. You can also watch videos in multiple languages on how to use your test kit at schools.nyc.gov/HomeRapidTestKits.

Please note: if your child has recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they will not receive a test kit and may continue to attend school unless they develop COVID-like symptoms.

Remote Instruction for Students Isolating Due to COVID-19

Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home is entitled to asynchronous remote instruction and access to office hours with a teacher based on availability. Your school will provide details about how children in those circumstances can access remote instruction and office hours.

Keeping Our Communities Healthy

Daily Health Screener

Starting Monday, January 31, the daily health screening form will be revised to reflect new health policies and options for those recently recovered from COVID-19. Please continue to help your child complete the health screener every day before coming to school. 

Face Covering Reminder

The DOE’s face covering policy continues to be in effect. All students over the age of two years old must wear a face covering when entering a DOE building unless they have a medical exemption. Face coverings must be worn both indoors and outdoors when on DOE grounds, regardless of COVID-19 vaccine status.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) recommends that all individuals should consider wearing two masks or a higher-grade mask, such as a KN95 or KF94. Using a cloth mask over a disposable mask improves the fit and adds additional protective layers.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

Students ages 12 and older who received their second Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least five months ago can now receive booster shots to further strengthen their immunity against COVID-19 and help safeguard our community against the virus. Additionally, children ages 5 to 11 with certain immunocompromising conditions who received their Pfizer-BioNTech initial vaccine series at least 28 days ago are now eligible for a booster shot. The CDC and DOH strongly encourage all eligible New Yorkers to get their booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is free and widely available. To find a vaccine site near you, visit vaccinefinder.nyc.gov.

If you have questions about booster shots, talk to your health care provider or call 311.

A Message for Families from Chancellor David C. Banks: January 14, 2022

A Message for Families from Chancellor David C. Banks: January 5, 2022

American Sign Language (video)

It’s an honor to serve with Mayor Eric Adams as I become your new Schools Chancellor—and to welcome your children back to school after their much-deserved winter break. The health and safety of our children, families, and staff is our highest priority. I hope you received the recent letter outlining the new health and safety measures we have put in place to ensure that your children remain safe and that our schools remain open. We continue to encourage families to get tested, get vaccinated, and consent to in-school testing. If you missed the letter, you can read it at schools.nyc.gov/messagesforfamilies.

As a parent and life-long educator, I believe that every young person is filled with brilliance, promise, and gifts. I believe that all children deserve a strong academic foundation that prepares them to graduate with an employable skill set. Equally important, they deserve the tools and support needed to be physically and emotionally healthy.

 And as a proud New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, I know the difference an excellent educator and school can make in a child’s life. I will never forget the teacher at P.S. 161 in Brooklyn who transformed my life: Mrs. Mildred Scott. She taught me about Black history and culture. She also taught me that I had a responsibility to my community, a value reinforced by my parents.

I took those lessons with me to Queens, where I graduated from Hillcrest High School and then attended college. Now, I didn’t plan on becoming a teacher. In fact, I was a school safety officer for a year when I was bitten by the teaching bug. Wouldn’t you know it, I began my first teaching job at P.S. 167 in my old neighborhood on Eastern Parkway. From there, I became a founding principal at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, and later at the Eagle Academy for Young Men, where I proved that a high-quality college preparatory education for young men of color can be provided in a public-school setting.

In the more than 30 years I’ve been doing this work, I’ve learned a few things about education. I learned that the answers to how we improve the system exist in the hearts and minds of our teachers, principals, children, and families. I learned that you cannot create innovative and high-quality schools that serve all students without engaging the entire community. And so, in my first week as your Chancellor, I welcome your input and partnership as we work together to ensure that the nation’s largest school system also becomes the nation’s best school system.

To achieve this goal, we will work on behalf of all our children–children from every neighborhood, and especially those who have been historically left behind. Children who are learning to speak English. Children with disabilities. Children who live in temporary housing. We will work day in and day out for all of our children, because they are all capable of thriving. This means giving every student the support, learning experiences, and resources to graduate from high school, attend college or learn a trade, get a great job, and become informed and engaged citizens.

You can count on me to always be honest. I won’t sugarcoat it: we face enormous challenges, and we can only change a system as large as ours with an all-hands-on-deck approach. This is particularly true as we enter our third year of a pandemic that has required us to adapt to new ways of teaching and learning.

This is where you, our families, come in. We want to reach every one of you and welcome you as partners in your children’s education. We want your input on the policies that affect your children. Over the coming months you will begin to see new and improved ways to communicate with our school system. We want to empower you to be advocates for your children, your schools, and your communities. We want to bring in our parents who are not typically engaged with the school system and elevate their crucial voices.

I began this letter with my commitment to safety and I want to reassure you that we will do everything in our power to keep your children safe and our schools open, with as little disruption as possible. We owe New York City’s students nothing less. Thank you for your warm wishes and for your support as we lift all our students higher.

UPDATED Health and Safety Policy Updates: January 3, 2022

American Sign Language (video)

We hope you had a restful holiday and were able to spend time with your loved ones. As we welcome students back into our classrooms from a well-deserved winter break, our highest priority continues to be the health and safety of our students, families, and staff. To this end, we are putting additional health and safety measures in place to ensure students and staff are safe and that our schools can continue to be open.

The following updates were made in partnership with our City and State public health colleagues and are based on federal and scientific guidance.

Home Test Kits

  • Beginning January 3, schools will distribute free, take-home COVID-19 rapid test kits to any student or staff who exhibit COVID-like symptoms or have been in a classroom where a positive case has been identified.
    • If your child was exposed to COVID-19 at school, please help your child take the first test on the day they receive the home test and help your child take the second test five days after exposure or at the first indication of symptoms.
    • Your child may continue to attend school as long as your child receives negative test results and does not experience any symptoms of COVID-19.
    • If your child has COVID-like symptoms or feels ill before the fifth day, please have your child isolate and take the second home test immediately.
    • If your child tests positive on either home test, your child must isolate for 10 days following the first positive result. Please contact your child’s school immediately to inform them and for further guidance.
    • If your child is exposed multiple times in a week, you don’t need another kit until next week; the two tests should be able to pick up any infection.
  • If your child had symptoms of COVID-19 at school, please help your child take the first test immediately and help your child take the second test 24 hours later.
    • Your child may not attend school until they receive negative results on both of these home tests taken within 24 hours of each other and have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication OR if your child receives a negative test result from a PCR COVID test.
    • If your child tests positive on either home test, your child must isolate for 10 days following the first positive result. Please contact your child’s school immediately and report the test results.
  • Any student who tests positive on a take-home test should immediately report it to the school and begin isolating. Students who test positive must isolate for 10 days and can return to school on Day 11. No negative test is required to return to school.
  • As a reminder, all students, staff and visitors must pass the DOE health screener in order to enter school buildings. Additional questions will be added to the health screeners for those students and staff who receive at-home rapid test kits to share their negative result. No other proof of a negative result is required in order for these students to enter the school building.

Please note that if your child has recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months, your child does not need a home test kit.

New Quarantine Policy

Our goal is to ensure that students safely remain in school as much as possible, and we have updated our policies to ensure we meet this goal. This means that if there is a positive case in a classroom:

For students in kindergarten through grade 12, unvaccinated or not yet fully-vaccinated students who were in close proximity to a positive case will no longer have to quarantine and will continue attending school if they do not have symptoms and do not have a positive test result from a COVID test. Instead, all students and adults in that classroom will receive a take-home rapid test kit and take two tests over the course of five days.

For students in 3-K and Pre-K, the quarantine policy will remain the same, meaning that any 3-K or pre-K student who was in close proximity to a positive case will still have to quarantine for 10 days.

Increased In-School Surveillance Testing

To further ensure the safety of our students, families, and staff, the in-school surveillance testing program is expanding to double the number of individuals tested in each school, including both vaccinated and unvaccinated students, in grades 1 and up. The random in-school surveillance program continues to provide public health experts with an accurate look at the prevalence of COVID-19 in schools. We encourage all families who have not yet submitted consent, regardless of whether their child is vaccinated, to consent to in-school testing through their NYC Schools Account (schoolsaccount.nyc) or return a signed paper form to the school. Additional information on testing for students and the printable version of the consent form in multiple languages can be found on our COVID-19 Testing for Students page.

Testing is a critical part of keeping schools open and communities safe. Thank you to those families who have already consented to testing, and for your cooperation by participating in our in-school testing program!

COVID-19 Testing Sites

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) continues to open new testing sites throughout the five boroughs. We strongly encourage that all students get tested for COVID-19, through a PCR, lab-based rapid test, or a home test kit on a continuous basis, regardless of vaccination status. For a list of testing sites, including sites with at-home rapid tests, call 212-COVID19, visit nyc.gov/covidtest, text "COVID TEST" to 855-48, or call 311 to find a nearby testing site.

Additionally, many pharmacies and doctors’ offices are offering COVID-19 testing. Please check with your pediatrician’s office or local pharmacy to see if you can schedule a test.

We know that nothing is more important to you than keeping your children in school, learning in healthy and safe environments. The changes we are announcing today aim to keep students in our classrooms with the least amount of disruption as possible, while putting their safety front and center.

We will continue to update you as the situation changes and hear your feedback on these updated policies and procedures. We thank you in advance for partnering with us to keep our children and staff safe in school.

Policy Updates for Return to School January 2022: December 28, 2021

Dear Families,

We hope you had a restful holiday and were able to spend time with your loved ones. As we look ahead to the New Year, our highest priority is to continue to ensure the health and safety of our students, families, and staff.

Schools will be open, as scheduled, beginning January 3 for all students. We are putting additional health and safety measures in place to ensure students and staff are safe and that our schools can continue to be open.

You will notice that this letter is coming to you jointly from outgoing Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter and incoming Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. The Department of Education’s leadership is changing, but one thing remains the same: our unwavering commitment to safely providing our students with a top-quality education that leads to their long-term success.

The following updates were made in partnership with our City and State public health colleagues and are based on federal and scientific guidance.

COVID-19 Testing Before Returning on January 3 

  • To keep our school communities safe upon everyone’s return to school buildings, we strongly encourage that all students get tested for COVID-19, through a PCR, lab-based rapid test, or a home test kit, before returning to school on January 3, regardless of vaccination status. For a list of testing sites, including sites with at-home rapid tests, call 212- COVID19, visit http://nyc.gov/covidtest, or text "COVID TEST" to 855-48, or call 311 to find a nearby testing site. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) continues to open new testing sites, so please check back often for updates. 
  • Additionally, many pharmacies and doctor’s offices may be offering COVID-19 testing. Please check with your pediatrician’s office or local pharmacy to see if you can schedule a test.

Home Test Kits 

  • Beginning January 3, schools will distribute free, take-home COVID-19 rapid test kits to any students or staff who exhibit COVID-like symptoms or have been in a classroom where a positive case has been identified. 
  • Students who have a take-home test kit will need to take the test two times over the course of five days (each kit includes two tests).
    • Students who may have been exposed to COVID in the school should take a test that evening and then again on Day 5.
    • If a student begins to show symptoms of COVID before Day 5, you should use the test kit immediately.
  • Anyone who tests positive on a take-home test should immediately report it to the school and begin isolating. Students who test positive must isolate for 10 days and can return to school on Day 11. No negative test is required to return to school.
  • Remember, all students, staff and visitors must pass the DOE health screener in order to enter school buildings. Additional questions will be added to the health screeners for those students and staff who receive at-home rapid test kits to share their negative result. No other proof of a negative result is required in order for these students to enter the school building. 

New Quarantine Policy 

Our goal is to ensure that students safely remain in school as much as possible, and we have updated our policies to ensure we meet this goal. This means that if there is a positive case in a classroom: 

  • Students who were in close proximity to these students will no longer have to quarantine and will continue attending school if they do not have symptoms and do not have a positive test result from a COVID test. 
  • Instead, all students and adults in that classroom will receive a take-home rapid test kit. The test kits contain two tests.
  • Those who have a take-home test kit will need to take two tests over the course of five days. 

Increased In-School Surveillance Testing 

To further ensure the safety of our students, families, and staff, the in-school surveillance testing program is expanding to double the number of individuals tested in each school, including both vaccinated and unvaccinated students, in grades 1 and up. The random in-school surveillance program continues to provide public health experts with an accurate look at the prevalence of COVID-19 in schools. We encourage all families, regardless of whether their child is vaccinated, to consent to in-school testing through their NYC Schools Account or return a signed paper form to the school. Additional information on testing for students can be found on the DOE website: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/covid-information/covid-19-testing-for-students

Testing is a critical part of keeping schools open and communities safe. Thank you for your cooperation by consenting to and participating in our in-school testing program!

We know that nothing is more important to you than keeping your children in school, learning in healthy and safe environments. The changes we are announcing today aim to keep students in our classrooms with the least amount of disruption as possible, while putting their safety front and center.

We will continue to update you as the situation changes and hear your feedback on these updated policies and procedures. In the meantime, please feel free to share your feedback at FACE@schools.nyc.gov. We thank you in advance for partnering with us to keep our children safe in school. 

Thank You: December 23, 2021

American Sign Language (Video)

Dear Families,

When I became Chancellor this March, I was deeply moved to have the honor of leading the school system that I grew up in as a student, sent my children to as a parent, and served throughout my entire career. We are not only the largest system in the country by far, but also the most extraordinary, thanks to the remarkable diversity and dedication of our students, families, and educators. I see that especially now, families across the city are doing all they can to keep communities safe from Omicron.

From day one, we shared the important goal of fully opening our school buildings in September to all students. That long-awaited homecoming welcomed students back with new support systems to address their social and emotional needs, a curriculum that reflects their lived experiences, and technology that builds on the lessons we learned during the pandemic.

As we head into the holiday season and I transition out of my role at the end of this year, I want to thank you for doing so much to make our homecoming and the first months of this school year safe and successful for everyone in our schools. This continues to be an extraordinarily challenging time, but your partnership has enabled our students to thrive as they returned to the community of the classroom, where they learn best. I could not be more proud or grateful for what we have accomplished together.

I am heartened that my former colleague and friend David Banks will be carrying the torch from me as your new Chancellor, and know that he will further build on the progress we made for our students.

On my final tour of schools last week, a student said to me, “Thank you for helping me out as a young Black girl. You set a great example of success as the first Black woman Chancellor, and that gives me more hope than ever before.” I will always remember the people I met in this role, from that young woman to our incredible educators and our steadfast support staff who make New York City public schools possible.

I am proud of what we accomplished together for our students and I am hopeful that children like that young woman are empowered to follow in our footsteps and find success in chasing their dreams.

Happy Holidays and much gratitude to you all!

Social Media School Threats: December 16, 2021

American Sign Language (Video)

Dear Families,

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

The safety of everyone who enters our school buildings is always our highest priority and responsibility. Every threat to a school community is taken extremely seriously and we work closely with the NYPD to investigate threats made to any school community. If your school is named in a specific threat, please call 911 immediately and 1-888-NYC-SAFE. Additional supports will be deployed to the school as needed.

Safety and security are a community responsibility, and we are encouraging you to have conversations with your child about responsible social media use and the consequences of making threats. Schools and families can find information about digital citizenship on the DOE Digital Citizenship webpage. Any social media posts or challenges involving threats or actions of violence against school communities will not be tolerated. Threats of violence have very real consequences regardless of the reason the threat was made, and we do not want our young people to jeopardize their bright futures over social media challenges such as these.

If you or your child witness any suspicious activities on social media, please call 911 or notify a trusted adult if at a school. We are committed to continuing to closely monitor this matter.

Thank you as always for everything you do to keep our school communities safe, and please do not hesitate to reach out to your principal.

An Update & Message of Gratitude: December 1, 2021

American Sign Language (video)

Dear Families, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through the measures we’ve taken like increasing vaccination rates, universal masking, daily health screenings and random weekly testing of students, we’ve managed to keep our in-school positivity rate extremely low at 0.24% and minimize disruptions to learning this year. We will continue to be vigilant about these measures to keep schools open for your children. I encourage you to visit schools.nyc.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on COVID-19 health and safety protocols in our schools, testing and vaccination updates, and more. 

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION NEEDS: As we began this school year, it was essential that we knew where students were both academically and emotionally, so that we could provide them with targeted resources and support to meet their needs. To do this, our educators have begun using new academic and social and emotional ‘screeners’ across all of our schools this year. These tools provide low-stakes opportunities for teachers to get an idea of where students’ strengths and needs are at a certain point in the school year, so that we can connect them with the right resources or targeted interventions to support their learning and development. We encourage you to work with your school and teachers to learn more about these tools, and to work together to utilize the results to help understand and provide what our students need.

INVESTING IN NEW SUPPORTS AND RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS: As we shared in July, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan this school year in the form of new resources and additional staff - including social workers, literacy teachers and coaches - so that all students in NYCDOE schools receive the tools and support they need to thrive.

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

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

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

A Message for Families on Testing Consent from Chancellor Porter: October 20 2021

American Sign Language (video)

We are well into the second month of our school homecoming, and I am so pleased that we have been able to get back into full swing while keeping our school communities healthy with minimal disruptions. Thanks to our multilayered health and safety protocols, our schools continue to be among the safest places in New York City. 

You, our families, deserve enormous credit as well for doing your part in protecting your school communities: checking your children’s temperatures every morning, encouraging safe practices like physical distancing and handwashing, and making sure they are wearing their masks before they head off to school. Thank you so much for being our partners in prioritizing their health and safety, and keep up the great work!

One very important way we are keeping our schools safe is weekly random testing of unvaccinated students (grades 1 and above) for COVID-19. This kind of regular testing to track community spread is most effective when we can test as many students as possible, but to do that we need you to submit a consent form if you haven’t already done so. Thank you to those families that have already submitted.

You can fill out the testing consent form using your NYC Schools Account (NYCSA): schoolsaccount.nyc or download the form online at COVID-19 Testing for Students and bring the completed version to your school. Testing is safe, quick, and easy. We urge you to provide this consent to help keep your child and our school communities safe. You can learn more about the in-school COVID-19 testing program and watch a video showing what your child can expect at COVID-19 Testing for Students

If you have a child age 12 or over, the other major step you can take for their health is to get them vaccinated if you have not done so already. The vaccines are playing a huge role in reducing infection rates across the city, and are safe, free, and available regardless of immigration status. I strongly urge you to look for a nearby location where your child can receive the approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by visiting vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or calling 877-VAX-4-NYC (877-829-4692). If your child is already vaccinated, please upload that information to the DOE Covid-19 Vaccination Portal at vaccine.schools.nyc.

Thanks to your partnership, we have fully reopened our schools safely. The more families that provide consent for COVID-19 testing in schools and have their eligible children vaccinated, the greater the progress we can continue to make in protecting everyone across our City and in our schools.

Sign Language Interpretation

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