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New York City Public Schools Continues To “Meet the Moment”

  • Posted: Wed May 01, 2024

Announces New Initiatives to Bring More Resources to Schools; Key Milestones Met on “Meeting the Moment” Comprehensive Action Plan, Including Training of 1,600 Principals on Applying the Discipline Code, Navigating Difficult Conversations Training, and Launch of Interfaith Advisory Council

New York, NY – Today, New York City Public Schools (NYCPS) announces new resources and educational programming coming to schools next school year as part of our comprehensive Meeting the Moment plan to combat hate and create a safe, supportive, and respectful learning environment for all students. This follows the Adams administration’s recent announcement of a NYCPS anti-hate crime curriculum alongside the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes. Lessons are available to students grades 6-12 and are offered as virtual resources to the public on the “Facing History & Ourselves’” website.  

On January 22, 2024, New York City Public Schools released our comprehensive plan in response to recent and unacceptable incidents of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other safety concerns. Implementation of this plan is now fully underway, after continued discussion and input from community stakeholders, and we are going beyond our initial January commitments for an even more expansive approach, including: 

  • A Holocaust Teaching Guide: This guide will curate high-quality Holocaust teaching resources for our educators. It will be available in the fall of 2024 and is being created in partnership with the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. 
  • Hidden Voices, Jewish Americans: This Hidden Voices series will uplift the stories of Jewish Americans who have impacted our country and world, ranging from Louis Brandeis to Deborah Lipstadt. The anticipated launch date is June 2025. 
  • Hidden Voices: Muslim Americans: Similarly, this new Hidden Voices series will highlight Muslim Americans who have left an indelible impact on our society, including Art Blakey and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This resource is anticipated to be completed by June 2025. 

These Hidden Voices curricular resources will be free and available to download for any educator in NYC and across the country. To view existing Hidden Voices resources, visit  

"There is nothing more important than ensuring a culture of respect, empathy, and safety in our classrooms, for both students and staff. Hate or bigotry of any kind have no home in our city’s schools,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “Since announcing our plan to meet this difficult moment, we have continued to expand and enhance our approach based on community feedback and input. I’m grateful to our educators, faith leaders, and community partners for their commitment to fostering inclusion and acceptance for our nearly one million students and over 140,000 staff.” 

Since January 2024, New York City Public Schools has been committed to implementing its Meeting the Moment plan, and the following key milestones have been met in the areas of safety, education, and engagement: 

Safety: Fostering Safe, Welcoming Schools 

On March 13, at a citywide principal conference, all ~1600 NYCPS principals received comprehensive safety training on applying the Discipline Code, uplifting our Respect for All anti-bullying program, and crisis de-escalation.  

Prior to Respect for All Week in February, we launched additional training to Respect for All liaisons on bullying prevention and incident reporting, which is ongoing. We also re-shared reporting pathways with school communities to ensure allegations of inappropriate conduct or bullying/harassment can be reported and investigated swiftly. Students, families, or staff can: 

Education: Supporting Principals and Teachers in the Classroom 

At our citywide principal conference on March 13, all middle and high school principals (approximately 900 school leaders) received an initial training on navigating crucial conversations from our highly respected and longtime partner, Facing History & Ourselves. The workshop, which these principals will turnkey to their staff before the end of the school year, includes strategies to foster respectful and empathetic classroom conversation on difficult topics and issues of the day, in combination with current events resources already available to our schools.  

Facing History & Ourselves is also training approximately 400 additional middle and high school educators on navigating difficult conversations this spring. All educators have access to a digital toolkit from Facing History & Ourselves to further support these crucial conversations. Facing History & Ourselves is also providing office hours for middle and high schools for personalized support. 

On March 13, all elementary school principals received training about Civics for All, focused on building foundational, age-appropriate civil discourse and Social Studies skills in our younger students. 

We have continued to expand and update our vetted classroom and curricular resources on topics such as the Middle East crisis, Islamophobia, and antisemitism, including a recent antisemitism guide from the Museum of Jewish Heritage. 

Finally, we will continue to offer resources to schools this spring and into the fall, including deeper-dive trainings on topics such as antisemitism and Islamophobia, led by multiple partner organizations. 

Engagement: Convening Faith-Based Leaders 

On March 25, we launched NYCPS’ first-ever Interfaith Advisory Council, with over 20 members across a wide range of faiths and chaired by Reverend Jacques DeGraff. The council will discuss the Chancellor’s priorities and will offer input and ideas for engagement with the faith-based community. Through the council, we are modeling for our students how to build bridges and foster collaboration across differences. 

We are committed to fostering respect and inclusion in New York City Public Schools, and we will continue to refine and enhance our approach to meeting this moment in response to community and school feedback. 

“Our school leaders believe strongly that there is no place for bias and hate in New York City public schools,” said CSA President Henry Rubio. “Principals and their teams know their school communities best, and we thank the Chancellor for beginning to ensure that our schools have the resources and training needed to maintain a safe, inclusive culture.” 

"We have the most diverse school community in the nation,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “It is our responsibility to make sure students and staff are safe and that our students learn how to navigate this reality better than our generation does. This is the work we have to do.”  

“We are honored to continue our long-standing partnership with New York City Public Schools to support school leaders with navigating crucial conversations in diverse school settings," said Dimitry Anselme, Chief Officer of Growth and Engagement at Facing History & Ourselves. “The jobs of administrators and teachers are so complex and so impactful. Facing History & Ourselves' professional learning and curriculum resources help school leaders create safer and more inclusive learning environments for all students.” 

“In times of adversity, it is imperative that we come together as a community to combat hate, discrimination, and bias in all its forms. The initiatives announced by New York City Public Schools represent a significant step forward in creating safe and supportive learning environments for all students. As we partner on this important endeavor, let us remember that education is our most powerful tool in the fight against antisemitism and all forms of intolerance,” said Jack Kliger, CEO and President of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.  


About Facing History: Facing History & Ourselves uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. Classroom resources and professional development offerings examine racism, antisemitism, and prejudice at pivotal moments in history. Facing History & Ourselves helps students learn about the impact of choices made in the past, and connect them to the choices they will confront in their own lives. Facing our shared history and how it informs our attitudes and behaviors allows us to choose a world of equity and justice. Facing History & Ourselves has nearly 50 years of experience in creating classroom curriculum and professional development for educators to support discussions on difficult topics in diverse school settings. Over 8,000 NYCPS educators have engaged with Facing History & Ourselves resources in the past 10 years, including 5,844 since 2020. 

About New York City Public Schools: New York City Public Schools is a testament to the history and impact of urban education in the United States. With over 1,600 schools spread across five boroughs, the system is made up of approximately 1.1 million students and staff, making it the largest public school system in the nation. These schools employ more than 75,000 teachers, who deliver a rich tapestry of educational experiences to a student body that reflects the city's vibrant and diverse cultural heritage. This network of educational institutions represents not just the scale of New York City's commitment to public education, but also its dedication to fostering a learning environment that is as dynamic and diverse as the city itself.