Past Updates

Previous Updates

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

On Monday, the Governor announced that all public school buildings in New York State will now remain closed until April 29. The State also announced that high school Regents exams have been canceled. We will be providing official guidance on the effect of Regents on our high school students by mid-week once the State has provided additional details.

In this extended period of time, we will continue to engage in remote learning as we as a city practice social distancing so that everyone in our school communities can remain safe. Additionally, we will continue to serve nutritious food to children and adults at Meal Hubs across the city, and Regional Enrichment Centers will continue to serve the children of essential workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. 

While the shift to remote learning has been challenging for all of us, each day we hear countless examples of how our students, family, teachers, and staff are adapting and improving on the day before. These efforts demonstrate the virtues of perseverance, flexibility, and caring for one another that we all need during this unprecedented time.

We are committed to keeping you up to date with news and further information about this situation as it continues to unfold.

March 15, 2020

9:00 AM

New York City Academy for Discovery (P.S. 306) in Queens is undergoing cleaning and disinfection due to a confirmed case of coronavirus in the school community. 

  • The school will be cleaned and disinfected over the weekend in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines and must be complete before accepting returning students. As a reminder, NYCDOE routinely conducts deep cleanings in schools and programs. 
  • During this time, the DOE and the NYC Health Department will determine any further next steps that need to be taken.
  • We anticipate that we will be able to perform all necessary steps over the weekend, and we anticipate that we will have school open on Monday, March 16, 2020, pending confirmation from the NYC Health Department. 

March 14, 2020

1:40 PM

I.S. 027 Anning S. Prall in Staten Island has a confirmed case of coronavirus in the school community.

  • The school will be cleaned and disinfected over the weekend in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines and must be complete before accepting returning students. As a reminder, NYCDOE routinely conducts deep cleanings in schools and programs. 
  • During this time, the DOE and the NYC Health Department will determine any further next steps that need to be taken.
  • We anticipate that we will be able to perform all necessary steps over the weekend, and we anticipate that we will have school open on Monday, March 16, 2020, pending confirmation from the NYC Health Department. 
  • Parents will be notified in advance of the reopening time. We will confirm status of school for this upcoming Monday by Sunday, March 15.

10:30 AM

Updated Social Distancing Guidance

The DOE has suspended or cancelled the following activities in our schools:

  • Field trips
  • International and domestic school-sponsored trips
  • Study abroad programs (both students coming from other countries to stay with host families in NYC, and DOE public school students being hosted abroad.
  • Internships
  • SAT administration within DOE sites (postponed)
  • exam dates will be re-scheduled for later this spring
  • Parent teacher conferences will be available via phone or video
  • Extracurricular activities such as:
    • athletic games and practices
    • school-wide assemblies
    • school plays and recitals

After school programs (including DYCD and CBO-run programs) will still serve students, with the exception of some extended use permits that primarily serve adults. 

The City will also be adding an additional deep-cleaning day, in order to sanitize facilities three times per week.

The DOE is assessing other social distancing methods including:

  • Moving to an in-classroom breakfast and lunch option if implementing distancing measures in cafeterias is not possible.
  • Expanding our Move-to-Improve program, that will help us reduce large groups of kids in physical education and recess.
  • Directing after school programs to avoid all large congregate activities, and spread children out in classrooms, gyms, and cafeterias as much as possible.

March 13, 2020

3:00 PM

To effectively implement social distancing, we will cancel or offer web-based alternatives of extracurricular activities such as athletic games and practices, school-wide assemblies, parent teacher conferences, school field trips, school plays, and recitals. After school programs, including Division of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) programs, currently remain unaffected, with the exception of some extended use permits that serve primarily adults. 

6:30 AM

Out of an abundance of caution, the Department of Education will close the following schools:

The New Dorp High School and the Richard H. Hungerford School

  • The building has a confirmed case of COVID19 in a student who attends schools there.
  • Grab and Go meals are available at the school until 1:30 PM. 

Brooklyn College Academy

  • The upper grades are located on the Brooklyn College campus.
  • The entire campus is closed due to a self-reported positive case, and will be disinfected.
  • Meals will be available at Midwood High School or at the Coney Island Avenue location for the school

Brooklyn Occupational Training Center

  • A teacher has self-reported a positive case.
  • The four locations of this school serve students who are medically fragile, and all four are closed.

We will immediately clean and disinfect the sites following Department of Health and Mental Hygiene guidelines.

We know families are concerned and we’re taking swift precautionary action in the best interest of students and staff. We’re communicating with impacted families immediately and staff will be on site in the morning to support.

Families will be notified in advance of reopening.

Learn more at nyc.gov/coronavirus.

March 12, 2020

10:30 PM

  • The Laboratory School of Finance &Technology and South Bronx Preparatory: A College Board School were closed today. Both schools will reopen tomorrow and follow a normal instructional day.
  • Any further individual school closure decisions on a case by case basis. We’ll give as much notice to parents and staff as we can, and work to reopen as soon as possible. Keeping people safe and informed will be our top priority.
  • We will either be canceling or finding new solutions for non-essential activities in school, including PSAL games and practices, school assemblies, plays and recitals.
  • Parent-teacher conferences and PTA meetings will be done by phone or web based when possible.

It’s important we come together as a city and support one another as neighbors and New Yorkers during this time. COVID-19 is not more likely found in any one race or nationality.

March 12, 2020

9:15 AM

The DOE received notification that there is a self-reported positive result for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the school building housing The Laboratory School of Finance &Technology (07X223) and South Bronx Preparatory: A College Board School.

  • The school will close for a minimum of 24 hours .
  • The school may be closed for longer pending direction from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
  • The DOE has prepared for this, and we are on the ground supporting the safe, orderly closure of the school.
  • Grab and go breakfast and lunch will be served for the duration of the closure. We will follow up with location information.

Here is what’s happening in the school over the next 24 hours:

  • In the next 24 hours, the DOE will clean and disinfect the school building in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines.
  • The building will not reopen until the disinfection is complete and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has determined that it is safe to reopen.
  • Families will be notified in advance of the reopening time.
  • Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is beginning an investigation to determine what other next steps may need to be taken. They will reach out to any individuals who may be at increased risk of contracting the virus.

March 11, 2020

4:45 PM

We have taken the following actions to keep our students and school communities safe: 

Parent Teacher Conferences

Based on recommendations from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and in an abundance of caution, we are making changes in the way schools conduct March Parent Teacher Conferences.

  • All middle school and District 75 Parent Teacher Conferences scheduled for Thursday (March 12) evening and Friday (March 13) afternoon will still take place; however, parents should not attend in person. Instead, we are asking that Parent Teacher Conferences occur by phone or virtually. 
  • Schools will update their school communities on scheduling and participating in the phone or virtual conferences by today, March 11.
  • If families are unable to connect during the March 12 evening conference or the March 13 afternoon conference time, schools will offer a more flexible schedule based on school and parent schedules through the rest of the month.
  • To get ready for the Parent Teacher Conferences, families can access their child’s grades, attendance and more through the New York City Schools Account (NYCSA). Don’t have an account yet? Get yours TODAY!

School Food

We know that for many families, school is the only place to get meals for the day and we will continue to fill that need even if a school closes. 

  • If a school is closed for 24 hours, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch will be available for any student who wants it at the entrance of their school building.

Field Trips

If your school has a school trip planned in the upcoming days, please confirm details with your principal and plan accordingly. Cancellation of school trips is at principals’ discretion. If you or your child don’t feel well, the most important action you can take is to stay home.

March 10, 2020 8:00 PM

These important updates include a number of actions we have taken and many things you can do to protect your health and keep all communities safe. The most important action you can take is to stay home if you are sick. Please see the What You Need to Know fact sheet and the Stop the Spread flyer. Below is additional information.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences for middle schools and district 75 schools scheduled for Thursday, March 12 in the evening, and Friday March13 in the afternoon will still take place—but parents should not attend in person. Instead, Parent Teacher Conferences will occur by phone or virtually. If families are unable to connect during the March 12 evening conference or March 13 afternoon conference time, schools will offer a more flexible schedule based on school and parent schedules through the rest of the month. Schools will proactively update their school communities on scheduling and participating in the phone or virtual conferences by Wednesday 3/11.

Field Trips

If your school has a school trip planned in the upcoming days, please confirm details with your principal and plan accordingly. Cancellation of school trips is at principals’ discretion. If you or your child don’t feel well, the most important action you can take is to stay home.

If a student feels sick in school:

  • In the event a student is sick, complaining of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, that child should be taken to the school nurse.
  • The nurse will ask the student to wear a face mask, call for parental pick up, and recommend calling a medical provider for instructions.
  • Any student with respiratory symptoms and fever should wait in a supervised setting with a closed door, away from other students.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your child’s school:

  • In the event that the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) determines that there is a need for investigation, closure, or other action at a school, you will immediately be notified.
  • Per New York State, if there is a confirmed case in a school, the school must be closed for at least 24 hours while DOHMH investigates and determines whether additional closure is needed.
  • We urge you to ignore any rumor you might hear from others separate and apart from official communication from DOHMH.

We are working with the State to provide more information on school closure guidance to share in the near future.

Large Gatherings

Right now, the City has not advised the cancellation of large events or public gatherings, but is monitoring developments and will adjust as needed.

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you have chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, a compromised immune system, chronic lung disease, and/or cancer, avoid unnecessary gatherings and events.

What You Can Do: Reduce Overcrowding

  • Walk or bike to work, if possible.
  • If the train is too packed, wait for the next one.

March 8, 2020 7:45 PM

The health and safety of our students are our first priority. This afternoon, Mayor de Blasio asked New Yorkers to adjust their routines to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and issued the following updates and guidance:

Keeping Children Safe in Schools

  • The City is hiring an additional 85 school nurses to ensure every district school building has a full-time nurse by the end of the week.
  • All international school trips have been cancelled for the remainder of the school year. 
  • The DOE sent a survey to nonpublic schools to help identify shortages of paper towels, soap, hand sanitizers, and medical supplies, and will distribute materials to any school experiencing shortages.

Protecting Yourself and Others

  • To reduce overcrowding, the City is advising private-sector employers and employees to consider telecommuting where possible and to consider staggered start times for workers.
  • Those who take the subways at rush hour should consider commuting to work via alternative modes of transportation, like biking or walking, if possible. 

Special Guidance for Vulnerable New Yorkers

The City is advising those with chronic lung disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or a weakened immune system to avoid unnecessary events and gatherings. If you have family or friends who have one of these conditions, do not visit them if you feel sick. 

Know the Facts

  • New Yorkers should continue to exercise basic precautions while going about their lives: wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Starting Monday, the City is expanding it’s public health advertising campaign to ensure New Yorkers have the facts and resources they need to protect themselves from COVID-19.
    If you have any questions on finding medical care, call 311. To get regular updates on the latest developments with coronavirus in New York City text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments. Please visit nyc.coronavirus.com at any time for more information.

We know that families are anxious and we will continue to update you with more information as we have it.

March 7, 2020 6:15 PM

The health and safety of our students and families are our first priority, and fear of the coronavirus (COVID-19) should not interfere with your everyday life. We encourage you to continue to practice viral prevention measures, including washing your hands regularly and covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve, as outlined above.

This afternoon, Mayor de Blasio provided this update about New York City schools:

  • DOE is stocking every DOE school with supplies necessary to protect our kids. DOE will be constantly monitoring current levels in schools and spot checks to confirm supplies are stocked. DOE remains in constant contact with the Office of Emergency Management.
  • For all non-DOE schools (including charters, non-public schools, etc.), approved disinfectants will be available for pickup Monday at distributions centers across the city. All schools have been informed supplies are available. Additionally, today DOE is sending a survey to all these schools to determine current supplies and additional needs.
  • Over February break, there were 12 school trips to countries that now have a level 2 or 3 travel advisory. There were no travel advisories for these countries at the time of departure. The Health Department does not consider these students to be at risk and none are currently showing symptoms. The DOE is contacting all students and staff on these trips to instruct them to seek medical care if they are feeling symptomatic.
  • All three teachers who traveled to Italy and who were tested for COVID-19 have tested negative.

Due to community spread of the virus, the Mayor and City health officials have also issued this guidance to New Yorkers to help keep our city safe:

  • If you are well and have no symptoms, take basic precautions: wash your hands thoroughly, don’t touch your face, and avoid handshakes and other hand-to-hand contact.
  • You do not have to wear a face mask if you’re feeling well. Masks help protect people who feel sick or people who work with sick patients. Please spare face masks for those people in need.
  • Monitor your own health more closely than usual. Watch for symptoms of cold and flu— sore throat, cough, fever, shortness of breath—and treat it differently than usual. If you have cold or flu symptoms, stay home. The same applies for your children.
  • If you think you’re sick, contact your doctor right away. If you do not have insurance or don't know where to go, call 311. We will help you find a facility. If you're unable to pay, you will still get treated.
  • The City is now capable of testing hundreds of people per day—and is working to be able to test thousands of people a day.

Please visit nyc.coronavirus.com at any time for more information.

We know that families are anxious and we will continue to update you with more information as we have it. 

March 6, 2020 9 PM

All New York City public schools were open today and there were no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in any of our schools. Continue to follow general viral prevention measures as outlined above. If you or your child is sick, stay home. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms. 

We will continue to share proactive updates with our 1.1 million families during this rapidly evolving situation.

March 5, 2020 4:00 PM

The health and safety of all of our students continues to be our first priority in the wake of the evolving situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York City. Today, we continue to urge New Yorkers to continue to listen to facts and not respond to fear.

Preparations and Protocols in Place

We continue to work in close partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to enhance protocols in schools. Here are some of the new communications we have shared with schools:

  • DOE has sent principals updated guidance regarding cleaning and travel.
  • DOE has shared protocols for handling symptomatic students and staff. For instance, if a student has symptoms while in school, they will be separated from other students and their parents will be notified to pick them up. If a staff member has symptoms, they will be advised to leave work and go to the doctor.
  • DOE is communicating with building managers to ensure schools have adequate supplies, such as cleaning materials, soap, and paper towels.
  • DOE is sharing additional guidance with schools regarding: daily announcements on public address systems for staff and students, identifying private rooms within schools to isolate staff or students who may have symptoms, and advising students and teachers to remain home and contact a doctor if they are sick.

There are no plans to close schools at this time. This is an extreme measure that can be disruptive to day-to-day life, and the decision to implement closures will only be taken at the direction of public health experts.

Guidance for Travelers 

Per the CDC recommendations posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, all travelers returning from affected countries (currently China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea) identified by the CDC should stay home for 14 days from the time they left the affected country, monitor their health, and avoid contact with others. If returning travelers from affected countries develop fever, cough, or trouble breathing, they should call their medical provider and tell them about their symptoms and recent travel.

These recommendations apply to any travelers returning after 12 p.m. on March 4, 2020. Please monitor the CDC.gov website for updates on affected countries.

Important Precautions 

As a reminder, it is critical that all New Yorkers continue to practice general viral infection prevention measures including: 

  •  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve 
  • Wash your hands regularly 
  • Avoid touching your face 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
  • Get your flu shot—it’s never too late 
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms and travel history.

How to Stay Informed and Fight Bias 

Please visit nyc.gov/coronavirus at any time for critical updates, as well as a helpful Coronavirus Fact Sheet (plus translations), available on that page under Additional Resources for 2019 Outbreak.

This page also includes ways to fight stigma and bias around this issue. It’s important we come together as a city and support one another as neighbors and New Yorkers during this time. COVID-19 is not more likely found in any one race or nationality, and we must each model inclusion and actively work to combat bias in our workplaces and communities. There are a lot of things on social media and in the news that are at best not rooted in science and at worst, offensive, demeaning and racist.

We will continue to share proactive updates with our 1.1 million families during this rapidly evolving situation.

Principal's Guidance

March 4, 2020 4:20 PM

The health and safety of all of our students continues to be our first priority. In recent days, the DOE has taken the following actions: 

  • DOE increased deep cleanings in schools to two times per week, disinfecting surface areas.
  • DOE has ensured all 1,800 schools have adequate hygiene and cleaning materials.
  • DOE is supplying all schools with facemasks to be used if a student exhibits symptoms and requires isolation prior to transport to a doctor and/or testing.
  • DOE is strongly encouraging students to take time at start of meal periods for handwashing, especially before meals; monitoring this, and will make changes as needed to assure students have the time.
  • DOE issued updated guidance on international travel for school trips, including canceling all DOE-sponsored international trips to the following countries with a level-2 or higher advisory alert from the CDC: China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan.
  • DOE, consistent with guidance from the CDC and NYSED, advised the cancellation of all study abroad programs; this includes where students are scheduled to come from other countries to stay with host families in NYC, and where DOE public school students are hosted abroad.
  • We know many parents are worried that absences could affect their child’s admissions process. Today we announced that attendance during 2019-20 SY will NOT impact the current or coming year’s applications to middle or high schools.

Please also visit nyc.gov/coronavirus at any time for critical updates, including ways to fight stigma and bias around this issue. Additionally, the Coronavirus Fact Sheet (plus translations) are available on that page under Additional Resources for 2019 Outbreak.

It’s important we come together as a city and support one another as neighbors and New Yorkers during this time

March 3, 2020 Update

Over the weekend, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York City. While we all hoped this moment would not come, it was something the City has meticulously prepared for.
 
At this time, it is important to listen to facts and not respond to fear. Despite our first confirmed case, New Yorkers remain at low risk for contracting the virus.
 

The health and safety of all of our students continues to be our first priority. As we monitor the situation, we are enhancing certain protocols and providing additional resources, including:

  • Providing CDC-approved cleaning agents to every school
  • Ensuring all bathrooms are continuously stocked with soap and paper towels, and encouraging students and staff to wash hands frequently
  • Ensuring principals and school nurses have the resources and guidance needed to detect and report symptoms exhibited at school, and provide help for any affected individuals

Working in close partnership with the Health Department, we will continue to update our protocols as the situation evolves, and communicate about any possible impact to parents and our school communities.

Please see the NYC Health Department’s Frequently Asked Questions for more information, or visit nyc.gov/health at any time for important updates, including the Coronavirus Fact Sheet (plus translations) available at the bottom of the page under Additional Resources for 2019 Outbreak.

March 2, 2020 Update

One person has been diagnosed with this novel coronavirus in New York City. The risk to New Yorkers of contracting this novel coronavirus is still low. Currently, we have not detected community transmission of COVID-19 in New York City. Community transmission means the disease is spreading and the source of the infection is unknown.

At this time, it is important to listen to facts and not respond to fear. However, we are preparing for the possibility of community transmission in New York City. The measures that are put in place should local community transmissions begin will depend on the number of individuals affected and the general severity of illness we experience in our city. The NYC Health Department is vigilantly preparing for all possible scenarios, and we will continue to monitor and communicate about any possible impact to our school communities.

There are no plans to close schools at this time. This is an extreme measure that can be disruptive to day-to-day life, and the decision to implement will be at the direction of public health experts.

All New Yorkers should continue to practice general flu prevention measures including:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Get your flu shot – it’s never too late
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms and travel history.

Please see the NYC Health Department’s Frequently Asked Questions for more information, or visit nyc.gov/health at any time for important updates, including the Coronavirus Fact Sheet (plus translations) available at the bottom of the page under Additional Resources for 2019 Outbreak.

We will continue to clearly communicate with our school communities about our ongoing efforts regarding the coronavirus.

February 26, 2020 Update

This was a backpack letter sent home to families. For translated versions of this letter, go to Coronavirus Parent Letters on the InfoHub.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discussed possible options for what could happen if there is local person-to-person transmission of the novel coronavirus in the United States, including recommendations for school systems to consider.

At this time, it is important to listen to facts and not respond to fear. Currently there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York City and the risk to New Yorkers remains low. 

However, transmission of the virus in other countries has raised our level of concern, and we are preparing for the possibility of person-to-person transmission in New York City. The measures that are put in place should local person-to-person transmissions begin will depend on the number of individuals affected and the general severity of illness we experience in our city. The NYC Health Department is vigilantly preparing for all possible scenarios, and we will continue to monitor and communicate about any possible impact to our school communities.

There are no plans to close schools at this time. This is an extreme measure that can be disruptive to day-to-day life, and the decision to implement will be at the direction of public health experts.

All New Yorkers should continue to practice general flu prevention measures including:

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Get your flu shot – it’s never too late
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms and travel history.

Please see the NYC Health Department’s Frequently Asked Questions for more information, or visit nyc.gov/health at any time for important updates, including the Coronavirus Fact Sheet (plus translations) available at the bottom of the page under Additional Resources for 2019 Outbreak.

We will continue to clearly communicate with our school communities about our ongoing efforts regarding the coronavirus.

February 5, 2020 Update

This was a backpack letter sent home to families. For translated versions of this letter, go to Coronavirus Parent Letters on the InfoHub.

Recently, a novel (new) coronavirus was detected in thousands of people worldwide, primarily in China. A "novel coronavirus" is a strain that has not been previously found in humans. This novel coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath.

The City is monitoring the outbreak closely and working with our partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At this time, the NYC Department of Education (DOE) is not authorizing school-sponsored travel to China. Local field trips will go on as planned.

Please be reassured that there is no need for alarm or to change daily routines in any way. The City is closely monitoring the situation, and all New Yorkers are advised to follow the same precautions they normally would in cold and flu season. Please see the recommendations below:

Students and staff with NO recent travel from China: Everyone should go about their daily lives and not panic, but practice the same precautions you do during cold and flu season:

  • If not already vaccinated — get your flu shot.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when sneezing or coughing.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often — use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home if you have a fever or are feeling sick.

Some students may come to school wearing face masks. The CDC does not recommend the use of face masks among healthy individuals. However, they are permitted. If the face mask becomes a distraction in the classroom or school community, school staff may ask students to remove them.

Students and school staff with recent travel from China: The federal government has issued a requirement for up to 14 days of either mandatory quarantine or home isolation (depending on travel areas in China) for individuals who left China after 5 pm EST February 2, 2020. This means that those individuals should NOT report to work or school for up to 14 days from the date that they departed China.

Students and staff who left China before 5 pm EST February 2, 2020, and who have no symptoms of illness, may return to school immediately.

Anyone who has left China in the last two weeks and has a fever or a cough or shortness of breath should call their medical provider and report their symptoms and travel history. They should not come to school until they have been evaluated by a doctor and told they are no longer sick.

With the best public health system in the world, New York City stands ready to respond to any confirmed cases of the coronavirus. We urge all New Yorkers to remain vigilant, and if you or anyone you know matches the criteria and have recently traveled to the affected areas of China, please see a medical professional.

To learn more, visit the Health Department’s website.

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