The 2021-22 School Year

Homecoming 2021

Fall 2021 marks an important homecoming for our schools. We will begin the journey to recovery by welcoming New York City students back to school communities and classrooms where they can feel safe and well-cared for, and where they can learn and grow socially, emotionally, and academically.

Our return to full-time, in-person learning starts with the Academic Recovery Plan, a new vision for New York City’s students with a special focus in the upcoming 2021–22 academic year on transformative, far-reaching investments in seven critical areas: early literacy for all, developing students as digital citizens, preparing students to be college- and career-ready, special education services and support, support for multilingual learners, building a rigorous and inclusive universal curriculum, and social emotional supports for every student.

Our Priorities:

  • Social Emotional Supports for Every Student
  • Early Childhood Literacy
  • Developing Our Students as Digital Citizens
  • Investing in Special Education
  • Greater Support for our Multilingual Learners (MLs) and their Families
  • Ensuring a Culturally Relevant and Sustaining Curriculum in Every School
  • College and Career Readiness

Our Priorities

Social Emotional Supports for Every Student 

Your Child Will Feel Welcomed, and Helped to Heal from the Past Year

Children in every community are carrying trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A successful academic recovery can only happen when the emotional and mental health needs of students are also addressed. The DOE is significantly investing in every student—we will:

  • hire over 500 social workers and other mental health support staff to guarantee that every school has resources to support students who may be in crisis.
  • add over 130 new community schools to provide expanded social, emotional, academic, and extracurricular services to students in the highest need communities.
  • conduct wellness checks and social-emotional learning support to identify multilingual learners and their needs, particularly in transitioning to full time in-person learning.
  • use a social emotional screening tool to help identify students in need and quickly match them with services.

Early Literacy for All

Young Learners Will Receive Targeted Support in Developing Their Literacy Skills

Literacy and reading are fundamental to children’s ability to reach important milestones all along the educational journey. The DOE is redoubling its commitment to early literacy by investing in screening and intervention for students in kindergarten through second grade, with the goal of having every New York City public school student reading on grade level by the end of second grade. We will:

  • have teachers of students in kindergarten through grade 2 use an assessment tool at the beginning of the year to identify strengths and challenges and develop support plans tailored to students’ specific needs.
  • provide thousands of teachers in these grades with extra training to support literacy.
  • Hire 140 more teachers to reduce class sizes at 72 elementary schools with the specific goal of improving reading proficiency.
  • expand the number of reading coaches in our successful Universal Literacy coaching program to 500 to ensure every early childhood and K-2 classroom has this support. In addition, we will give schools funding for targeted supports for students, such as extended day and enrichment activities.

Digital Citizenship

Your Child Will Grow Their Technological Skills

This September, we will build on the investments made in technology to support learning during the pandemic. Students will have access to the devices they need and receive support in developing their digital skills to prepare them for the new economy. To support the development of students’ digital fluency, we will:

  • distribute an additional 175,000 devices so every K-12 student who needs a device has access to one.
  • launch an eighth-grade technology project for students to demonstrate their digital literacy skills.
  • train 5,000 K-12 teachers to teach computer science coursework.
  • expand Computer Science for All in order to support computational thinking, problem-solving, and digital skills for 400,000 students by 2024.

Special Education Investments

More Special Education Support Will Be Available for Students with Disabilities

The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on our students with disabilities. The Academic Recovery Plan will make every resource available to better support students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), from our youngest learners to students preparing for graduation. We will:

  • launch afterschool and Saturday programs for students with IEPs to receive additional instruction and related services.
  • add 800 Special Education Pre-K seats and expanding Committees on Preschool Special Education to review more IEP requests.
  • provide eligible students ages 21+ with either continued instruction toward their diploma or other credential, or consultation about plans for college and career readiness.

We will also continue to provide family workshops and information sessions through our Beyond Access Series, which supports families of students with disabilities by providing sessions on topics related to special education.

Expanded Multilingual Support

More Language Support Will Be Available to Multilingual Learners

Multilingual learners (MLs) and immigrant families are valued and supported at DOE. In order to provide culturally responsive supports that give students and their families equitable access to resources, and opportunities that help students succeed inside and outside the classroom, we will:

  • establish Immigrant Ambassador Programs across 30 high schools to match immigrant DOE students with college students for mentorship.
  • provide schools with resources to purchase print and digital books in students’ home languages, and build home language libraries.
  • provide teachers with training that is specific to the language needs of multilingual learners and immigrant students.
  • conduct wellness checks and deliver social-emotional learning support to multilingual learners, particularly in transitioning to full time in-person learning.
  • expand the Postsecondary Readiness for ELLs Program (PREP), to be facilitated by a select group of school counselors and educators.

Universal Mosaic Curriculum

Your Child Will Learn Challenging Material That Reflects Who They Are

Children are more engaged in class when they can see themselves in their lessons and materials. We are committed to reflecting New York City’s “beautiful mosaic” of cultures and histories in our curriculum. As part of our efforts to build a more inclusive, responsive learning experience that supports and challenges our city’s students, we will:

  • provide your child’s school with an infusion of books that reflect the variety of histories, languages, and experiences that are the foundation of our diverse city.
  • begin work on universal, rigorous, and inclusive English Language Arts (ELA) and Math curricula that will be shared by New York City’s 1,600 schools and one million students. It will be built on investments in literacy and will challenge students to move beyond their academic comfort zones.
  • begin developing brand new support materials for ELA, Math, Arts and more, developed by New York City educators for New York City students.

College and Career Readiness

Your Child Will Be Prepared for Their Next Steps After Graduation

Especially as our students heal from the pandemic, we need to make sure they are better prepared for the next step in life, whether it’s college or the beginning of their career in the workforce. To help build that crucial pathway to post-secondary success, we will:

  • deliver free, personalized college counseling for every junior and senior after school so that every student has a post-graduation plan. This includes launching Student Success Centers for 34 high schools and expanding the Postsecondary Readiness for ELLs Program (PREP).
  • offer Universal College Financial Aid Guidance in multiple languages, to help navigate the application process.
  • add new Advanced Placement or College Now courses so tens of thousands more students have access to college-level coursework.
  • serve 22,000 students from all high schools in dual enrollment, college-credit courses across 18 CUNY campuses through the College Now program.
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