None of us ever imagined what COVID-19 would bring: the closure of public school buildings, remote teaching and learning from home, and distancing from each other to remain safe.
This has been hard work that wouldn’t be possible without your efforts and support. We know you and your children are moving mountains to keep learning going during this time, as are the more than 150,000 dedicated educators and staff at the NYC Department of Education. I am so grateful for the support you have provided your children as we all have quickly worked to adapt to this entirely new approach to education. These are disruptive and stressful times that have already come with many challenges and a constantly evolving landscape. But with your help, we are making progress every day.
In that context, I have important updates and reminders to share with you:
School Closures: The State has announced that all schools in New York State will now remain closed through April 29, 2020.
Regents Exams: The State has cancelled June 2020 Regents exams. Families of high school students will soon receive additional guidance regarding how this impacts graduation requirements. In short, students who planned to take Regents exams in June 2020 will be exempt from these exams in order to earn their diploma, but they still must complete the required course credits to graduate. Our goal is to make sure that students on track to graduate this year continue to remain on their path toward successful completion of high school.
Math and ELA Tests: The State has cancelled math and English Language Arts tests for grades 3 through 8.
AP Exams: The College Board has announced that AP exams will not be administered in school buildings, but students will be able to take AP exams at home. We will soon provide guidance to schools and students on how to implement these changes. If you are in need of a device and have not yet done so, we encourage you to complete DOE’s remote learning device survey.
Remote Learning Tools: In order to best protect security and privacy, we are requiring schools to transition away from using Zoom as a virtual meeting tool for remote learning. We know this tool is already in use by many schools and we don’t expect it to happen overnight, but we are providing support to educators to help the transition to Google Hangouts Meet or Microsoft Teams—both of which are also in consistent use by many schools.
I believe that the professionalism and dedication of our educators has never been more apparent than throughout this extraordinary crisis. They have risen to the occasion, fundamentally transforming our learning model while also attending to the altered needs of their own families.
Likewise, your support and partnership have been critical in helping our students cope, remain safe, and learn— even as you have confronted enormous stresses of your own. Thanks to everything you and our educators are doing together, I am confident that our children will continue to meaningfully engage and progress during these times.
Like our educators during this ordeal, you are truly heroes. We know this is difficult as we all learn to navigate through this unprecedented time together. But we will continue to do everything in our power to support you every step of the way.
Richard A. Carranza
Chancellor New York City Department of Education
DEADLINE EXTENDED. The 2019/2020 NYC School Survey was distributed in late February in a bright green envelope. Thank you to all who completed the survey already! If you did not complete it yet, you may still complete it online using the code found at the bottom right of the paper form. If you no longer have the paper form, you can visit www.nycschoolsurvey.org and look up your code to complete it online. Even in this unusual year, responses will provide school administrators with valuable information that can lead to improvements in our school.
In order to successfully fight COVID-19, our first responders, health care providers, transit workers, and other key personnel must be able to come to work. That is why we have created Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs)—places where the children of these front-line workers can be safely cared for while their parents continue to serve the city in this time of need. Staffed by DOE employees and community-based organization partners, the centers will provide children with three hot meals daily, remote learning time with their teachers, activities like art and music, and social and emotional support. Regional Enrichment Centers will be available citywide. If you are a first responder, health care provider, or transit worker whose child is a New York City resident, and you have no other child care option, please complete this survey to begin your enrollment process. You will then be contacted about assignment to a site near your home. These centers are not available for any other New Yorkers at this time. We will post additional updates and information on the DOE website about RECs as we have it at schools.nyc.gov.
Additional information about Regional Enrichment Centers:
RECs will be open from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Each room will have a maximum of 12 children, supported by at least one adult; this size will both allow for personalized attention and will meet social distancing needs. RECs will also have nurses on site.
Children will have the opportunity to participate in remote learning with their regular school, as is the case for all NYC public school students.
Children will also have opportunities to engage in art, music, and physical education.
The environment will be safe and supportive, and staff will be prepared to respond to children’s social and emotional needs
Children will be offered a site based on their home address and their parent or caregiver’s role in providing essential services.
Students will be asked each day to bring a device they can use for remote learning if one is available. Please complete the survey today ONLY if you are a healthcare worker, first responder, or transit worker. Following survey submission, the DOE will contact you with additional details about where and how to bring your child to a REC site within 48-72 hours. If you have questions about enrollment for the Regional Enrichment Centers, please call (718) 935-2200.
Richard A. Carranza Chancellor
New York City Department of Education
Posted 5:47 PM EDT, Sunday March 15, 2020 Updated 4:51 PM EDT, Monday March 16, 2020
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced the City will move towards a new Remote Learning Model for all school days until Spring Recess. Students will not report to school buildings for instruction during this time. School buildings are scheduled to reopen to students following Spring Recess on Monday, April 20, 2020.
For the remainder of this week, teachers and administrators will participate in professional development on remote learning, and students will begin picking up materials for continued instruction.
The schedule, as we move to remote learning, is as follows:
Monday, March 23
Effective Monday, March 23, Regional Enrichment Centers will be available for the children of first responders, healthcare workers, and our most vulnerable populations, with more details to follow.
Additionally, remote learning will go into effect for grades K-12. DOE will support schools at all levels of readiness to deliver remote learning, and more information will be provided to families about online platforms.