A message from the Division of Community Empowerment, Partnerships, and Communications New York City Department of Education
Sun, Mar 22 6:23pm
[...] In a week's time, we will have transformed our traditional brick-and-mortar education system into virtual classrooms.  We have been working around-the-clock to learn new skills and technology, acquire new resources, and re-think our entire service delivery model.  During this time, communication will be more important than ever, so we will be continuing to send you frequent updates.  Please find our most recent news and helpful links below:  

Remote Learning 


For 3-K and Pre-k 

We shared an instructional resource for families of infants, toddlers, and 3-K/Pre-K children, which contains activities that are similar to those children do in early childhood programs and will help children continue to have a daily routine and learn through play at home. We also shared a resource for teachers and leaders who are conducting remote learning, which includes guidance they can share with families about speaking with young children about COVID-19 and why schools are closing.  


For K-12 

Families should have received guidance from principals about what remote learning will look like for their student this week, including any necessary log-in information or printed materials that will be shipped.  All of the remote learning will be aligned to grade level and according to State standards.  We have created student accounts for every K-12 student, including Google Drive, Google Classroom, OneDrive Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.  At schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home, parents can access a list of free online resources organized by content and grade level that can be accessed at home.  There are suggested daily student schedules, guides and instructional materials for instructional activities in at least nine languages, recommended educational television shows, and links to a variety of books, magazines and websites on a wide range of topics that appeal to children at all ages.  The Division of Multilingual Learners is developing guidance for schools on how to enhance instruction of our ELLs and MLLs in different settings, including bilingual classrooms, integrated ENL, and standalone ENL, to a remote learning environment.  Schools started contacting families this week to begin arrangements for special education programs and related services through remote learning, and will be given a template for creating specific remote learning plans for special education students. We will be holding IEP meetings by phone, and we are looking into the possibility of conducting assessments remotely as much as possible. 




Schools distributed their inventory of electronic devices to families this weekAt this time, there are several options for free internet access, as follows: 


  • AlticeUSA is providing free internet service for all students for 60 days. Please call 866-200-9522 to enroll. 

  • Comcast - Comcast is offering an internet essentials package for free. To sign up for a free internet essentials package for 60 days, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish. 

  • Spectrum - Spectrum is offering free internet access for students. Beginning March 16, Spectrum is offering free internet for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. 

  • Charter - Charter is offering free internet for 2 months. 1 (877) 906-9121 

  • AT&T - AT&T COVID-19 response. AT&T will offer open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families. 

  • Verizon - Verizon does not have special offers, but is following the FCC agreement. 

  • Sprint - Sprint is following the FCC agreement, providing unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge. 

  • T-Mobile - T-Mobile is following the FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge. 



Electronic Devices


Starting next week, we will be distributing 300,000 internet-connected iPads to students that need them.  Families that need electronic devices should submit the request here: https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices.  Families can also call 718-935-5100 and select option 5 for to complete the survey over the phone.  We are prioritizing students in temporary housing and our neediest families and directly providing those students with devices.  Over 150K families have already signed up, and delivery will be done in waves over the next several weeks.


Regional Enrichment Centers (RECs) 


There will be approximately 100 REC sites across all five boroughs, with the first sites opening starting the week of March 23 and will add more depending on need. We are finalizing the list of sites and it will include early childcare centers. The first tier of outreach will be to first responders, transit and healthcare workers, and we have been working with City agencies, unions and partner organizations to reach out to those families.  There will be no on-site enrollment, so all families must register in advance.  As we assess our capacity, we will provide more information to families about how to enroll.


Meal Hubs 

Free breakfast and lunch is available to all New Yorker City students at meal hubs across the city from 7:30am until 1pm during the week.  Families can pick up breakfast, lunch and dinner at once, and no identification or registration is required.  There will be over 400 meal hubs across the city, and families can find a meal hub location online, or by calling 877-877 FOOD 


Family Welcome Centers and P311 


DOE is committed to keeping regular communication channels in place for families to the fullest extent possible, while ensuring we are keeping our staff safe. To that end, Family Welcome Center (FWC) buildings have been temporarily closed and staff members are working remotely to support families. FWC staff are available by email, contact information by borough below, and are prepared to assist with enrollment and placement of new admissions, questions around admissions, information about offers, and waitlists. There may be higher than usual volume but we are aiming to respond to all requests within 48 hours. 


Our employees at P311, the DOE’s Parent Support Line, are beginning to prepare for remote work beginning next week and will use a remote call management/routing software to avoid disruption in services for P311 callers. Parents can call 311 and say “Schools” to be routed to someone who can assist you.  

Famlies can receive direct support from a FWC staff member by e-mailing your questions to:


·         Bronx: bronxfwc@schools.nyc.gov 

·         Brooklyn: brooklynfwc@schools.nyc.gov 

·         Manhattan: manhattanfwc@schools.nyc.gov 

·         Queens: queensfwc@schools.nyc.gov 

·         Staten Island: statenislandfwc@schools.nyc.gov 


Helpful Links


Adrienne Austin, Esq.

Acting Deputy Chancellor

Division of Community Empowerment, Partnerships, and Communications

New York City Department of Education

52 Chambers Street  | Room 320| NY, NY 10007