Please read the information below. A letter from Superintendent Skop is also attached.
- The 2020-21 school year will start in September 2020 (exact date is to be determined, pending a variety of considerations).
- NYC public school students will be learning 5 days a week, whether in-person in a school building, or at home.
- We will be maximizing in-person instruction as much as possible, given health and safety guidance. Students will return in either a blended learning model (a combination of remote learning and in-person instruction), or a fully remote learning model, based on the decision of their parents or families.
- Health officials have made clear that the following basic safety protocols are key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 (I.e. social distancing, face coverings (masks), hand hygiene washing, and staying home when sick).
- We are currently assessing student busing and transportation options for fall 2020.
It is clear that given the necessary health and safety requirements, it will not be feasible to have 100% of students present in any school building at the same time on any given day.
- Under the blended learning models, all students who wish to return to instruction in the school building will be taught on-site in school for a portion of the week and remotely on the other days of the week.
- In August, schools will provide families each student’s definitive schedule. Schools will work with their school leadership teams (SLTs) to select the blended learning model and schedule that best addresses the space constraints of their individual building.
- Families can expect children to be in school at least one or two consistent days per week throughout the year. Schools will make every effort to safely conduct as much in-person instruction as possible.
New Health and Safety Protocols
- All people in a school building must remain at least 6 feet apart at all times, including in classrooms, common areas, and during lunch periods.
- Face coverings will be required for all students, staff, and visitors while inside buildings. Disposable face coverings will be provided to students and staff who need them.
- o Exceptions will be made for those who cannot wear masks for developmental reasons, including based on their age.
- Students and staff will have increased access to hand washing facilities and sanitizer. Schools will be supplied with additional cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, in addition to disposable face coverings to students and staff.
- All schools will identify a space to be equipped as an Isolation Room in the event a student or staff member becomes ill while at school.
- Our buildings will be deep-cleaned on a nightly basis with electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, and HVAC systems are being upgraded to ensure better ventilation.
We are focused on delivering a high-quality, trauma-informed, purposeful education for every student this fall. We know that many of our families experienced trauma and loss related to COVID-19, and that the last few months have been difficult for all. As we return to school buildings, it is important to make space for these experiences, and to recognize that our “new normal” is not what any of us are used to.
- Teachers, staff, and students will have the time and supports they need to adjust to school and the necessary changes.
- Social-emotional learning and trauma-informed care will be integrated into school programming throughout the year, and all NYC public schools will have access to offer mental health support programs for the full 2020-21 school year.
- Students with disabilities will receive quality instruction and related services that will benefit them most. Students with 12-month individual education plans (IEPs) who have elected to receive in-person services are receiving them during the summer. This fall we will continue to offer in-person services to all students with IEPs who opt to receive in- person services, to the greatest extent possible. The safety our students and staff will be our top priority and we intend to continue to provide these services as long as receive guidance that it is safe to do so.
- Due to COVID-19, multilingual learners were not given the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test, (NYSESLAT), an annual exam that determines a student’s current level of proficiency in English. Multilingual learners are entitled to continue to receive targeted language supports and instruction, in-person or remotely, for the 2020-2021 school year. Schools will consider students’ current level of proficiency in English and home language to design and will receive an instructional program that will ensure continued progress in both their language development and content area knowledge.
Keeping Families Informed
As we finalize plans for a school year like no other in our history, we know how important it is that our students, families, and staff have the information they need to prepare. For each piece of information we are providing, more questions can emerge. Please visit the Return to School 2020 webpage on a regular basis for the latest updates at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020.
- Throughout the summer we will continue to engage with families, students, and community leaders—both centrally through the DOE and within each school community.
- DOE will host a series of Family & Student Information Sessions to answer family questions and concerns. The first session will be held on July 16. Visit schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020 for the latest updates.
- Specific guidance will be coming soon for families with children enrolled in community-based organization (CBO) early childhood programs.
- DOE will convene community and advocate roundtable meetings, briefings with elected officials, Community Education Council (CEC) leaders, and more.
As more information is available we will share it with you.
You can reach your parent coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org