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Live Updates on COVID-19

As we continue to monitor the evolving public health situation regarding COVID-19, we will update this page with more information for families about NYC public schools.

A note about AFC's services: In response to the public health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) will be working remotely as of March 16, 2020, out of concern for the safety and well-being of our staff, our clients, and our fellow New Yorkers. Although our offices will be closed, we will continue to advocate on behalf of New York City students. You may continue to contact all AFC staff via e-mail or telephone, and AFC will remain open virtually and attentive to public inquiries related to our programs and services.

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Resources for families

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 NYC Schools Updates (updated November 30)


 NYC School Building Closures & Reopenings

The Mayor's updates on reopening guidelines:

    • 3-K, Pre-K and Grades K-5 will return to in-person learning on Monday, December 7 (Note, for school buildings that serve up to gradess 8 or 12, only grades K-5 will return.
    • D75 schools (all grade levels) will return to in-person learning on Thursday, December 10 
    • The City is working to reopen schools in the orange zone of NYC in accordance with state guidelines; these schools could open as early as the week of December 7, but possibly later.
    • There will be weekly COVID-19 testing in every school. No student in grades 1-12 will be permitted to return school buildings without a signed consent form for in-school testing. For families who have already provided consent via NYCSA or a paper form, the DOE is encouraging you to submit it again to ensure they have the most up to date form on file. You can find instructions on easy ways to submit consent on the DOE's website. Read the Chancellor's full letter to families, available in multiple languages, hereCurious about what the test looks like? Watch a DOE video of a student receiving a COVID test to get a better idea
    • In schools that have the space and ability, students who had opted for blended learning will go to five-day-per week in-person instruction. This is now the preferred in-person model, over blended learning, meaning that the two types of learning would now be fully remote and fully in-person. 


More information is available on the DOE's website.


Updated Grading Policy for the 2020-21 School Year

The DOE has released this year’s grading policy. Here's a summary of the changes:

Grades K-5: Schools will choose their grading scales. Students will receive grades of “needs improvement” (N) in place of failing grades. Parents/guardians may choose to have passing grades updated to “meets standards” (MT).

Grades 6-8: Schools will choose their grading scales. Students will receive grades of “course in progress” (NX) in place of failing grades. Parents/guardians may choose to have passing grades updated to “pass” (P). Grades of “P” will not be factored into students’ GPAs. Students are still expected to meet learning outcomes for their courses, and teachers will provide support for their students.

Grades 9-12:  Schools will choose their grading scales. Students will receive grades of “course in progress” (NX) in place of failing grades. Parents/guardians may choose to have passing grades updated to “credit” (CR). Grades of “CR” will not be factored into students’ GPAs. Students are still expected to meet learning outcomes for their courses, and teachers will provide support for their students. If students do not meet the learning outcomes by the relevant deadlines for completing courses in progress, they will receive a failing final grade.

For more details about the updated grading policy, see Chancellor Carranza's letter to families (translation available).

Learning Bridges Child Care Program

The City's Learning Bridges program provide free child care to children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. The program will provide full-day supervision, educational support for remote learning, as well as enrichment activities (arts, recreation, tutoring, social-emotional supports, field trips where possible) for days when students are on remote instruction. If you are interested in the Learning Bridges program, learn more and complete the survey.

When applying, families of students in District 75 schools can find their D75 school listed under the geographic district. For students at state-approved NPSs (853s) and preschool special education programs at CBOs (4410s), families should leave the school dropdown BLANK (these schools are not listed but students are eligible). 

The Learning Bridges program is set to add seats over time; when it began on September 21, the program opened seats for 30,000 children; the city is aiming for 100,000 seats in December. Offers will be made on a rolling basis, and priority for placement will be given to: 

    • Families in temporary housing, including shelters and hotels
    • Children of NYCDOE school and program staff, including staff of Learning Bridges sites and other contracted early childhood providers 
    • Families residing in NYCHA developments 
    • Children in family foster care or receiving other child welfare services 
    • Students with disabilities 
    • Children whose parent/guardian is an essential worker or was previously enrolled in a Regional Enrichment Center (REC) 

Please note, seats are not guaranteed for all who apply.

Transportation

All families should have been notified about their bus routes the week prior to the begining of school through their NYC Schools Account, where you can log in to check your child’s bus status. Bus companies should also be calling to confirm bus routes.

The DOE has said that there will be health and safety protocols in place on buses, including face coverings, social distancing, open windows, hand sanitizer, and nightly cleaning.

If a route is not in place, call OPT at (718) 392-8855, or your school and ask for information about your child's bus route. You can also request MetroCards from your child’s school; the DOE has shipped MetroCards to every school, including state-approved non public schools.

You may also be eligible for reimbursement for the cost of taking your child to and from school, to cover the cost of MetroCards and/or carfare. However, you may only be reimbursed for the cost of travel one way in the morning and in the afternoon (e.g. to take the child to the school, and to bring your child home). To request the reimbursement form, email the DOE at BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov.

Students Aged 21 or older

Watch our webinar on the extended eligibility policy. Slides from the webinar are available online [PDF]

The DOE will be extending eligibility for students who would typically be aging out of high school, but are in need of continued education or support services in order to graduate with a diploma or to transition to adult programs and services.

Schools will be contacting eligible 21-year-olds and their families. Any students who meet the following criteria but haven't yet heard from their schools should reach out to their school immediately. Families can direct any questions or concerns to specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov.

The following students are eligible to school this summer and next school year:

    • 21-year-olds still working towards a HS diploma. Students can return for the 2020-2021 school year if they can complete remaining credits needed for a diploma in 1 year. Students with 33+ credits should talk to their school about whether to continue school this summer or fall. Students can check their credit progress through their NYC schools account 
    • Students with disabilities working towards a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC). Students can return for the 2020-2021 school year and/or receive related services if they missed instruction due to the remote learning transition; and/or are showing signs of regression and haven’t met their IEP goals. 
    • Students with IEPs who need to be connected with adult/postsecondary services or education & have otherwise completed school. Students can receive transition supports (help applying to OPWDD, ACCES-VR, vocational programs, and other adult programs/services) during the summer and 2020-2021 school year through their borough TCAC or the District 75 Transition Office:  

Bronx: bxtcac@schools.nyc.gov | 718-581-2250
Brooklyn: bklyntcac@schools.nyc.gov | 718-804-6790
Manhattan: mntcac@schools.nyc.gov | 212-609-8491
Queens: qnstcac@schools.nyc.gov | 718-557-2782
Staten Island: sitcac@schools.nyc.gov | 718-420-5723
Students in D75: D75transition@schools.nyc.gov

Contacting Schools

The best way to contact a school is by email; currently, most school phone numbers are still going directly to the school buildings and will not reach school employees. Schools are working to have calls forwarded to principals and staff in the near future. Contact emails for principals, parent coordinators, and teachers will be available shortly on public-facing websites.

Enrollment

For any newly arrived immigrants who need to enroll in school, Family Welcome Center (FWC) staff are available remotely to assist with enrollment, placement, and questions about admissions, offers, and waitlists. Questions can be emailed to your borough's Welcome Center address:

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



 Remote learning for students with disabilities (updated September 21)


Watch our webinar on Remote Learning 101. Slides from the webinar are available online [PDF]
Watch our webinar on IEPs and Evaluations during COVID-19. Slides from the presentation are available online [PDF]

Resources and support for remote learning for special education students is available on the DOE's website. School administrators and individual providers should have contacted families to develop ways for students — including students with IEPs — to get live instruction, including whole classroom, one-to-one instruction, alternate assessment and differentiated content.

The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) has released guidance on special education during school closures, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions — we've compiled the full NYSED FAQ [PDF]. 

Many more remote learning supports for students with disabilities are available below.

Remote Learning Plans (RLPs) and Program Adaptions Documents (PADs)

The DOE is no longer using Remote Learning Plans (RLPs) for the 20-21 school year. Schools should be contacting parents of students with IEPs to create a Special Education Program Adaptions Document (PAD), which summarizes the programs and services recommended on your child's IEP, and describes how they will be adapted for the blended and remote learning environments. This is created after consulting with the parent.   

Note: PADs can be changed. If you would like to make changes, contact your child’s teacher and the school based support team at your child’s school. You can also email specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov

The PAD does not replace or change your child's IEP. Your child's IEP remains an active document that includes annual goals and recommended programs and services. The PAD summarizes your child's IEP-recommended special education program and services, and describes how they will be adapted for the blended and remote learning models available this fall. 

Schools should be reaching out to families to create PADs in mid-September. If you have not heard from the teacher by September 18, or you have not received a copy of your child's PAD by September 25, please contact the teacher or principal and the DOE at specialeducation@school.nyc.gov. 

Related Services Adaptations Document (RAD)

The Related Services Adaptations Document (RAD) is similar to PADs. The RAD will summarize a student’s related services, and describe the way in which these will be offered. 

For students who are fully remote, related services will also be provided remotely. Services providers should be contacting parents directly.  

For students in blended programs, related services can be provided in a combination of in-person and remote or all remote. Related services providers should be reaching out directly to families to schedule services. 

Each related service provider should be reaching out to you soon to discuss the program and create a written plan for each related service. If you don’t agree with the plan make sure you let the provider know what you think would work for your child.  When you get a copy of the plan make sure it’s right and your concerns are noted.  

Contacting CSEs & CPSEs

CSEs are shifting to a remote practice, but you can still get direct support from a Committee on Special Education staff member. All documents regarding special education services can now be faxed via a secure, electronic DOE system. Fax numbers for CPSEs and CSEs can be found on the DOE's website.

    • Documents for preschool children should be sent to the “CPSE” number of the region, based on the school district where the child lives (you can locate school districts at the MySchools website).
    • Documents for children who attend parochial, private or charter schools over the age of 5 should be sent to the “CSE” number of the region, based on the school district of current school attendance.

NOTE: If you faxed any documents to a CPSE or CSE between March 20th and April 15th, please re-send the document to the new fax numbers. If you experience any challenges transmitting information via fax to one of these numbers, please email efaxhelp@schools.nyc.gov.

Tech support for assistive technology

Visit the DOE's website for additional tech support and user guides for AT and other remote learning devies. More information about AT, and who to contact for support and assistance, is available in our Guide to Assistive Technology [PDF]. See below for additional resources and support for families who currently use or will soon require assistive technologies.

For students who have IEPs that include Assistive Technology (AT) or Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), schools should have already provided that necessary AT and AAC for students to use at home during remote learning. The DOE is working to develop a tele-therapy readiness checklist for providers, and will be working with schools to send those home to families.

IEP meetings, Turning 5 meetings & Evaluations

IEP meetings for all students with disabilities will be conducted by phone. The school should send you copies of any documents that will be discussed before the meeting.

For families of students with disabilities entering kindergarten next year, contact your child’s school or your Turning 5 contact if you want to participate in an IEP meeting by phone. All social history interviews can also be done by phone if you would like to do that.  

Families who wish to refer their child for special education evaluations may continue to do so by emailing the principal, calling 311, or by emailing specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov. Assessments may be conducted remotely. For more information on referrals and evaluations, see our Guide to Special Education [PDF].  If you have any questions, call AFC's Educational Helpline: (866) 427-6033 for support.

Federal Guidance

The Federal Government released guidance on March 12 about providing services to children with disabilities, and school district’s legal responsibilities to students with IEPs in times of school closings.  Some key points from that guidance: 

    • As long as the City’s schools remain open, they must make sure that students with disabilities have the same access to school as their general education peers even if that means access through a distance learning plan;
    • Students with disabilities who are absent because of the virus must continue to receive special education and related services if their absence lasts longer than 10 days;
    • If schools don’t provide the services on a child's IEP for an extended time, the schools and families should talk about what compensatory services may be needed to address skills lost during that period.  

 Early Childhood Education (updated May 19)


Watch our webinar on early childhood education during COVID-19. Slides from the webinar are available online [PDF]

IEP meetings, Turning 5 meetings & Evaluations

IEP meetings for all students with disabilities will be conducted by phone. The school should send you copies of any documents that will be discussed before the meeting.For families of students with disabilities entering kindergarten next year, contact your child’s school or your Turning 5 contact if you want to participate in an IEP meeting by phone. All social history interviews can also be done by phone if you would like to do that.  

Families who wish to refer their child for special education evaluations may continue to do so by emailing the principal, calling 311, or by emailing specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov. Assessments may be conducted remotely. For more information on referrals and evaluations, see our Guide to Special Education [PDF].  If you have any questions, call AFC's Educational Helpline: (866) 427-6033 for support.

Preschool Special Education Services

While schools are closed, preschoolers with IEPs can receive their Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) and related services online through teletherapy.  Service providers should be calling families to set a schedule for services. 

Children enrolled in 3-K, Pre-K, and preschool special education programs should receive remote learning such as video instruction, suggestions for activities children can do at home, and communication from the program, in addition to the SEIT and related services on their IEPs. 

Families that are having trouble getting services in place or whose children have significant needs and may be put at risk if they go without in-person services for a long period of time should contact their services providers, e-mail the DOE at specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov (and feel free to copy AFC at preschool@afcnyc.org), or call AFC’s Helpline at (866) 427-6033.

Early Intervention (EI) Services

Children can receive their Early Intervention (EI) services through teletherapy (online). To request these services, families should contact their EI Service Coordinator or call 311. Children who usually get EI center-based services can get services through teletherapy at home. Families having trouble getting EI services in place can call AFC’s Helpline at (866) 427-6033. 

Families concerned about the development of their 0-2-year-old child can still refer their child for EI evaluations by calling 311. Assessments and evaluations are taking place through teletherapy, and Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meetings are taking place over the phone. For more information on referrals, evaluations, and IFSPs, see our Guide to Early Intervention [PDF].  If you have any questions, call AFC's Educational Helpline: (866) 427-6033 for support. 

Contacting CSEs & CPSEs

CSEs are shifting to a remote practice, but you can still get direct support from a Committee on Special Education staff member. All documents regarding special education services can now be faxed via a secure, electronic DOE system. Fax numbers for CPSEs and CSEs can be found on the DOE's website.

    • Documents for preschool children should be sent to the “CPSE” number of the region, based on the school district where the child lives (you can locate school districts at the MySchools website).
    • Documents for children who attend parochial, private or charter schools over the age of 5 should be sent to the “CSE” number of the region, based on the school district of current school attendance.


If you faxed any documents to a CPSE or CSE between March 20th and April 15th, please re-send the document to the new fax numbers. If you experience any challenges transmitting information via fax to one of these numbers, please email efaxhelp@schools.nyc.gov.

 Supports for Multilingual Learners & English Language Learners (updated May 21)


Las diapositivas del nuestro seminario web, Instrucción Remota 101, están disponibles en línea.

The DOE has posted supports and resources for Multilingual Learners and English Language Learners on their website

Every school will create a remote learning plan to ensure that English language learners and former English language learners receive targeted instruction in English with the appropriate amount of supports in their home language. Your school will continue to consider your student’s specific strengths and needs, such as their current level of proficiency in English and the academic areas where they need the most support. These services will be provided by and in collaboration with an appropriately certified teacher.

Students who receive loaned devices from the DOE can change the default language and settings to a preferred language (directions are available for Apple and for Android devices). The DOE recommends that students use Google Translate to translate any online content into their preferred language.

Need help using Google Translate? We've created a step-by-step guide [PDF] in English and Spanish. We also have step-by-step directions for getting set up on Google Classroom, available in English and Spanish [PDF].

Parents of students with disabilities in NYC schools who are Limited English Proficient are entitled to translation and interpretation services, as confirmed by a recent resolution agreement. The DOE is responsible for informing families of their right to request these services, tracking translation and interpretation requests, and creating a centralized system for providing translated documents to families in all school districts in New York City. Read more about this resolution agreement.

 Remote Learning Tech Support (updated September 21)


Watch a video on this topic in English | Mire un video sobre este tema en español

The DOE's Remote Learning Model for all NYC students began March 23.  Families who have trouble connecting to remote learning should contact their individual schools via email for help and troubleshooting. Schools will be able to monitor student use of the remote platform, and should be able to contact families that have not consistently logged on. Device support and other resources for assistive technology are available on the DOE's website.

Tech support for remote learning

Any student with a broken iPad should take the device to their school. Schools have been directed to work with DOE IT to send devices back to Apple to get them repaired or replaced; students turning in broken devices should get replacements from their school. 

Families can submit requests for technical support for a broad range of issues, including application support, lost, stolen, or broken devices, and delivery status, through the Technical Support for Families page. Note: when you select a topic and issue in the ticket submission form, the form will automatically list common resolutions to technical support problems; if the suggested resolutions do not resolve your issue, you can continue to submit a tech support ticket by completing the form.

The DOE has compiled tech support resources, including getting started with a DOE-issued iPad. For additional tech support, call the DOE's Service Desk at (718) 935-5100. For questions about DOE-issued devices, you can also email schooldevices@schools.nyc.gov.

Every DOE student has an account for remote learning. If you need help with your student's username or password, the DOE has step-by-step instructions.

Google Classroom

We've created a step-by-step guide to navigating Google Classroom (also available in Spanish), including how to join a class, view and submit assignments, and more.  For step-by-step instructions on how to set up Google Translate, see our Guide to Google Translate (in English and Spanish).

New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (NYS TESOL) has created Google Classroom tutorial videos for families and students in the following 10 languages: Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Urdu.

The DOE has created a technical support guide for Google Classroom, and a step-by-step Parent's Guide to Google Classroom, developed by teachers, is available online in multiple languages: EnglishSpanishChineseKoreanBengaliRussian, and Arabic

Device needs for remote learning

The DOE is loaning 300,000 data plan-enabled iPads (which have been donated by Apple) to students who need them for remote learning. We urge everyone who needs a device for remote learning to apply for one. There is a limit of one device per student.

If there are multiple students in your household who need remote learning devices, you should apply for multiple devices. More information about device delivery is available on the DOE's website.

The following students are eligible for an iPad from the DOE:

    • students attending DOE schools, including District 75 schools
    • students attending DOE Pre-K Centers
    • students at state-approved non-public schools
    • students at preschool special education programs, 3-K, Pre-K, and EarlyLearn programs
    • charter school students in temporary housing or foster care
    • SOME charter school students with IEPs
    • students with disabilities enrolled in religious and independent private schools 


To request one of these Remote Learning Devices, submit a request online or by phone at (718) 935-5100 (press 5).  The same survey will also be available as a flyer at all Grab & Go meal pickup sites (for more information about meals, see below). Priority for devices will be given to students most in need, and all devices are granted on a temporary basis and will later need to be returned.

Wi-Fi access for remote learning

Charter cable and other providers will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription, and installation fees will be waived for new student households (see below for a full list of service providers and contact information). Any students who receive loaned DOE devices for remote learning will have a device that is WiFi-enabled.  The DOE says they will continue to work with providers to find solutions for areas where these services are not yet provided and for other issues regarding Wi-Fi. 

Students who request and receive an iPad will be given a device that comes pre-loaded with a data plan, and will not requite Wi-Fi.

 Testing and State assessments (updated May 5)


Regents Exams

Watch our webinar on Regents cancellations and updated graduation requirements. Slides from the webinar are available online [PDF]

The June and August 2020 administrations of Regents Exams have been cancelled. Students in grades 7-12 who have passed a Regents-level class and were scheduled to take (or re-take) the Regents exam this June will be allowed to graduate without passing the corresponding exam.

Learn more about what this means for students in our Summary of Changes to Graduation Requirements [PDF]. Also available in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Fulani, Haitian Creole, Russian, Urdu, and Wolof.

State Exams

The 2020 elementary- and intermediate-level State assessments have been suspended:

    • Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test;
    • Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test;
    • Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test;
    • Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test;
    • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12; and
    • New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.

AP Exams

The College Board has developed online AP Exams in response to school closures, as well as free online review lessons (live and on-demand). Learn more on the College Board's website, and find AP instruction support on their YouTube channel.

This year, the DOE will cover all base AP exam fees (the basic cost of the exam, and late order fees) and the College Board will waive all other fees (including canceled, unused, and late-testing fees) for spring 2020 for all students. The College Board will not assess any fees for exams not taken in spring 2020. 

 Free Meals and other supports (updated September 18)


Watch a video on this topic in English | Mire un video sobre este tema en español

For a full list of the City's current emergency food responses, including applying for SNAP benefits, a map of free grab-and-go meal sites, and more, visit nyc.gov/getfood or call 311 and say “Get Food."

Food benefits and emergency food assistance

If you need emergency food assistance, call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777 or 311 to find a local pantry or kitchen. There is no income limit for emergency food. Learn more about Emergency food.

Beginning in June, all NYC public school families will automatically receive $420 per child for food benefits through federal coronavirus relief effort (this is the equivalent of about $5.70 per day, to make up for meals that each student would have been eligible for while in school). Families do not have to apply for this benefit. Families who are already receiving food assistance or medicare will see the additional funds automatically added to their EBT or identification cards. For all others, benefits are expected to be mailed beginning late June. More information is available on NY.gov. See this helpful fact sheet from Hunger Solutions New York (available in English and Spanish), or watch a recording of Community Food Advocates's informational webinar if you have more questions.

If you are not able to go out to get food, no one can bring you food, and you are not able to use private delivery options, New York City will deliver emergency meals to you within 72 hours of placing an order. Deliveries include 3 days’ worth of food (pantry items and shelf stable meals) for up to two people per household, and can be scheduled for up to 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, you will need to re-enroll. Kosher and Halal options available.

Check your eligibility and sign up online.

Free Online Tutoring for Students

The UFT's Dial-a-Teacher hotline offers free homework help with English language arts (ELA) and math to students in K-5th grade. Visit tutor.dialateacher.org to enter your information and get a callback from a teacher. The hotline is open Mondays through Thursdays, 4–7 p.m

Students can receive one-on-one free online homework help from one-on-one tutors through the New York Public Library, daily from 2–11 PM.  Tutors are available in English and Spanish, from early elementary through high school grades, in core subject areas. Video content and other resources are also available 24 hours a day.

Alternative Learning Centers in the Bronx are offering one-on-one tutoring in all core areas for students in grades 6-12. To request tutoring, fill out this Google Form and ALC staff will contact you. 

Let’s Learn NYC! On WNET/PBS 

Let’s Learn NYC! is a new educational public television program, produced by the WNET Group in partnership with the DOE. It will air weekdays at 11am on PBS, and feature lessons for children in 3K through second grade that will supplement remote learning. Learn more.

Resources for Families