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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.

FAQ

Resources for families

FAQ

 Remote Learning and Tech Support (updated May 5)


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.

Spring Break

The DOE will continue remote learning throughout the time originally scheduled for Spring Recess, Thursday, April 9 through Friday, April 17.  Any students or school staff who plan to observe religious holidays on April 9 and 10 will be able to do so, although remote learning activities will continue during those days for students who are not observing the holidays.  Read the DOE's full announcement.

Tech support for remote learning

Families can now 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 now 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.

 Remote learning for students with disabilities (updated April 29)


Watch our webinar on Remote Learning 101. Slides from the webinar 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)

Families of students with disabilities in NYC should have received information about their children’s Remote Learning Plans (RLPs) outlining how special education services will be provided to their children while learning from home.  RLPs are not the same as Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), but should be developed based on the supports and services laid out in a child’s IEP. (For example, if a student’s IEP requires speech and language, physical therapy or occupational therapy, arrangements should be made to deliver each of those services through audio-visual means if possible). Most likely, RLPs will not exactly mirror students' schedules when they were going to school each day. 

Teachers and providers should be asking for family input. If they don’t, or if parents and caregivers have something to share with school staff sooner, family members can reach out directly to those staff.

If parents haven’t yet received a copy of their child’s RLP, or if they have questions about what was in the RLP, they should speak with their child’s teacher or related service provider.  If that doesn’t work, families can e-mail specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov or call 311. 

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.

Related services

Related services will be provided via teletherapy, or video-conferencing where clinically appropriate. Providers and schools will contact families to discuss the service plan for each student. Providers will also give families information about activities that can be done at home to reinforce the related services work.

As of March 23, independent in-person Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) is no longer authorized, but students should receive SETSS remotely to the extent feasible. For contract services, the DOE also expects providers to provide remote services for which they will be paid. Families who have questions about their child's related services can contact the DOE's Special Education Office at specialeducation@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.

 NYC Schools Updates (updated May 19)


We urge you to watch the
DOE’s website for developing information and changes. Updates are being posted to their home page. 

 Summer School 2020

The Mayor announced that summer learning for students who have fallen behind and students with 12-month IEPs will be remote. Read the full announcement on the DOE's website.

For some students, remote summer school will be mandatory; for others it will be optional.  The decision about which students will require or be recommended for summer school will be made by teachers in consultation with parents.  Students who are not recommended for promotion will be required to go to summer learning.  High school students with grades of “in progress” will be required to go to summer learning for that course.

Programming will run in three time frames:

    • Students with 12-month IEP services will participate in remote summer programming from July 1 to August 13, five days a week. They will receive instruction and related services based on their IEPs.
    • Students in grades 3-8 will attend summer learning via remote instruction from July 13 to August 18. Students will engage four days a week, receiving ELA and/or math support via live or pre-recorded instruction, self-paced activities, and small group and 1:1 check-ins. Grade 8 students may attend summer learning in math, ELA, social studies, and/or science, as proficiency in those subjects is contingent on beginning high school.
    • Students in grades 9-12 who have a Course in Progress, or who need to retake a course they failed in a prior term, will participate in remote instruction from July 13 to August 21. Students will engage five days a week for six weeks in subjects they did not pass. They will have individual check-ins with teachers, guidance counselors and/or social workers.

 

    Updated Grading Policy for the 2019-20 School Year

    Watch our webinar on the new DOE grading policySlides from the webinar are available online [PDF]

    The DOE has released a new grading policy for rest of the 2019-20 school year. Here's a summary of the changes:

      • Students in 3K and Pre-K: No change — these students do not receive report cards or grades
      • Grades K – 5: Students will receive a final grade of either "Meets Standards" (MT) or "Needs Improvement" (N)
      • Grades 6 — 8: Students receive a final grade of either "Meets Standards" (MT), "Needs Improvement" (N), or "Course in Progress" (NX) if additional time is needed to complete the course.
      • Grades 9 — 12: Each school's existing grading scale applies, but no failing grades will be issued. A "Course in Progress" (NX) will be issued instead, providing students with additional time to complete the requirements for the course. After final grades have been issued, students and families will have the option to convert any or all passing Spring Semester 2020 final grades to 'CR,' which indicates the course was passed and credit was earned. Any CR grade will not be factored into a students’ GPA.
      • Intensive summer academic support: All students who can’t demonstrate mastery or submit work will be assessed for targeted summer and fall support to get back on track, with all students receiving “Course In Progress” automatically enrolled in summer programming.
      • High school seniors and 8th graders with “Course In Progress” ratings will be prioritized for additional supports, with the goal of August graduation and promotion for these students.


    For more information on the policy, visit schools.nyc.gov/gradingpolicy.

    School Closures

    New York City school will not reopen during the 2019-20 school year. Teachers and students will finish the school year in remote learning. For more, see schools.nyc.gov/coronavirus.

    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.

    Spring Break

    The DOE will continue remote learning throughout the time originally scheduled for Spring Recess, Thursday, April 9 through Friday, April 17.  Any students or school staff who plan to observe religious holidays on April 9 and 10 will be able to do so, although remote learning activities will continue during those days for students who are not observing the holidays.  Read the DOE's full announcement.

    High School & Middle School placements 

    Placement offers for high school and middle school are now available. A printed copy will be mailed to you, and you can also view your child's offer online at MySchools. There, you'll be able to find your middle school offer or high school offer(s), and see if your child has been waitlisted for any programs. Students are automatically on the waitlist for any program listed higher on their application than the program where they got an offer. For example, if your child got an offer for their third choice program, they are on the waitlist at their first- and second-choice programs. Through MySchools, you can view your position on any waitlists, as well as add your child to additional waitlists or remove your child from any waitlists you'd no longer like to be on.  Learn more about waitlists on the DOE's website.

    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



     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.

    SAT Exams

    The March 14, May 2, and June 6, 2020 administrations of the SAT have been cancelled. Any students who were registered will receive a refund, and the College Board plans to provide future testing opportunities as soon as is feasible. More information is available on the College Board's website. In the unlikely event that schools don't reopen this fall, the College Board plans to provide a digital SAT for home use.

    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 May 21)


    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."

    Free Meal Hubs

    The City is providing free meals for all New Yorkers at 400 meal hubs around the city.  Families can find a location near them online at schools.nyc.gov/freemeals. These sites will be open from 7:30am – 1:30pm, and offer breakfast, lunch and dinner (one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian option). All three meals can be picked up one time; no ID is required. To find a meal site near you, text 'FOOD' or 'COMIDA' to 877-877.

    10 meal sites in Brooklyn and in Queens are providing exclusively kosher meals. Learn more about where to locate these meal sites on the DOE's website.

    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.

    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

    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.


     Regional Enrichment Centers (updated March 27)


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

    The DOE has opened Regional Enrichment Centers to serve children of first responders, healthcare workers, and transit workers, and other essential personnel, including grocery workers, pharmacy workers, and food workers. The centers will offer remote instruction and 3 hot meals a day for children in grades 3K-12. As space permits, further outreach will aim to include other essential service providers and children in shelter. You may apply online for enrollment in a Regional Enrichment Center.

    RECs will follow all social distancing protocols, and will limit classrooms to less than 12 students. Sites will be regularly cleaned and disinfected, and will be staffed by DOE staff, and Community-Based Organizations.

    More information is available in the memorandum [PDF] released by the DOE on March 17, and in FAQ by Chalkbeat NY.

    Update 3/27: The DOE is closing 23 centers, due to low enrollment. Read more.

    Resources for Families