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Back to School 2023 Updates

colored chalk with overlaid text that reads "back to school 2023"

Stay up-to-date on the most recent NYC schools updates by subscribing to AFC's weekly Blackboard Bulletin. Want to see what you've missed? Catch up on some of our most recent issues.

thumbnail image of start of school year Q&ARefer to our Start of School Year 2023-24 Fact Sheet for Families of Students with Disabilities, which we will continue to update as we learn more.

En Español: Preguntas y Respuestas Sobre el Comienzo de Clases para Familias de Alumnos con Discapacidades

This fact sheet for families of students with disabilities covers issues that typically come up at the start of the school year, such as what to do if a child does not yet have a school assignment or the school assigned says they cannot serve the child’s needs.

AFC's Back to School Webinar

We took questions about back to school and shared advocacy tips to help troubleshoot issues with busing, special education services, and more. View slides from the webinars as a PDF

➞ Transportation

All families are supposed to be notified about their bus routes the week prior to the beginning 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. However, due to strike negotiations, there may have been delays.

If you need help setting up or accessing a NYC Schools Account, reach out to your child's school. If your child's IEP mandates specialized transportation, it should be in place by the start of the school year. That is true whether your child attends a public school, a charter school, or a non-public special education program.  Learn more about arranging transportation services and eligibility.

For more information on eligibility and transportation options, you can call the DOE's Customer Service Unit at (718) 392-8855, or send an email to transportation@schools.nyc.gov.

➞ Enrollment

Family Welcome Centers (FWC) are DOE offices that help families with enrollment and admissions issues, including newly arrived immigrants who need to enroll in school. FWCs are open from 8am—5pm, Monday—Thursday, and 8am—3pm on Fridays. Learn more in our tip sheet, Enrollment in New York City Public Schools for Immigrant Families (also available in: BengaliChinese, and Haitian Creole).

Until September 22nd, the DOE will be running temporary enrollment sites that can accommodate more families. All sites offer translation and interpretation services. 

Need borough-based enrollment information for recently arrived students? We have tip sheets for the Bronx (English, Spanish), Brooklyn (English, Spanish), Manhattan (English, Spanish), Queens (English, Spanish), and Staten Island (English, Spanish).

➞ What to know in case of a bus strike

Update as of 9.21.2023: NYC school bus drivers reached a tentative agreement last night with the 5 largest school bus companies, averting a widespread strike. They are still negotiating with NYCSBUS, the city-owned nonprofit bus fleet, and two smaller companies.

Update as of 9.6.2023: The DOE announced that, although there will not be a bus strike this week, they are expecting disruptions and/or delays to bus service as school starts, due to delays in the process of assigning bus routes to drivers. Check the DOE's bus delays page to see if your child's route has been affected.

Update of 9.2.2023: There will not be any school bus service disruptions this week. Negotiations are ongoing, but routes will be serviced as planned for the first week of school. Read more on Chalkbeat NY.

There is a chance of a school bus driver strike that could impact your children's transportation services. The DOE is preparing for the possibility of a strike, and has shared a contingency plan for if the strike goes through. The DOE will provide Emergency MetroCards for all affected students and families, valid on MTA buses & subways (Mon-Fri, 5:30 AM-8 PM), as well as pre-paid rideshare and transportation reimbursement for eligible families, including students with disabilities with recommended transportation and students in temporary housing and foster care who receive yellow bus service. Learn more about the contingency plan. The DOE has agreed to provide families with up to 4 trips per day (to and from school/work/home or alternate drop-off).

We recognize that for some families, these contingency plans may not be enough. If you can’t wait for reimbursement or your child needs accessible transportation services, feel free to call the AFC Helpline at (866) 427-6033 for more information. You can also call the DOE's Customer Service Unit at (718) 392-8855.

To get updates as the threat of the strike progresses, be sure your contact information is up-to-date in your NYC Schools Account; all communications in the event of a strike will be sent to the contacts listed there.