Update for Families December 2020 from the Chancellor
November 18, 2020
I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy.
All of us at the Department of Education have been so proud to witness the joy of students and educators reuniting and learning together this year. We have been the only major school district in the nation to reopen our buildings. The benefit to hundreds of thousands of students is incredible, as school communities have reconnected in person for learning, growing, and supporting one another.
All along, we have kept health and safety at the forefront of everything we do. That includes carefully monitoring COVID-19 transmission rates across the city and, when necessary in response to infections, temporarily closing our school buildings and transitioning students to fully remote learning.
Given recent increases in transmission, we have reached a point in our City’s infection rate that requires all students to transition to remote learning. Beginning Thursday, November 19, all school buildings will be closed, and all learning will proceed remotely for all students, until further notice. You will hear from your principal shortly about next steps for you and your student. Please note that this is a temporary closure, and school buildings will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.
I am sure you have many questions, and below you can find some important guidance to provide some answers. As always, we are committed to academic excellence, community-building, and social-emotional support for your child—no matter where they are learning.
Devices for Remote Learning
Do you need a device, need technical support or to fix a broken device, or are dealing with a lost or stolen device? Call DOE’s IT Help desk at 718-935-5100 and press 5 to get assistance.
You can also get quick help online:
Browse tech support topics: schools.nyc.gov/technicaltools
File a tech support ticket: schools.nyc.gov/techsupport
Request a device: schools.nyc.gov/devices
Get support with a DOE-issued iPad: schools.nyc.gov/ipadfixes
Issues with your Internet connection: schools.nyc.gov/internet
We are committed to ensuring every student is learning 5 days a week. Your child’s school will support you in remote learning if you currently don’t have a device by providing paper-based work. Contact your school for more info.
Free Meals for Students and Families
All families and students can continue to go to any school building between 9:00 a.m. and noon on weekdays to pick up three free grab-and-go meals. No identification or registration is necessary. Halal and kosher meals are available at some sites, which are listed at schools.nyc.gov/freemeals. From 3-5 p.m., New Yorkers of all ages can pick up free meals at 260 Community Meals sites across the city. For a list of sites, please visit schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.
Learning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. We will continue to give priority to children of essential workers, as well as students in temporary housing or residing in NYCHA developments, children in foster care or receiving child welfare services, and students with disabilities. Families can learn more and apply at schools.nyc.gov/learningbridges, and new offers will be made to families weekly as seats are available.
Early Childhood Education
3-K and Pre-K classrooms in district schools and DOE Pre-K Centers will be closed. If your child attends a program in a community-based center that is not located in a public school, or attends a family childcare program that is part of a DOE network, it will remain open. If you are not sure which type of program your child attends or have questions about your child’s services, please contact your program directly. Strong supports are in place to ensure that these sites can continue operating safely.
Although we are temporarily shifting to fully remote teaching and learning for all students, if you have recently elected to enroll your child in blended learning, your child will be able to begin in-person learning after we reopen. I know that for many of you, this decision to temporarily close school buildings that we recently opened up will be disappointing, and I understand. But by confronting these challenges together, we can continue to fight back against COVID-19. And I am confident that before long, we will be able to safely reopen our school buildings again.
Please remember the “Core Four”: wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance from others, and stay home if you’re feeling sick.These are critically important steps that all of us can take every day.
We will continue to provide updates, supporting you and everyone in the DOE family as this public health crisis continues to evolve. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school with any questions or concerns. We are grateful for your partnership and all you do for our city.
Richard A. Carranza
New York City Department of Education
To view a copy of this document in your language, visit schools.nyc.gov/messagesfo
October 22, 2020
As part of New York City’s ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and ensure the health and safety of our community, COVID-19 testing of staff and students will be conducted in our school once a month from now through the end of the school year. We have been notified that the testing provider will be at our school within the next week. Please note that only New York City public school students from grades 1-12 are eligible to be tested.
As the September 29, 2020 letter co-signed by NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, Executive Director Ted Long of New York City Test + Trace Corps, and Dr. Dave Chokshi, Commissioner of NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stated, the test is easy, quick, and safe. A “short swab” (similar to a Q-tip) will be inserted into the front part of the nose for five to ten seconds. Later this school year, it is possible that tests will be administered by collecting a small amount of saliva (spit).
Only students and school-based staff members with signed and submitted consent forms are eligible to be tested (schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting). Your child will not be tested if they are uncomfortable or become distressed at any point during the process. If that happens, we will work with you to address any potential concerns so that your child is comfortable participating in future testing.
If your child is tested at school, information about the testing process, and when and how you will receive the results, will be sent home with your child. The majority of all testing results will be available within 48 hours. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, the testing provider will notify you via a telephone call, and NYC Test & Trace Corps will call to provide your family with resources and support.
If any member of the school community tests positive during this testing process, our school community will continue to follow the guidelines outlined on the Health & Safety section of the website www.schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/return-to-school-2020/health-and-safety
We deeply appreciate your partnership and your commitment to keeping your school community safe and healthy.
Jeffrey D. Slivko
What you need to know about COVID-19
Dear Our 105 Precinct Community Members,
As we know, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency in New York as officials seek to combat the spreading coronavirus. We want our community members to know we are here to help get through these tough times. The Coronavirus is likely to spread from person to person, but it is currently unclear how easily it spreads. 80% of people with COVID-19 will feel like they have a bad cold or flu like symptoms. People who are at a higher risk of severe illness are the elderly or have other underlying health conditions.
What should New Yorkers do?
1 Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
2 Use alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
2 Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow/sleeve (not your hands).
3 Get the flu shot-it is not too late. Although the shot will not protect you from COVID-19, it can help prevent the flu which has similar symptoms to the coronavirus.
4 Refrain from touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
5 If you feel sick, stay home and keep distance from others.
6 If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, and recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread of coronavirus, or have been in close contact with someone who recently has, go to your doctor immediately.
7 If you have these symptoms, but no travel history, still take it seriously. Stay home and call your doctor. 8If you need connection to a health care provider, call 311.
8 Hospital staff will not ask about immigration status. Receiving health care is not a public benefit identified by the public charge test. Please get the facts about COVID-19 in real-time & ignore the rumors.
9 Text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 (NYC-NYC) for accurate, real-time updates from @NotifyNYC & the NYC OEM. Please do not share unconfirmed information you might read.
10 Visit http://nyc.gov/coronavirus for more informatiion
Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS) Update
NYC families: if your child has a persistent fever, rash, abdominal pain, vomiting or other symptoms, call your doctor immediately. If you don’t have a doctor, call 311. So far there have been 110 cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome have been detected in children in NYC hospitals.
Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Fact Sheet (PDF, May 11)
Expanded COVID-19 Testing
Visit nyc.gov/covidtest to find a community testing site near you.
The City will double its testing capacity at NYC Health + Hospitals and will open 12 new testing sites by May 25. Beginning the week of May 18, 2 new COVID-19 testing sites will be open.
All City MD sites to have tests 7 days a week
· 123 sites across all 5 boroughs
· Walk-ins welcome
· No cost for the uninsured
· Find locations at citymd.co
NYC LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Guide
On May 12, the NYC Unity Project in the NYC Mayor’s Office, in partnership with representatives from 15 city agencies and over 200 LGBTQ+ community partners across NYC, launched the NYC LGBTQ+ COVID-19 Guide: nyc.gov/lgbtqcovid
New COVID-19 Resources by Neighborhood
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has created a comprehensive resource guide. The guide includes resources currently available in specific communities, listed by zip code. Some resources are available for in-person services, while others offer remote and delivery options.
Visit the DOHMH COVID-19 Community and Business webpage to view the guides available by borough, neighborhood, and by language. More translations will be available soon.