Chancellor's Updates

Inclement Weather

 

December 15, 2020


Dear Families,


I hope you are safe and well.


As we head into winter, it’s likely we will have inclement weather that in an ordinary year would cause all schools
to close for teaching and learning. This year, if a snowstorm or other weather demands that school buildings
close, all schools will still conduct remote learning on that day. All students will be expected to log on and engage
with their work from home as they do on other days when they learn remotely. Middle and high school students
who are already learning remotely every day are expected to attend school remotely, regardless of the weather.


The ability to teach and learn remotely across the system allows us to continue learning despite inclement weather
closures. You will still be notified as usual when we are closing buildings due to weather, but these will not be
days off from learning.


Your school will stay in close communication with you regarding the upcoming snowstorm predicted to affect
New York City beginning the evening of Wednesday, December 16.

Please note that extra meals will be available on Tuesday, December 15 and Wednesday, December 16 to take home.


Please do not hesitate to contact your principal if you have any questions.


Sincerely,
Richard A. Carranza
Chancellor
New York City Department of Education

 

December 11, 2020


Dear Families,    


What an exciting week this has been, reopening our school buildings for in-person instruction after this recent
brief closure. I want to thank our students and families, our teachers, principals, and school staff for a safe and
smooth reopening. I know it hasn’t been easy, but public education is critical to our city’s, and nation’s, future,
and it is why we continue to do everything in our power to keep our school communities thriving.


With support from all corners of New York City, we have been able to bring students in 3-K through fifth grade,
and students in all grade levels in District 75 schools, back into classrooms. This is an important step in fulfilling
our pledge to you: to provide a safe, secure environment in which your children can learn and grow. And a quick
reminder: for blended learning to work best for everyone, we need your child to show up to school on their
scheduled in-person days. Blended learning students in grades 6 through 12 in district 1–32 schools, including
those participating in District 75 Inclusion Programs, will continue to learn remotely at this time.


Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still very much with us. Given the ongoing fight against a citywide resurgence,
please note that we have changed our in-school testing protocol. In order to keep our buildings open, we now
require mandatory, weekly in-school testing for COVID-19 for a randomly selected portion of staff and
students in grades 1 and higher.


And this is critical: If your child returns to school for in-person instruction without a consent form on file,
principals and school staff will contact you to obtain consent. After that, students without consent forms on file,
who do not have an approved or pending medical or disability-based exemption, must be moved to fully remote
instruction.
In this Update for Families, you will find information on:


 What you need to know about mandatory, in-school testing
 How to submit consent for in-school random testing
 What to do if your child has recently traveled
 What you need to know about exemptions from in-school testing
 How to apply for kindergarten for the 2021–2022 school year
 How to learn more about elementary admissions
 How to participate in Parent University, a new platform offering families on-demand courses and
resources on a host of subjects.


Because so much uncertainty comes with this pandemic, we remain committed to our time-honored traditions,
which remind us that we are a community. One of those is our annual Big Apple Awards, recognizing outstanding
teachers and college and career counselors. This year, it feels especially important to honor the teachers or
counselors who have made a difference in your child’s life. Nominate an educator by January 10, 2021 by visiting
the Big Apple Awards website at schools.nyc.gov/bigappleawards.   


As always, I am grateful for your flexibility and patience as we continue our journey together through this
unprecedented year. There is no doubt that Covid-19 has affected our children—academically, socially, and
emotionally, and we are already looking ahead to the next school year. This week, the Mayor and I introduced
the 2021 Student Achievement Plan to bring our schools back stronger than ever next fall. Working with our
educators and all of you, we will create a roadmap rooted in healing and learning. I’ll be sharing more on this in
the months to come.


I know that if we all do our part, we can ensure a strong, supportive education for every child every day—no
matter where they are learning.


Sincerely,
Richard A. Carranza
Chancellor
New York City Department of Education

 

Update for Families, December 11, 2020


What You Need to Know about Mandatory, In-School Testing


In order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must submit the consent form for in-school COVID19 testing by the first day your child returns to their school building.


 Testing will happen weekly for a random selection of staff and students in your child’s school.
 Any student in grade 1 or higher returning to school buildings must submit a consent form for COVID19 testing in school by their first day back in school buildings.
 3-K, pre-K, and kindergarten students are excluded from random testing.
 The test is quick, safe, and easy. If you have not submitted a consent form and your child is learning in
person, you must do so right away.


How to Submit Consent for In-School Random Testing


Submitting consent to have your child tested for COVID-19 in school is quick and easy. Even if you have
already submitted consent, we ask you to do so again to ensure your student has the latest consent form on file.
There are two easy ways to submit:


1) Fill out the form online using a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) at mystudent.nyc.
If you already have a NYCSA account linked to your student(s): Log in, click your student’s name, click
“Manage Account,” and then when a dropdown menu appears, click “Consent Forms.” Read the page, and then
choose the consent option at the end for your student.
If you do not already have a NYCSA account: You can create one right away! If you have an account creation
code from your school, you can create a full account in approximately five minutes, and then provide consent as
described above. If you do not have an account creation code from your school, you can still provide your
consent right away by clicking “Manage Consent” under “COVID-19 Testing” and filling out your and your
child’s information to provide consent.


2) Print and sign the attached form and bring it to your child’s school on the first day they are back in the school
building. A printable PDF file is available in ten languages at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.


What to Do if Your Child Has Recently Traveled


 If your child has recently traveled outside of New York to a place on the State’s travel advisory list
they must quarantine for 14 days.
 They also have the option to test out of quarantine based on the State’s guidelines:
coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.
 You or your child should continue to complete the health questionnaire daily.
What You Need to Know about Exemptions from In-School Testing
Exemptions will only be granted in certain limited cases, and two types of exemption request forms are
available at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting:
 A form for students who need a medical exemption due to a health condition that would make it unsafe
to undergo testing (e.g., facial trauma, nasal surgery). This form must be signed by a physician and be
submitted with supporting medical documentation.
 A form for students with disabilities who cannot be safely tested in school due to the nature of their
disability. Students with an approved disability-based exemption will be expected to get tested outside
of school.


How to Apply for Kindergarten for the 2021–2022 School Year


It’s time to start your child’s journey through elementary school! If you live in New York City and your child
was born in 2016, the kindergarten application is now open. Be sure to apply by January 19, 2021.


You can apply one of two ways:


 Online at MySchools.nyc. Click on the link to create or access your MySchools account.
 By phone at (718) 935-2009. Call Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., or Saturday
through Sunday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
With MySchools, you can search for schools, find great choices for your child’s application, and apply to
kindergarten—all in one place.


To learn more about kindergarten admissions, visit schools.nyc.gov/kindergarten.


Our new Elementary Admissions Video series will walk you through what to expect, how to set up your
MySchools account, and how to apply. Stay tuned: More videos are coming soon!


For questions, call (718) 935-2009 or email ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov.


How to Learn More About Elementary Admissions


Join us for a virtual Elementary Admissions event to learn about 3-K, pre-K, and kindergarten admissions. Find
out what to expect and how to apply. All New York City families are welcome to attend.


Sessions will be held on the following dates:


 Tuesday, December 15, at 2 p.m.
 Thursday, December 17, at 6 p.m.
 Wednesday, January 6, at 6 p.m.
 Thursday, January 7, at 6 p.m. This event will be hosted in Spanish.
 Tuesday, January 12, at 2 p.m

Register for a session at tinyurl.com/NYCDOEElementaryEventsSurvey. When you register, be sure to indicate
your language preference—interpretation services in specific languages will be provided for each session based
on these responses.


How to Participate in Parent University


Parent University is a new online platform that offers a catalog of courses, live events, and activities to help
connect with families and support students. The platform offers all New York City parents and guardians access
to live and on-demand courses and resources across multiple subject areas and grade bands. Courses are
available in multiple languages and we’re working to expand the number of multilingual offerings.
All families, from early childhood to adult education, can create a free account and register for workshops,
attend an event, find a training and more. There are currently 95+ courses offered covering a wide range of
topics including:


 Remote Learning and Technology
 Health and Wellness 
 Special Education 
 Multilingual Learners 
 Early Childhood Education 
 Parent Leadership 
 School Buildings and Operations 
 Adult and Continuing Education 


You can start Parent University today at parentu.schools.nyc.

Chancellor's Update November 29, 2020

November 29, 2020

Dear Families,   

  I hope you have had a restful break, and an opportunity to enjoy time with family.

As you are aware, on November 18, we temporarily closed school buildings for teaching and learning, and all New York City public school students transitioned to fully remote learning. Today, I am pleased to write to you with our plan to reopen school buildings for in-person instruction for many of our students. As always, health and safety remain our highest priorities, and this letter also contains information regarding mandatory weekly inschool testing for COVID-19 in all reopened buildings, and how you can submit the required consent forms.

The guidance below applies to students in blended learning, who have already chosen to learn in the school building part of the week, and from home the rest of the week. Students who chose fully remote learning prior to building closures will continue to learn remotely full time.

When can my child return to in-person learning?

 Students in Grades 3K through Grade 5 will return to in-person learning beginning on Monday, December 7.

  o This includes all students in grades 3K through 5, across early education and elementary school types (e.g., in K-2 schools, K-3 schools, K-5 schools, as well as District Pre-K Centers, K-8 schools, and K-12 schools).  

o This excludes schools currently located in State-designated Orange Zones, or Red Zones if they are declared. You can see if your school is currently in one of these Zones at http://nyc.gov/covidzone.

 Students in all grade levels in District 75 will return to in-person learning beginning on Thursday, December 10. 

o This also excludes schools located in State-designated Orange Zones, or Red Zones.

 Students in grades 6 through 12 (outside of District 75) will continue to learn remotely until further notice.

 Students who have recently traveled outside of New York to a place on the State’s travel advisory list must quarantine for 14 days. You also have the option of testing out of quarantine based on the State’s guidelines: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory. Students should continue to complete the health questionnaire daily.

 These return dates apply to students in blended learning, including those who selected blended learning during the recent opt-in period.

What do I need to do to return to my school building?

In order for your child to return to in-person learning, you must submit the consent form for in-school COVID19 testing by the first day your child returns to their school building. Testing will happen weekly for a random selection of staff and students in your child’s school. Given the ongoing fight against a citywide resurgence of COVID-19, this mandatory weekly testing for COVID-19 is a crucial part of our plan to keep all schools safe.

Any student in grade 1 or higher returning to school buildings must submit a consent form for COVID-19 testing in school by their first day back in school buildings.

 Any student in grade 1 or higher returning to school buildings must submit a consent form for COVID-19 testing in school by their first day back. 3K, Pre-K, and Kindergarten students are excluded from random testing.

 The test is quick, safe, and easy. A video showing the testing process is available at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.

How do I submit consent?

Submitting consent to have your child tested for COVID-19 in school is quick and easy. Even if you have already submitted consent, we ask you to do so again to ensure your student has the latest consent form on file. There are two easy ways to submit:

1) Fill out the form online using a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) at mystudent.nyc.

 If you already have a NYCSA account linked to your student(s): Log in, click your student’s name, click “Manage Account,” and then when a dropdown menu appears, click “Consent Forms.” Read the page, and then choose the consent option at the end for your student.

 If you do not already have a NYCSA account: You can create one right away! If you have an account creation code from your school, you can create a full account in approximately five minutes, and then provide consent as described above. If you do not have an account creation code from your school, you can still provide your consent right away by clicking “Manage Consent” under “COVID-19 Testing” and filling out your and your child’s information to provide consent.

2) Print and sign the attached form and bring it to your child’s school on the first day they are back in the school building. A printable PDF file is available in ten languages at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.

Can my child receive an exemption from weekly random testing?

Exemptions will only be granted in certain limited cases:

 For students who need a medical exemption, due to a health condition that would make it unsafe to undergo testing (e.g., facial trauma, nasal surgery), you will be able to submit a separate form for consideration. This form must be signed by a physician and you must submit medical documentation from a health care provider.

 For students with disabilities who cannot be safely tested in school due to the nature of their disability, you will be able to submit a separate request for an exemption.

 The exemption forms will be available in English on Monday, November 30 at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting. Translations will be available shortly thereafter.

What happens if I don’t submit consent?

You must submit consent by the day that your child returns to your school building; this is the due date, and we need all students to participate.

 If your child comes to school on their first day back for in-person instruction without a consent form on file, principals and school staff will contact you to obtain consent.

 After that, students without consent forms on file, who do not have a medical or disability-based exemption submitted, must be moved to fully remote instruction. More information on exemptions will be provided by your child’s school principal this week. What if my child’s school is in an Orange or Red Zone?

 As of now, schools in Orange Zones remain closed for in-person learning. We are working with the State to develop a plan to reopen buildings in Orange Zones as soon as possible.

 We will share information as soon as a plan is confirmed with the State of New York.

 There are currently no Red Zones in New York City, but per the State, school buildings in Red Zones would also be closed.

As always, I am grateful for your flexibility and patience as we continue our journey together through this unprecedented year. All of us at the DOE are focused on a strong, supportive education for your child every day— no matter where they are learning—and that will never change.

We look forward to welcoming students back into school buildings in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor

New York City Department of Education

 

November 24, 2020

 

Dear Families,     

As Thanksgiving approaches, I want to express how grateful I am for your patience and partnership, and how honored I am to serve you and your children. We have been through so much together this year. But despite these trying times, we have shown the nation, and the world, that New York City is not just a sprawling metropolis, but a community of good, caring people who—when times are difficult—come together to protect and support each other. 

   Closing all our school buildings to in-person learning for the second time this year has been one of the most painful actions I have had to take as Schools Chancellor. I know it’s disappointing for the hundreds of thousands of students who were thrilled to be back in classrooms learning face-to-face with their teachers and classmates. It is equally hard on adults, who have been forced to make more adjustments to their schedules and lives. However, this is a temporary closure, and we will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. You and your family are part of this effort—because it will take all of us to once again drive COVID-19 rates down so we can reopen our doors to teaching and learning. 

The increasing levels of COVID-19 infection overall in the city are very concerning, and we must strengthen precautions further for our school communities. Therefore, no student will be permitted to return to the building without a signed consent form for in-school testing. Your consent must be submitted by the first day your child resumes in-person learning. If you have already provided consent via NYCSA or a paper form, we encourage you to submit it again to ensure we have the most up to date form on file. You can find instructions on easy ways to submit consent below. 

In the meantime, we have pulled together some resources to help you and your children get the most out of fully remote learning. In this Update for Families, you will find information on:   

 devices for remote learning 

 attendance requirements for remote instruction

   grading in the 2020-21 school year 

 how to provide consent for in-school testing (when blended learning resumes)  I also want to remind you that the ninth annual Big Apple Awards, honoring outstanding teachers and college and career counselors, recently kicked off. This year, it feels especially important to honor the teachers or counselors who have made a difference in your child’s life. Nominate an educator by January 10, 2021 by visiting the Big Apple Awards website at schools.nyc.gov/bigappleawards. 

And a quick reminder for our high school families that the Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department have cancelled all Regents exams that had been scheduled for January 2021. No decisions have been made regarding the June and August 2021 administrations of the Regents exam, but we’ll share updates as we receive them. 

As we continue to focus on immediate issues and needs in this unprecedented year, we are also thinking about the future, especially around middle and high school admissions. We are carefully examining all potential paths for admissions policies for the 2021-22 school year, and we look forward to sharing an update as soon as possible. 

We have achieved so much together despite so many unsettling challenges. I want to assure you that everyone at the DOE is working tirelessly to ensure your children continue to receive the high-quality education they deserve.  

On behalf of myself and everyone at the Department of Education, I wish you and your families a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.

   Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza

Chancellor

New York City Department of Education

Letter From Our New Superintendent

THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
JOSEPH O’BRIEN, Ed.D Community Superintendent (I.A.)
COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT 20
415 - 89 STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11209


September 2020


Dear Families of District 20,


My name is Dr. Joseph O’Brien and it is my great honor and privilege to introduce myself as Interim Acting Community Superintendent of District 20. I look now to partner with you to foster participation between the District office, our schools and our amazing community of families.


I know many of us are feeling anxiety, however, our principals, assistant principals, teachers and school staff have worked tirelessly to make opening day on September 16, 2020 for remote students and September 21, 2020 for blended scheduled students, safe, meaningful and successful.


I look forward to working side-by-side with you in the days ahead and building new bridges of communication, so that we may work together for the betterment of all of our students.

Please note, we are forging the District 20 Equity Committee, which will meet on September 30, 2020 at 1 pm. I welcome you to join us in looking at ways that we may help all students, including those from underrepresented populations.

If you are interested in joining us, please email me at jobrien17@schools.nyc.gov with your name, your child(s) name and the D20 school in which they attend.


Further, I welcome you to join us at our Immigrant Parent Advisory Council and Community Education Council (CEC) meetings this year. The bond between the school house and our families is an essential one and I urge each and every one of you to join the talented teachers, assistant principals and principals of D20 to build a better tomorrow, today.


Thank you so very much and I look forward to continuing the conversation.


I can always be reached via email at jobrien17@schools.nyc.gov


Best wishes,


Joseph O’Brien, Ed.D.


District 20 Community Superintendent (IA)

 

 

Carta de Nuestro Nuevo Superintendente

T&I 31783 Family Letter (Spanish)
THENEWYORKCITYDEPARTMENT OFEDUCATION
JOSEPH O’BRIEN, Ed.D Community Superintendent (I.A.)
COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT 20
415 - 89 STREET, BROOKLYN, NY 11209


Septiembre de 2020


Estimadas familias del Distrito 20:


Soy el Dr. Joseph O’Brien y es un gran honor y privilegio presentarme como superintendente comunitario interino del Distrito 20. En este momento, espero poder trabajar en equipo junto a ustedes para fomentar la participación entre la oficina del distrito, nuestras escuelas y nuestra increíble comunidad de familias.


Sé que muchos de nosotros sentimos ansiedad, sin embargo, nuestros directores, subdirectores, maestros y personal escolar han trabajado incansablemente para hacer que el día de la apertura, el 16 de septiembre de 2020 para la modalidad a distancia, y el 21 de septiembre de 2020 para el modelo de aprendizaje semipresencial, sea seguro, significativo y exitoso.


Espero que trabajemos juntos en los próximos días y construyamos nuevos puentes de comunicación para que podamos colaborar en el progreso de todos nuestros estudiantes.

Tengan en cuenta que estamos formando el Comité de Equidad del Distrito 20, que se reunirá el 30 de septiembre de 2020 a la 1 p.m. Los invito a acompañarnos para buscar formas de ayudar a todos los estudiantes, incluyendo aquellos de poblaciones con poca representación.

Si están interesados en participar, deben enviarme un correo electrónico a jobrien17@schools.nyc.gov que indique su nombre, el nombre de su(s) hijo(s) y la escuela del Distrito 20 a la que asisten.


Además, quisiera invitarlos a las reuniones de este año del Consejo de Educación Comunitario (Community Education Council, CEC) y el Consejo de Padres Asesores sobre inmigración. El vínculo entre la escuela y nuestras familias es fundamental y les recomiendo a todos ustedes aliarse a los talentosos maestros, subdirectores y directores del Distrito 20 para construir un mejor mañana a partir de hoy.


Muchas gracias y espero que continuemos el diálogo.


Recuerden que siempre pueden contactarme por correo electrónico: jobrien17@schools.nyc.gov.


Saludos cordiales,


Joseph O’Brien, Ed.D.


Superintendente comunitario interino (IA) del Distrito 20