Return to school 2020
Parent Resources and Information
messages to the families
Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year
March Parent Teacher Conferences
What to Expect at the Conference
Translation and Interpretation Services
Messages for Families
March 2, 2021: Special Update for Families
February 26, 2021: Special Update for Families
February 11, 2021: Update for Families
February 8, 2021: Update for Middle School Families
Weekly COVID-19 Testing and Mandatory Consent
December 15, 2020 : Information on Potential Inclement Weather Closures
December 11, 2020: December Reopening
What You Need to Know about Mandatory, In-School Testing
How to Submit Consent for In-School Random Testing
November 2, 2020: Opting Into Blended Learning for the 2020-2021 School Year
We know this year has been unlike any other, with families juggling many complex decisions through uncertain conditions. We recognize and appreciate your family’s flexibility and resilience, alongside all students, families and school communities across the City.
Now that school buildings have re-opened and COVID-19 infection rates have stayed markedly low citywide and in our schools, we know many of you are considering having your child return to school for in-person learning. If you previously chose full-time remote learning for your child, now is your chance to opt into blended learning for the remainder of the school year! By November 15, please opt into blended learning by completing the Learning Preference Survey
. Families who need additional assistance with the survey can call 311.
At this time, families will not be able to opt into blended learning after November 15.
Families that choose blended learning during this opt-in period will begin in-person during the weeks of November 30 or December 7. Your child’s school will communicate your child’s start date and in-person learning schedule with you directly.
Students who are learning in-person will participate in random testing for COVID-19 throughout the school year. Regular testing of staff and students in schools allows us to keep our schools and broader communities healthy and safe. Testing is easy, quick, and safe; this test is a short, small swab (like a Q-tip) that goes just in the front of the nose. To ensure that your child can be tested, please submit a consent form for testing. You can complete the consent in two ways:
Online: Fill out the form online using a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA). Go to 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.
Paper Form: Fill out and return the paper form to school. A printable PDF file is available in ten languages at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.
You can find additional information about consent and testing under Frequently Asked Questions at on our Covid Testing page.
We know that family circumstances may change, and we are committed to providing flexibility to families who need to transition to remote learning at any point during the school year for any reason. Families can use the same Learning Preference Survey to opt into remote learning at any time.
For families that choose blended learning, we are excited to welcome you back to our school buildings for an exciting year of in-person learning. And to all families, thank you again for your partnership as we work to provide a best-in-class educational experience for our students, regardless of how they are learning this school year.
Let us know by completing the Learning Preference Survey
October 26, 2020: Grading Policy for the 2020-2021 School Year
Over the past month, I’ve been visiting schools throughout the city and have felt such a strong sense of community both in-person and virtually. I’ve been especially proud to see our schools promoting safe and healthy learning environments—both indoors and outdoors. In every class I see, students and staff members have been diligent about protecting one another’s health and safety, wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, and more. Whether your child is learning in school for part of the week or fully remotely, ensuring safe, high-quality learning experiences remains our number one priority.
As your child’s learning journey continues this year, it is critical that you have a clear picture of their progress. Grades provide a common language for understanding and communicating with your child’s teacher(s) about their strengths and areas for growth. However, given the challenges we have been navigating together throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have recognized the need to update our grading policy. In this letter, I will share information about the grading policy for the 2020-21 school year.
Please note that our policy reflects feedback from school communities, school leaders, and many other stakeholders across the city. We have heard loud and clear that as students continue to adapt to remote and blended learning, our grading policy must also evolve to meet the academic and social-emotional needs of our students. The 2020-21 grading policy aims to provide you with a clear picture of your child’s progress while honoring each individual student’s experience adapting to new ways of learning.
What You Need to Know About Grading in the 2020-21 School Year
Here are key elements of this year’s grading policy:
Student grades will still be based on academic progress and performance, considering students’ entire body of work in each subject. Grades reflect students’ level of understanding and skills in a subject as of a specific point in time.
This year, each school selects its own grading scale from among several options. Examples of common grading scales include the 1-4 scale, the numerical scale (100 points), and the alphabetical scale (A-D).
Schools’ grading policies will reflect the new ways students complete their work in blended and remote learning models. This means flexibility with assignments, giving students different ways to show what they have learned, and more.
Families have flexibility in determining how passing final grades are reflected on student records. This is an option for families who prefer to have their child’s performance reflected more generally (such as “Pass” instead of a numerical grade) as they continue to adapt to blended and remote learning.
Additionally, students will not receive failing grades if they have not yet met the learning outcomes for their courses; instead, they will receive another mark (“needs improvement” or “course in progress,” depending on grade level) and will be provided with additional time and support to ensure they can master course concepts and earn credit as appropriate.
While students must continue to participate in remote and blended learning each day, attendance will not be a factor in student grades. Attending school, participating in class, and demonstrating understanding are all essential components of student learning, and school communities must make every effort to ensure that students attend school, with a goal of every student, every day.
Summary of Key Components of Grading Policy in 2020-21
Grading Policy Summary
3K & Pre-K
No change because students do not receive report cards or grades.
K – 5th
Schools select their grading scales for marking period and final grades. Students will receive grades of “needs improvement” (N) in place of failing grades. Parents/guardians may choose to have any passing grade updated to a passing grade of “meets standards” (MT).
6th – 8th
Schools select their grading scales for marking period and final grades. Students will receive grades of “course in progress” (NX) in place of failing grades. Parents/guardians may choose to have any passing grade updated to “pass” (P). Grades of “P” will not be factored into students’ GPAs.
9th – 12th
Schools select their grading scales for marking period and final grades. Students will receive grades of “course in progress” (NX) in place of failing grades. Parents/guardians may choose to have any passing grade updated to a passing grade of “credit” (CR). Grades of “CR” will not be factored into students’ GPAs.
If your middle or high school student receives a “course in progress” grade, their school will support them in continuing with their learning beyond the end of the term, as appropriate for the grade level and subject area. Teachers will target instruction to the individual needs of each student. Together, this will help your student make progress toward the learning outcomes for their courses.
If You Need More Information
You should reach out to your child’s teacher or principal for more information about your child’s progress and your school’s expectations and scales for grading. When your child’s school issues report cards, your child’s grades will also appear in your New York City Schools Account
(NYCSA). If you do not have a New York City Schools Account, visit our NYSCA page or contact your child’s school for more information.
Blended Learning Opt-In Period: November 2 – 15, 2020
Please also note that fully remote families will soon have the option to opt-in to blended learning, meaning that students will learn in the school building for part of the week, and remotely at home the rest of the week. From Monday, November 2 through Sunday, November 15, families will have the option to fill out a form
indicating their wish to change learning preferences. Students who change from remote to blended will begin in-person between the weeks of November 30 and December 7, and will be informed by their school their start date and schedule. Schools will make every effort to accommodate these requests based on programming and space capacity.
As always, we are grateful for your partnership in your child’s education. We remain focused on delivering a strong, supportive, engaging learning experience for your student, no matter where they are learning.
Our new grading policy honors their hard work—and yours—during this unprecedented time. We will continue to support you and your child every step of the way.
Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year
Reopening Update for Families: September 4, 2020
How Will My Child Learn at Home?
Whether learning remotely from home part of the week or every day, students will receive remote instruction in two different ways: live interaction (sometimes referred to as “synchronous instruction”) with teachers, and independent learning (sometimes referred to as “asynchronous instruction”), which includes assignments, projects, or recorded video lessons. Let us explain what that means:
Live interaction means that your student will interact with their teacher on video, phone, live chat, virtual app, or another digital mode in real time. The teacher may be interacting with the whole class, small groups, or individual students. It can be done over Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or other DOE-approved video or phone conferencing or digital platforms. It includes:
Office Hours to connecting in real time with teachers to get individual or small group help with instruction or instructional activities;
Social-emotional wellness activities such as sharing circles or mindfulness exercises; or
Feedback discussions with students and families about their work and progress via video or phone.
Other “live participation” activities, such as chat, offered by the digital platform used by educators during lessons.
At the beginning of the school year, here are the target amounts we are asking all schools to engage their students in live interaction and instruction each day:
Students in 3-K and Pre-K programs: up to 30 minutes
Students in kindergarten through grade 2: 65 to 95 minutes
Students in grades 3–5: 90 to 110 minutes
Middle school students in grades 6–8: 80 to 100 minutes
High school students in grades 9–12: 100 to 120 minutes
The amount of time devoted to live instruction will increase each month for all grades as the school year progresses to allow students and teachers to gradually transition. Scheduled times will be posted so that students and staff alike can plan for engagement.
Independent learning means your student will work on their own with assignments, projects, and materials provided by their teachers. This might include:
Video lessons or presentations recorded previously
Activities, assignments or tasks that build on lessons from previous days
Collaborative projects and assignments with classmates
Discussion boards and conversation, feedback, or guidance from teachers over email
Who Will Be Teaching My Child?
Your child will have a high-quality educator leading their education, no matter where they’re learning. Instruction may look a little bit different in every school, reflecting the specific needs of the school community, but here is what you can generally expect:
For Students in Blended Learning
Blended learning refers to a combination of on-site, in-person instruction at the school some days of the week, and remote instruction at home on remaining days.
Your child may have different teachers for on-site and remote learning. Those teachers will work closely together in pairs or teams to create meaningful and connected learning experiences. For example, a student may begin a project in person and then continue to work on it while remote.
During the remote portion of blended learning, your child will regularly be with the same group of students with whom they attend in person.
For Students in Full-Time Remote Learning
Where possible, students engaging in full-time remote learning will be taught by teachers from their own school. Teachers will regularly meet with the same group of students on specific days.
How to Stay Informed on Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Your School Community
It’s important that your school can reach you to share crucial information quickly, including alerts about confirmed COVID-19 cases in your child’s school. Please sign up for a NYC Schools Account (NYCSA) so we can contact you via phone, email, or text message. With NYCSA, you can access your child’s grades, test scores, schedules, transportation information, and more—from anywhere, and in all nine standard DOE language translations.
NYCDOE Reopening plan
The DOE has developed three baseline programming options for schools to choose from. The models have been created by analyzing system-wide constraints, researching national and international best practices, surveying parents and students, and holding focus groups with school leaders. They are meant to support schools in determining how to serve the needs of their students and families in line with health and safety guidance.
These models apply to Elementary, Middle, and High Schools
Two additional models are available for District 75 schools
Schools will be able to apply for an exception to implement an alternative model based on that school’s specific needs
Families will be notified of their school’s decision on scheduling in August
Principals and school leadership teams will compare the different programming models to the specific needs of their students and communities to select a best-fit model. However, the Chancellor has identified certain models as "Chancellor Recommended" so that there is greater consistency for parents across the system. Schools should select a model in collaboration with their School Leadership Team (SLT), and wherever possible, students should be programmed for in-person instruction at greater frequency. Schools will be able to apply to their Superintendent for an exception that will be subject to review and approval. Principals will have at least one parent meeting in advance of selecting a program model to inform parents of selection and allow for input before final decision is made.
View more information about the Programming Models
New York City Department of Education's District School Reopening Plan
Submission to New York State Education Department
View and print a PDF of the New York City Department of Education's District School Reopening Plan: Submission to New York State Education Department - Click Here
To find the plans for individual schools, use Find a School, type in the name of the school. Once you are on the school page, scroll down to the box called School Reopening Information 2020 to find that school's plan.
Letter from the Chancellor
On behalf of the New York City Department of Education, please accept the submission of the following reopening plan. This plan meets the standards as outlined by the State Department of Health and the State Education Department and is informed by deep engagement with school community stakeholders. It may be updated in the coming days and weeks.
Nothing is more important to me than the health and safety of our students, educators, and school communities. Over the past four months, the New York City Department of Education has been exhaustively planning for a coordinated reopening of school buildings in an ever-changing landscape, while keeping health and safety at the center of our planning. We have leveraged the expertise of our partners at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, NYC Health and Hospitals, and the New York City Test + Trace Corps to develop rigorous protocols to ensure our schools are well prepared. With their collaboration, we will take swift and decisive action when needed to address any issues of concern and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in school buildings.
This submission builds on the preliminary plans released on July 8 in which I outlined essential planning information to school communities regarding social distancing, health and hygiene measures, and models to ensure safe instructional programming of students while still ensuring academic rigor. Despite the once-unimaginable challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis, we remain as committed as ever to providing a high-quality education to every student. To achieve these goals, NYCDOE is committed to providing continuous policy updates and has been doing so on a weekly basis since, both on our website and via regular updates to our principals and school communities. All of our policies will always be guided first and foremost by health and safety.
The information included in this plan will be similarly shared with stakeholders, whose input and voices have been critical to its development. We know that it is essential that we navigate this new territory in partnership with school communities across the city. We have listened to the voices of families and students to ensure our plans are responsive to their needs and concerns. We have lifted up the voices of educators and worked collaboratively with principals to keep the safety of our staff as a driving factor of our decision-making. Additionally, we created multiple opportunities for feedback and questions through citywide and school-based information sessions, which will continue over the next several weeks.
As we continue to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year—which will look like no other in history—I am confident in the preparedness of the New York City Department of Education. We have the best students, staff, and families anywhere in the world. Working together, we can meet the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19 while ensuring a safe, welcoming, and academically rigorous return to school.
Richard A. Carranza
Please complete this survey : Click Here to express interest in the Learning Bridges program, which will provide child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade this fall for days when they are not in school buildings.
As the New York City Department of Education resumes in-person schooling this fall, most schools and sites will operate on a blended learning model. This will include some in-person services for a portion of the week and reduced class sizes in accordance with social distancing guidance.
The information collected in this survey will be used to guide the City's planning for the Learning Bridges program. Families can expect more information about a potential placement in the coming weeks.
Please note: programs will become available on a rolling basis through the start of school.