Letter to Families from Chancellor Carranza

July 8, 2020


Dear Families,

I hope you are having a restful summer so far, and staying healthy and safe. I am writing today to share important information about the fall, when school will start up again for the 2020-2021 school year. At the conclusion of
this note you will find this information organized by topic, including school scheduling, health and safety protocols, and more. Please bookmark schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020, where more information is available,
and which will be regularly updated as we get closer to reopening. 

Our commitment to health and safety drives everything that we do. It drove the transition to remote learning this past March, when we knew that closing school buildings was essential to flattening the curve of COVID-19
infection across New York City. It was profoundly challenging, but you and your children handled it with unbelievable grace and effort, and school communities came together to make it work in historic fashion. 

Now, almost four months later, our commitment to health and safety will drive us into the new school year. We have been through so much together, and as we look ahead to September, we see the big picture: the continuing
rise in cases across the country; current guidance from City, State, and Federal health authorities; and the knowledge that as the trajectory of the virus continues to evolve, the guidance we must follow will also evolve.
When it does, we have to be ready, and prepared to adapt. We’ve also received over 400,000 responses from families and students to a survey asking about preferences and concerns for the upcoming year, and your input
has been critical in our planning.

Taken together, this picture demands we begin the 2020-21 school year in an unprecedented way—including new health protocols, physical distancing, and more. Make no mistake: New York City students will still be learning
5 days a week. A major difference is that we are preparing to deliver their education through a blended learning model. Blended learning means students will be taught on-site in school for part of the week, and will attend
school remotely on the other days of the week.

Any family can also choose all-remote learning, for any reason. But we know that the majority of families want as much in-person instruction as is safely possible, and we will work to maximize it at every turn, consistent with
health and safety requirements. We will continue to lead with the lens of equity and excellence, giving your child what they need to excel—and recognizing the ways that will be different from each of their classmates, especially in a time of crisis. We will not look away from the ways this virus has further magnified the effects of systemic racism in our communities. We will continue to explore opportunities to directly correct structural inequities— like closing the digital divide.

Our plans must be nimble so we can adjust and update as needed, as the public health landscape continues to evolve. We are also awaiting guidance from the State of New York, and we will be closely coordinating with them once it is released. All of the most up-to-date information will be available at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020, and at the end of this letter are the most important takeaways for you at this moment. Please remember that this guidance may change as public health conditions evolve. 

In closing, I want to say that I’m excited, and I’m anxious—just like you. I know that blending in-person and remote learning feels like an improvement over the all-remote experience of the last three months, but still comes
with many questions and concerns. We will work with you every step of the way to answer questions around sibling scheduling, transportation, what happens if there’s a confirmed case in a school, and more. I’m committed
to doing everything I can to make this easy for you—and I will not compromise on health and safety.

I always say that New York City has the best students, families, and staff in the world—and that nothing will ever change that. A safe return to schools in the fall, and the broader safety of our whole city, will require we
consistently work together as partners—DOE staff, families, and students. Together we can ensure that the 1.1 million students—your children—in the NYC public school system get the education they deserve in the
safest, most supportive environments possible.

 

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza
Chancellor
New York City Department of Education

Information about Summer School 2020

Summer School 2020

May 20, 2020 Updated Summer School Dates

Earlier this week, we announced our plans for summer learning, to ensure that our students can continue to engage and receive the academic supports they need to be ready for returning to school in the fall. We are writing to you today with an update on the summer calendar, informed by feedback from DOE communities.

  • For elementary and middle school students who are required or recommended to attend summer school, the program will start one week earlier and will run from Monday, July 6 – Tuesday, August 11. There is no change to the duration or structure of the program. 
  • For high school students who are attending summer school, courses will also start one week earlier and will run from Monday, July 6 – Friday, August 14. There is no change to the duration or structure of this program either. 
  • For students with 12-month Individualized Education Plan (IEPs) services, there will be no change to the calendar. Our teachers start on Wednesday, July 1 and students are expected to participate from Thursday, July 2–Thursday, August 13.

These changes will help accelerate learning for all students. Beginning summer school earlier—closer to the end of the regular school year—allows for continuous learning for students. Concluding programs earlier also allows more time for continuous rest for your family in the month of August.

We appreciate your ongoing patience and flexibility as we adapt to this crisis in real time. Nothing is more important than the health, safety, and continued academic success of your child: we thank you for your partnership in this important endeavor now more than ever. 

May 19, 2020

We know that the COVID-19 crisis and the unexpected shift to remote learning in the second half of the school year have presented challenges for many families all across the City. The strength, perseverance, and dedication of our 1.1 million students and the staff and families who support them day after day is amazing. We have continually evolved our policies to meet this unprecedented time, developing and in some cases entirely reinventing them to support our students and families. Today we are writing to share an update on summer school.

In continued adherence to federal, State, and City health guidelines, we are adapting our summer school model for summer 2020. This year, we will offer summer school via remote instruction, allowing us to provide more students than ever before with the academic supports they need and a bridge from this school year to the next. In addition to academic instruction, students participating in these summer school programs will also have opportunities to go on self-paced virtual field trips and engage in daily social-emotional learning activities.

Grades 3-8

Students in grades 3–8 who are not promoted in June will be required to attend summer school. They will participate in six weeks of remote instruction from Monday, July 13 – Tuesday, August 18.

Some students in grades 3–8 who are promoted in June may also be recommended by their teacher for additional academic support over the summer. They will participate in six weeks of remote instruction from Monday, July 13 – Tuesday, August 18.

Your school will notify you in June if your child is required or recommended to participate in summer learning programs.

 

Grades 9-12

Students in grades 9–12 who receive a grade of Course in Progress, or who need to retake a course they have failed in a prior term, will participate in remote instruction for the course(s) in which they need to earn credit. Remote instruction will run from Monday, July 13 –Friday, August 21.

Your school will notify you in June if your child is required or recommended to participate in summer learning programs.

 

Students with 12-month Individualized Education Program (IEP) Services

Students in all grades with 12-month IEPs will participate in remote summer programming from Wednesday, July 1–Thursday, August 13. All students who are receiving or are eligible to receive these services will be contacted by their school shortly.

Your child’s academic success is of utmost importance. To ensure that students across the city receive the support they need this summer, we are dedicating all of our efforts to providing mandatory and recommended summer learning programs, and we will not be operating elective Summer Academy and school-based enrichment programs this year. We will continue to share resources and summer-specific activities on this page in the coming weeks so that all students can find new and exciting ways to continue their learning this summer. 

We always say that New York City has the best students, staff, and families in the world, and nothing will ever change that. You continue to prove this day after day.

Highlights