COVID-19 Updates

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On March 15, 2020, the nation’s largest school district underwent a historic transformation, closing school buildings in order to protect our 1.1 million students, and all staff, families, and fellow New Yorkers from COVID-19.

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.

We are ready for this: adapting and strengthening our practices; investing in the technology required to provide a quality online academic experience—including distributing over 300,000 iPads to students who need them; and working with teachers to be more effective online instructors. We will update curriculum to reflect the blended learning online and in-person model, and to ensure the guidelines and curriculum include appropriate social-emotional learning and mental health supports.

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.

What we Know

  • Parents need consistency to keep their kids focused, schedule childcare, keep life organized; confidence in the safety of their children in their learning environments, and agency in the decisions that will affect their livelihood and families.
  • Students need routine in their learning—building habits and academic success through regular pattern and cadence of instruction; support for both academic and social and emotional health.
  • Teachers need clear expectations for schedule and pace for working with students so they can maximize support in right modality.
  • Principals need flexibility to choose what will work best for their student body and community; need to be able to choose among options.

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 on this web page. Please remember that this guidance may change as public health conditions evolve.

We also know that New Yorkers can rise to meet the challenge, and that everyone at DOE will be there every step of the way to support our students and families. Please read on for guidance and information about attending a New York City public school in the 2020-2021 school year.

Stay Safe! Stay Healthy! Stay Connected! We will remain a school community.

Chancellor Carranza

Message to Families  Return to School Page

Coronavirus Parent Letters Updates on MIS-C for Families and RECs

Letters from the Chancellor  Reopening Update for Families

Comparison of Remote and Blended Learning Experiences: School Year 2020-21

In order to provide the maximum number of students receiving in-person instruction at each school and follow health and safety plans, students will rotate in groups between in-person and remote learning. Schools were provided a preliminary estimate of what their space allows taking social distancing into account. These capacity calculations allow for at least six feet of space to be maintained around each person in a classroom, while ensuring that there remains room for teachers and students to circulate.

Remote learning allows teachers to deliver their lessons online, and students can complete assignments, projects, and assessments just like they would in the classroom. This will create an opportunity for students and teachers to interact online and allows students to continue learning subjects and material that are a key part of their curriculum.

This fall, your child’s school plans to offer blended learning, a mix of in-person days at school and remote-learning days at home. The default for all students is to participate in their schools’ blended learning schedules.

  • Learn more about blended learning and the 2020-2021 school year on our Return to School 2020 web pages.
Fully Remote Learning ExperienceBlended Learning Experience
Fully remote instruction at home.Combination of learning in-person at school buildings, and remote instruction at home.
Students participate in a regular schedule of age-appropriate, standards-based remote learning from home every day.Students go to school buildings for age-appropriate, standards-based, in-person instruction on some days; and continue their learning from home remotely on the other days of the week.
Students will have live interaction with teachers every day.On in-person days, students will attend classes in their school building. 
We are also working to ensure live interaction for students in blended learning on each day they are learning remotely.
Every class will include live instruction. The amount will vary by grade, depending on what is developmentally appropriate.On in-person days, students will have the opportunity for whole class, small group, and individual work and collaboration with classmates and teachers.
Students will use a DOE-approved online platform (such as iLearnNYC or Google Classroom), available in multiple languages, for lessons and submission of work.
Students will experience whole class, small group and/or individualized instruction in an online environment, as well as collaboration with classmates and teachers.
Students will use a DOE-approved online platform (such as iLearnNYC or Google Classroom), available in multiple languages, for lessons and submission of work.
We will make every effort to ensure students consistently have the same instructors throughout the year.We will make every effort to ensure students will be taught by a consistent set of teachers in-person and remotely, who work together throughout the year to maintain continuity and maximize learning.
There will be an emphasis on social-emotional learning across school communities to ensure the mental health and wellness of students and staff.There will be an emphasis on social-emotional learning across school communities to ensure the mental health and wellness of students and staff.
Students will be able to access video-recorded lessons, assignments, and tasks.Students will be able to access video-recorded lessons, assignments, and tasks.
Teachers will regularly engage students and families to check student work, provide timely feedback, and adjust instruction as necessary, via remote learning platforms, calls, emails, video chats, etc. 

Students and families will have access to one-on-one support to help with instructional activities.
Teachers will regularly engage students and families to check student work, provide timely feedback, and adjust instruction as necessary, in-person and via remote learning platforms, calls, emails, video chats, etc.

Students and families will have access to one-on-one support to help with instructional activities.

Blended Learning Experience – Our school has been approved to use Blended Learning Model 2. 1-2 DAYS PER WEEK WITH ALTERNATING WEEKS Model 2 THREE IN-PERSON COHORTS.

Fully Remote Learning Experience To choose fully remote learning for your child, fill out and submit this form. Families can choose full-time remote learning at any time, for any reason, using the Learning Preference online

Changing Preferences – Families who choose full-time remote learning will be able to reevaluate their choice during certain set time periods to change their preference and have their child receive in-person instruction instead. These set time periods will be communicated to schools and families at the beginning of the school year. When families choose to switch their student to in-person instruction, schools will make every effort to accommodate these requests based on programming and space capacity.

Learning Bridges

As the New York City Department of Education resumes in-person schooling this fall, Learning Bridges is a new program that will provide free child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade in blended learning on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. If you are interested in the Learning Bridges program, please complete this survey.


  • In order to limit visitors in the school building, we are encouraging remote or phone meetings whenever possible. 
  • Parents and guardians are not allowed in the school building unless they have an in-person appointment and are wearing a face mask. 
  • When it is essential to hold an in-person meeting, all visitors are required to follow the visitor control protocols, including undergoing a temperature check, completing a health screening form, complying with physical distancing requirements and wearing a face covering.
  • Visitors with appointments must sign in with the school safety agents upon arrival. 
  • All visitors will receive a visitor’s pass (which must be returned upon exiting the building) and will be escorted to and from the meeting destination.
  • If parents and guardians come to pick up their children, staff will escort their children to the lobby to meet them.  


School buses will only be available to transport students to/from school on their designated days. For all transportation eligibility. Schools will provide busing information and schedules to children who are eligible for busing. For all information on transportation – Cleaning and Sanitation, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Social Distancing, Health Assessments and Provision of Services.

Inside the School Building

To reduce movement throughout the building, teachers will travel from class to class, with students remaining in the same room throughout the day to the extent possible. If students have to travel, proper social distancing protocols will be followed. 

  • Signage and directional markers will be placed inside the school to help ensure social distancing while traveling in the hallways and stairwells as well as in classrooms, bathrooms and the play yard. 
  • All individuals in school buildings should remain at least 6 feet apart.
  • Face coverings will be required inside school buildings. Exceptions will be developmentally and age-appropriate, consistent with guidance of health agencies, and paired with increased Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff. NYCDOE is procuring and distributing appropriate PPE for students and staff to use when inside school buildings.
  • There will be increased access and regular opportunities for students and staff to wash hands or use hand sanitizer throughout the day.

Cleaning of the school building will occur throughout the day in addition to a nightly disinfecting. Custodians will sanitize the building on a nightly basis with an electrostatic sprayer that is CDC approved. Cleaning and disinfection will include all high touch surfaces: classrooms, desks & chairs, conference tables, drinking fountains, door handles and push plates, conference tables, light switches, restroom fixtures, partitions and hardware, buttons on hardware, buttons on vending machines, elevator buttons, gym padding, and physical therapy equipment. 

Meals / Snacks

  • Breakfast and lunch will be served in classrooms, to support social distancing and minimize interaction between groups of students. During meals and snacks, students will be directed to not share food or beverages. 
  • Grab-and-go meals will be available for breakfast and lunch each day, though students will also be permitted to bring their own lunch if preferred. Grab-and-go meals will be delivered to students in (3K to K) classrooms, and pickup points within the school will be designated for grades (1-12).
  • Students who are not receiving in person instruction can pick up a lunch from their home school or an identified school building near their home.
  • After eating, staff and students will wipe down the area where they ate their meal with disinfectant wipes. Students will be expected to clean their hands before and after meals/snacks.
  • For more information regarding School Foods and Meals see

Guidelines for “Recess-Time” (The Outdoor Period)  During COVID-19: 

Encourage individual activities with an emphasis on low-to-moderate exertion while maintaining appropriate distance.  Focus on activities that promote individual pursuits and skill development (i.e. yoga, tai-chi, dance, mindfulness) rather than traditional team sports and activities. 

  • Students are to remain with their assigned cohort at all times 
  • While at the recess-yard each cohort will be assigned a supervisor and a specific area 
  • Supervisors are to support with maintaining the DOE’s guidelines which include wearing of a face covering at all times, and maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet for low-to-moderate physical activity and 12 feet for vigorous activities 
  • Example of low to moderate activity:  walking, light jogging, stretching, recreational play
  • Examples of moderate physical activity include aerobics and any activity that creates heavy breathing 
  • Eliminate/avoid any activity that requires student to student contact
  • Supervisors are to be aware of students’ medical conditions including but not limited to asthma and injuries (i.e. foot injury).  

Note:  In the event of inclement weather, the Recess/Outdoor Period is cancelled for the day.  In such cases, students will remain in their classrooms supervised by the assigned Recess-supervisor. While in-doors supervisors may choose to lead low-physical activities including yoga and mindfulness.