School Reopening Updates & Resources

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Updated December 18, 2020 at 12:00 PM

New York City Department of Education:

The City announced big changes today to middle and high school admissions for the 2020-2021 cycle for fall 2021 admissions:

See the Chancellor's letter to families here.

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Jan 6 & Jan 13: Insider’s guide to kindergarten

January 11: Advocacy skills for families of young children

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January 14: Top 5 rights in special education

January 21: Parenting a child with a disability

January 25: Turning 18: rights, benefits, and planning

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Updated December 7, 2020 at 12:30 PM

NYC Department of Education

  • In-person instruction can start today for blended learning students in grades 3-K, Pre-K and K-5.
  • District 75 students in all grades can return to school buildings for in-person instruction starting this Thursday, December 10. However, this does not apply to District 75 Inclusion students in middle and high school. These students will remain on full-time remote instruction until further notice. 
  • The frequency in which blended learning students can attend their school for in-person instruction depends on how many students will return to school, the amount of space a school has to maintain social distancing, and the extent in which a school has adequate staff. Each school will have its own schedule, and is expected to provide full-time in-person instruction if and when possible.
  • Most families and students should expect the same busing services provided before latest school closures to resume.
  • There will be weekly random COVID-19 testing in every school for students in grades 1-12, including District 75 students. All students returning to school buildings must give consent for in-school testing prior to their first day back at school, except students with approved exemptions.
  • Families of returning students can request an exemption for medical or disability-based reasons. Families of students with disabilities with an approved disability-based exemption may be asked to have their child tested outside of school.

Updated November 29, 2020, 7 PM

NYC Department of Education

  • Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced that school buildings will reopen for students in grades 3K-5 on Monday, December 7 and for District 75 students (all grade levels) on Thursday, December 10. Students in grades 6 through 12  (outside of District 75) will continue to learn remotely until further notice. Schools in designated orange or red zones will not reopen.
  • The reopening of school buildings only applies to students who already opted into blended (in person) learning. If your child has attended school in person or will soon, consent forms will be required for weekly mandatory in-school COVID testing. This applies to all students including District 75, except those with medical exemptions. View full letter.
  • Updated November 18, 2020, 6 PM

    NYC Department of Education

    Here is what we know now and information may change anytime:

    • All NYC public schools buildings will temporarily close until further notice due to the City reaching a 3% infection rate average over the last seven days. Families should hear from their principals about next steps shortly if they have not already.
    • The City is talking with the state to determine criteria for reopening. They expect all school buildings to remain closed at least though Thanksgiving week. The City will announce their agreement with the state when it is finalized.
    • Remote learning for all school-age public school students starts tomorrow, Thursday, November 19th, 2020. This includes all District 75 schools. But some charter schools will remain open.
    • 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 child care 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.
    • Some religious and private schools may remain open. Because the 3% average seven day positivity rate of closing applies to public schools and not private. It is up to individual private schools to determine if they will close or not. Please contact your child’s school for status.
    • As of now, New York State has not put out guidance on closures for state approved private preschool (4410) and school age special education programs (853). These programs are known as Non Public Schools (NPS). 4410 programs are expected to remain open as they are deemed “childcare centers, and all 853 programs are expected to remain open as of now too. Parents should expect busing services to continue to and from these programs.
    • New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has not released guidance yet on the status of Early Intervention programs. We expect them to remain open. But encourage families to contact their child’s program to confirm.
    • Learning Bridges programs will remain open. These are free child care programs that provide free child care options for children from 3-K through 8th grade. Essential workers, families living in shelters, and other families of need will continue to be prioritized.
    • NYCDOE Help for Families:
    • All families and students can continue to go to any school building between 9:00 AM 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

    Updated November 18, 2020, 2:30 PM

    NYC Department of Education

    NYC public school buildings will be closed starting November 19. Teachers and students will continue with remote learning only.

    Updated November 5, 2020, 3 PM

    New York State Education Department

    January 2021 Regent Exams have been canceled due to the pandemic. No decisions have been made regarding the June and August 2021 administrations of Regents Examinations or any of the other State assessment programs.

    Students who are planning to take one or more Regents Examinations during the January 2021 examination period at the conclusion of a course of study or make up program shall be exempt from the requirements pertaining to passing such Regents Examination to be issued a diploma. To qualify for the exemption, the student must meet one of the following requirements:

    • Be currently enrolled in a course of study that would ordinarily culminate in the taking of a January 2021 Regents Examination and earn credit for such course of study by the end of the first semester of the 2020-21 school year; or
    • Between September 1, 2020 and the end of the first semester of the 2020-21 school year, successfully complete a make-up program for the purpose of earning course credit; or
    • Be preparing to take a required Regents Examination to graduate at the end of the first semester of the 2020-21 school year.

    Updated September 17, 2020, 11 AM

    NYC Department of Education:

    Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced today that remote learning will continue. Back to school in-person reopening for instruction will happen in several phases:

    • Monday, September 21: 3-K, Pre-K, District 75 (all grades)
    • Tuesday, September 29: K-5, K-8
    • Thursday, October 1: Middle and High Schools, Secondary Schools, Transfer/Adult Education

    NYCDOE has hired 4,500 additional educators to support in-person learning.

    Updated September 8, 2020, 11:30 AM

    NYC Department of Education:

    Updated September 1, 2020, 11 AM

    NYC Department of Education:

    • The first day of the 2020-21 academic school year has been moved to Wednesday, September 16, 2020. All students will remotely begin to transition to online learning for three days from September 16-18th, 2020. In-person learning in school buildings will begin for blended learning students on hybrid schedules on Monday, September 21.



Updated September 25, 2020, 11 AM

NYC Department of Health:

  • Early Intervention services and evaluations are being delivered in person or through teletherapy (using online tools with live video) to the maximum extent possible. NYS DOH has issued guidance which indicates that Early Intervention group services can resume 30 days after the first day of school, which means that Early Intervention group services can resume by October 21, 2020. School bus services will be available beginning that same day.

Updated September 1, 2020, 11 AM

NYC Department of Education:

  • NYC families of children in 3-K programs through 8th grade can now apply for new free child care options on the days their children are scheduled for remote learning.

To view past updates and resources, click here.

INCLUDEnyc provides information, individual assistance, and training to youth, families, and professionals. It does not provide legal advice or representation.