Tips for Supporting Remote Learning for Elementary Students

Updated as of 4/9/20

The information below applies to students in public elementary schools. Expect further communication from the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) or your child’s school regarding remote learning in Early Learning, Pre-K, charter, or private school settings.

How can families get set up for remote learning?

  • Families can request to borrow a device, such as a laptop or tablet, from the NYCDOE by filling out the “Remote Learning Device Request” form or by calling (718) 935-5100. Expect delays in distribution.
  • Review the student’s schedule and other important information, which families should receive directly from the school.
  • Set a morning routine so they can be logged on and ready to learn by the time school begins. Set a daily schedule with a plan for independent work in the afternoon. Contact teachers or school directly with tech issues.

How can families provide support to children in remote learning?

  • Help students log on and navigate the remote learning platform. Schools should communicate with families on the platforms they will be using.
  • Encourage students to be independent in participating in remote instruction. For students who can use the devices on their own, stay out of the camera’s view during live video classes.
  • Reach out to teachers for focusing strategies that children use at school and you can adapt for home. Encourage students to ask for breaks or help when needed.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t feel pressured to “teach.” Independent reading or, for those learning to read, simply looking at books, are great ways to supplement instruction. E-books are accessible through the New York Public Library. Access the NYCDOE’s Learn at Home resources for additional activities

How can families create a productive learning environment?

  • Designate a quiet, calm work station, such as their own corner in a shared space. This can help with the transition to “learning mode.” Identify another separate area for breaks or downtime.
  • Make pens, pencils, a notebook, or scrap paper available.
  • Provide headphones or earbuds to students, if accessible. This can help block out background noise and assist with concentration.

Will students receive special education services?

  • Students should receive tele-therapy or special education services online or by phone in some cases. Families must give oral or written consent for speech, occupational therapy, and/or physical therapy to begin.
  • Schools should contact families to discuss service delivery and schedules. If you aren’t contacted, start by reaching out to a school professional by email.
  • By April 8, families should receive the “Special Education Remote Learning Plan” documenting the services that will be delivered remotely.
  • Evaluations and IEP meetings will continue remotely by telephone.
  • There may be service delays as schools adjust to remote learning. Keep a written list of any sessions missed and follow up with your school about potential makeup sessions.

Will students have access to their Assistive Technology (AT)?

  • Students should have access to their recommended AT devices. Schools should be contacting families to ensure access.
  • Your school will reach out if you’re in process of an AT evaluation. Reach out to a member of your IEP team by email with questions.
  • Contact ATFamilySupport@nyccatteam.org (Districts 1-32) or D75ATFamilySupport@d75edu.com (District 75) for further AT support.

What should families do if services are not happening?

  • Start by contacting the teachers, providers, and school administration. Email will be most efficient, as phone lines may not be accessible at this time.
  • Contact the Special Education Inbox at specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov
  • Call INCLUDEnyc’s Help Line at (212) 677-4660 or (212) 677-4668 (Español).

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Learning and School, Special education
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