Tips for Supporting Remote Learning for Middle and High School Students

Updated as of 4/7/20

The information below applies to students in NYC DOE middle and high schools. If your child attends a charter or private school setting, your child’s school will update you on remote learning.  

How can families and students get set up for remote learning?

How can families provide support to students in remote learning?

  • Help students log on and navigate the remote learning platform. 
  • Encourage students to be independent in their remote instruction. For students who can use the devices on their own, stay out of the camera’s view during live video classes. 
  • Don’t feel pressured to “teach.” Supplement instruction with e-books available through the New York Public Library and NYCDOE’s Learn at Home resources.

How can families and students create a productive learning environment?

  • Help your student set up a quiet, calm work area 
  • Consider a family meeting to work out who needs what space and materials. Encourage children to support each other, and to possibly take on different responsibilities during the remote learning day. 
  • As available, offer pens, pencils, and/or scrap paper, as well as headphones/earbuds, which can help block out background noise and assist with concentration.

How does remote learning affect grading, state exams, and Regents exams? 

  • Schools will continue to grade students, but will not factor absences into grading. There may be grading flexibility if your child doesn’t have access to remote learning or has limited access due to poor Internet connection or needs to share a device. Speak with your school if this applies. 
  • High school students will earn course credits in the typical way, by passing classes. To review NYCDOE’s information on grading and promotion during remote learning, speak to your school or visit: https://on.nyc.gov/2Ui8sxU 
  • Certain yearly state exams, including state tests for grades 3-8 and Regents exams for high school students, have been suspended. On April 7th, the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) shared information on canceling June 2020 Regents exams and how this affects diploma options. Information on other suspended exams here. Speak to your school about any questions. 

Will students receive special education services?

  • In addition to receiving special education instruction and related services like speech or occupational therapy remotely, high school students should be receiving transition services that help students build skills connected to life goals past high school. Your school should discuss how these transition services will be provided.
  • For general information about special education during remote learning, see our other tip sheet on support during remote learning linked above. 

How can families help their middle or high school students exercise self-advocacy skills during remote learning? 

  • Review the key supports and services on your child’s IEP with your child. As much as possible and as appropriate, they should be aware of what’s on their IEP and advocate for the supports they need to be successful during remote learning. 
  • Speak with your student about what works best for them to focus, plan, and manage their time during remote learning. Tips on how to support these skills here. Discuss with teachers the learning strategies that work best for your child.
  • Encourage your high school student to speak with support staff responsible for transition services to make sure your student is working towards postsecondary goals. 

Will students still have access to work-based learning opportunities like internships? 

  • Ask school staff how internships and other career exploration and work-based learning opportunities may occur remotely. You may also contact staff responsible for transition services for more information. 
  • On April 7th, NYSED shared information on waivers for students working toward a CDOS credential who are unable to complete requirements this school year due to COVID-19: (page 3). Students planning to receive a CDOS credential should speak with school staff about how they will complete coursework and work-based learning hours this school year, and if they qualify for a waiver. 

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