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03.09.2012 | Research demonstrates that the stimulation and interaction a child receives during the first five years of life are critical to permanent brain development. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Early Intervention (EI) program provides evaluations and services to infants and toddlers who have developmental delays or disabilities. These services can help infants and toddlers at the time when they can make the biggest difference.

Governor Cuomo’s 2012-2013 Executive Budget proposal would restructure EI, giving health insurance companies an unprecedented role in the program. AFC is urging state legislators to protect access to high-quality EI services and ensure that EI services are driven by children’s needs, not by their health insurance coverage.

Read a letter [PDF] from AFC expressing our concerns regarding this proposal.

Learn more about what you can do to take action [PDF].

"A is for All" report coverfirst page of newsletterfirst page of literacy q&a fact sheet

A is for All: Meeting the Literacy Needs of Students with and without Disabilities in the New York City Public Schools [PDF]
In March 2016,  AFC released this report documenting the need for urgent and sustained action to address the particularly low literacy levels for low-income students with disabilities. The report discusses the key elements for teaching reading effectively to all students, reviews research and case stories indicating that students with a wide range of disabilities are capable of learning to read if they receive appropriate instruction, highlights a number of promising programs in New York City, and provides recommendations for implementing systemic and lasting change.

The Advocate: Special Edition on Literacy [PDF]
The Winter 2019 issue of AFC's newsletter for parents and professionals, The Advocate, is a special edition dedicated to literacy! Highlights include answers to frequently asked questions about reading instruction, phonics, and Orton-Gillingham; fact versus fiction when it comes to dyslexia; and much more. 

Questions & Answers about Literacy and Dyslexia [PDF]
This fact sheet answers frequently asked questions and explains how to get help if your child is struggling to learn to read. An abridged version is available in SpanishFrench, and Arabic [PDF].

Reading Milestones: What your child should know and be able to do [PDF]
This fact sheet (adapted from the newsletter above) describes what your child should be learning during each of their first few years of school in order to become a successful reader. It also lists common warning signs of future difficulty or disability.

Literacy and Parent-Teacher Conferences [PDF]
This fact sheet provides suggestions for questions to ask your child’s teachers about how well they're learning to read and write. Also available in Spanish [PDF].

Click on the links below to learn more about each of AFC's advocacy priorities for the fiscal year 2021 City budget. 

Preschool special education classes [PDF]
While the City has added hundreds of seats in preschool special classes over the past year, too many preschoolers are waiting for the DOE to provide them with the preschool special class seats to which they are legally entitled. The City must allocate sufficient funding to provide a preschool special class seat—in district schools, Pre-K Centers, or community-based organizations (CBOs)—for every child who needs one. In addition, the City must extent salary parity to teachers of DOE-contracted preschool special education classes. Preschool special education programs already have difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers, who can earn far higher compensation in district schools, and without ensuring salary parity for this group of teachers, the City runs the risk that this talent will leave CBO preschool special classes in pursuit of higher salaries at public schools and CBO EarlyLearn/3-K/Pre-K classes—thereby exacerbating the troubling shortage of preschool special class seats. 

Support for students in foster care [PDF]
Approximately 6,000 NYC students are in foster care each year. For students who have been separated from their families and placed in foster homes, school has the potential to be an important source of stability. However, the DOE has long overlooked the needs of students in foster care, even though they are among the most likely to repeat a grade, be suspended, need special education services, and leave high school without a diploma. We recommend that the FY 2021 budget include and baseline funding to establish a small Department of Education office focused on supporting students in foster care. The budget should also include sufficient funds for the City to abide by federal and state law and guarantee bus service or a comparable mode of transportation so students in foster care do not have to switch schools.

Transfer school programs for recently arrived immigrant ELLs, ages 16-21 [PDF]
We urge the City to take steps to address the consistently low graduation rates and high dropout rates of the City’s English Language Learners (ELLs). Recently arrived immigrant students ages 16-21 and Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) are particularly vulnerable, as few DOE schools can serve and support them through graduation. According to a recent data analysis conducted by the Migration Policy Institute, New York City is home to over 4,200 high school-age immigrant youth who do not have a high school diploma but are not enrolled in school. The DOE’s “ELL Transfer Schools” are among the rare schools in the City that can provide a supportive learning environment for under-credited and over-age recently arrived immigrant students. Unfortunately, there are only five such schools, four of which are located in Manhattan, making it difficult for students in other boroughs to attend. To address the geographic limitations of the City’s ELL transfer schools and increase existing non-ELL transfer schools’ capacity to serve recently arrived immigrant youth, the City should allocate funding to pilot programs to support ELLs, ages 16–21, at existing transfer schools in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. 

Strategic school climate investments [PDF
Black students—who comprise around a quarter of the New York City public school population—received more than half (52%) of all superintendent’s suspensions in the 2018-19 school year. In addition, each year, thousands of students with significant emotional, behavioral, and mental health disabilities continue to be removed from class by uniformed police officers and School Safety Agents and taken away from school by Emergency Medical Services when medically unnecessary. Many of these students are not getting the targeted, trauma-informed, and restorative supports, interventions, and services they need in school and, instead, are further traumatized by a law enforcement response to their mental health needs. In the FY 2021 budget, it is crucial that the City make strategic investments in: (a) a Mental Health Continuum to provide a range of direct services to students with significant mental health needs in high-needs schools, partnered with a hospital-based clinic; and (b) funding for the DOE to sustainably and effectively expand Restorative Justice programs citywide. 

Support for students living in shelters [PDF
In 2018-19, more than 114,000 City students experienced homelessness. More than 34,000 of these students spent time in shelters. While the City has placed 100 “Bridging the Gap” social workers and more than 100 Students in Temporary Housing Community Coordinators in schools with high numbers of students who are homeless, about 25,000 children in shelter attend schools without a Bridging the Gap social worker or Community Coordinator. Furthermore, as the number of family shelters and commercial hotels has grown, the number of shelter-based DOE staff has not kept pace, meaning that some students and families have no DOE support at their shelter at all. In the FY 2021 budget, the City should include and baseline funding for at least 50 DOE Students in Temporary Housing Community Coordinators to work in shelters to focus on meeting the educational needs of students who are homeless, as well as three managers to supervise and support the work of the Community Coordinators.

04.24.2020 | Today, Advocates for Children joined more than 30 other signatories, providing feedback and recommendations on the DOE's proposed grading policy for teh 2019-20 school year. In light of the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19-related school closures, the letter urges the DOE to give course credit to all students this semester (K-12) in lieu of a grading system, and to design a separate system to provide needed support to students who have fallen behind. 

We believe it would be inequitable to give grades, notations of “needs improvement” or “incomplete,” or any other indication of how a student performed while schools were closed, particularly given how many students have been unable to access remote learning in a meaningful way.  Labeling a student as needing improvement or having incomplete work would unfairly penalize students who have faced barriers to remote learning such as lack of access to technology and digital literacy, lack of English proficiency of parents and students alike, lack of special education supports, family trauma, and overall lack of resources, among others. Read the letter [PDF]

Jane Stern, a founding member, former Executive Director, and steadfast friend of Advocates for Children of New York, died on October 25, 2019 at the age of 86. Jane was a tireless advocate for social justice in New York City, who dedicated her entire legal and professional career to serving the public interest.

A life-long New Yorker with a foundational belief in public service and advocacy, Jane grew up in the Village, the daughter of a psychiatric social worker and a lawyer. Jane attended Radcliffe College and Yale Law School before beginning her work as an attorney at South Brooklyn Legal Services. Through her work in legal services and as the president of her children's PTA board during the teachers' strike of 1968, Jane quickly became a staunch advocate for the equal treatment and educational rights of all New York City students.

Her advocacy led her to join with a group of individuals and organizations who were working to pool resources and establish the fledgling roots of what would grow to become Advocates for Children. The group’s mission, which guides AFC’s work to this day, was to provide education advocacy for families of students with disabilities who were being denied the education rights guaranteed to them by state and federal laws. Jane, the lone staff attorney at the group’s founding, provided education advocacy for individual students and families and drove systemic reform through research, organizing, and impact litigation. Along with her good friend and colleague Bill Jesinkey, AFC’s founding Executive Director, Jane researched and published the widely influential “Lost Children” report, which documented the systemic failures of New York City public schools to provide appropriate educational services to the most disadvantaged students.

A pragmatic, solutions-oriented leader, Jane was as focused on effecting real change on the ground as she was in the large-scale battles of policy and ideals. Jane believed strongly in identifying problems and finding ways to solve them, and the pride she took in AFC’s work was core to her identity. When she left the organization to work with The New York Community Trust, she remained a respected mentor to the executive directors who followed. Even in her retirement, she continued to support AFC’s work.

“AFC would not be here today if not for Jane Stern’s dedicated leadership and her decades of stewardship, advocacy, and support,” said Kim Sweet, Advocates for Children’s Executive Director. “We will miss her.”

As we continue to monitor the evolving public health situation regarding COVID-19, we will update this page with more information for families about NYC public schools.

A note about AFC's services: In response to the public health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) will be working remotely as of March 16, 2020, out of concern for the safety and well-being of our staff, our clients, and our fellow New Yorkers. Although our offices will be closed, we will continue to advocate on behalf of New York City students. You may continue to contact all AFC staff via e-mail or telephone, and AFC will remain open virtually and attentive to public inquiries related to our programs and services.


Resources for families


 NYC Schools Updates (updated September 18)

Return to School 2020: Phased-In Delayed Start to In-Person Classes

The return to in-person classes will be phased in by grade level: students in 3K, Pre-K and District 75 will begin in-person classes on Monday, September 21. Elementary schools (K-5 and K-8) will begin in-person classes on September 29; middle schools, high schools, and transfer/adult education will begin on October 1. Remote learning for ALL students will still begin on Monday, September 21. The most up-to-date information on back to school is available online at schools.nyc.gov.

Return to School 2020: Instruction Models

The most up-to-date information on the reopening plan is available online at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020. For specific information about the proposed instruction models, visit schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/return-to-school-2020/teaching-and-learning

The City's proposed plan for reopening schools is a 'blended learning' model to accomodate social distancing. Students will be taught on-site in school for 1-3 days of the week, and will learn remotely on the other days of the week. Any New York City families may opt for all-remote learning for any reason, regardless of medical need. Any families who choose the blended learning model (in-person school on some days, remote on others) can switch to full-time remote instruction at any time.  Parents who choose full-time remote instruction will have the opportunity to switch to blended learning on a quarterly basis.

Whether families opt for blended learning or choose for 100% remote learning, students will receive instruction through both live video interaction with their teachers, and assignments, projects, and work to be completed independently. Students who participate in blended learning will eat lunch in the classroom, during one of their regularly scheduled instructional periods, while receiving instruction related to the class scheduled for that time.

Students engaging in remote learning, will, for the most part, be taught by teachers from their school. While there may be some limited exceptions on a school-by-school basis, parents can expect their children to be assigned teachers from their school when they receive their full schedule before the school year begins. Students engaged in remote learning must meet the same academic policies as students engaged in blended learning. 

Teachers will have 20 minutes of office hours every day to engage students and families via video conference or telephone.

 Return to School 2020: Child Care Plan

The City's Learning Bridges program provide free child care to children from 3-K through 8th grade on days when they are scheduled for remote learning. The program will provide full-day supervision, educational support for remote learning, as well as enrichment activities (arts, recreation, tutoring, social-emotional supports, field trips where possible) for days when students are on remote instruction. If you are interested in the Learning Bridges program, learn more and complete the survey.

When applying, families of students in District 75 schools can find their D75 school listed under the geographic district. For students at state-approved NPSs (853s) and preschool special education programs at CBOs (4410s), families should leave the school dropdown BLANK (these schools are not listed but students are eligible). 

Some Learning Bridges programs will begin on September 21; the city is aiming to have seats for 30,000 children on the first day of school, 70,000 seats by the end of October, and 100,000 seats in December. Offers will be made on a rolling basis, and priority for placement will be given to: 

    • Families in temporary housing, including shelters and hotels
    • Children of NYCDOE school and program staff, including staff of Learning Bridges sites and other contracted early childhood providers 
    • Families residing in NYCHA developments 
    • Children in family foster care or receiving other child welfare services 
    • Students with disabilities 
    • Children whose parent/guardian is an essential worker or was previously enrolled in a Regional Enrichment Center (REC) 

Please note, seats are not guaranteed for all who apply.

Return to School 2020: Health & Safety Protocols

Schools will reopen as long as the City’s positive infection rate is below 3% using a 7-day rolling average.  It has been under 3% for the past six weeks (since June 10th). School buildings will have new health and safety protocols, including face coverings in almost all cases, increasing handwashing & sanitizer, nightly deep-cleanings, and the DOE has announced a Test and Trace protocol to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within school buildings. Learn more about the health and safety protocols on the DOE's website.


The DOE has said that school bus service will be available for all students who need it starting on the first day of school (9/21). All families should have been notified about their bus routes the week prior through their NYC Schools Account, where you can log in to check your child’s bus status. Bus companies should also be calling to confirm bus routes.

The DOE has said that there will be health and safety protocols in place on buses, including face coverings, social distancing, open windows, hand sanitizer, and nightly cleaning.

If a route is not in place, call OPT at (718) 392-8855, or your school and ask for information about your child's bus route. You can also request MetroCards from your child’s school; the DOE has shipped MetroCards to every school, including state-approved non public schools.

You may also be eligible for reimbursement for the cost of taking your child to and from school, to cover the cost of MetroCards and/or carfare. However, you may only be reimbursed for the cost of travel one way in the morning and in the afternoon (e.g. to take the child to the school, and to bring your child home). To request the reimbursement form, email the DOE at BusingExceptions@schools.nyc.gov.

Students Aged 21 or older

Watch our webinar on the extended eligibility policy. Slides from the webinar are available online [PDF]

The DOE will be extending eligibility for students who would typically be aging out of high school, but are in need of continued education or support services in order to graduate with a diploma or to transition to adult programs and services.

Schools will be contacting eligible 21-year-olds and their families. Any students who meet the following criteria but haven't yet heard from their schools should reach out to their school immediately. Families can direct any questions or concerns to specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov.

The following students are eligible to school this summer and next school year:

    • 21-year-olds still working towards a HS diploma. Students can return for the 2020-2021 school year if they can complete remaining credits needed for a diploma in 1 year. Students with 33+ credits should talk to their school about whether to continue school this summer or fall. Students can check their credit progress through their NYC schools account 
    • Students with disabilities working towards a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC). Students can return for the 2020-2021 school year and/or receive related services if they missed instruction due to the remote learning transition; and/or are showing signs of regression and haven’t met their IEP goals. 
    • Students with IEPs who need to be connected with adult/postsecondary services or education & have otherwise completed school. Students can receive transition supports (help applying to OPWDD, ACCES-VR, vocational programs, and other adult programs/services) during the summer and 2020-2021 school year through their borough TCAC or the District 75 Transition Office:  

Bronx: bxtcac@schools.nyc.gov | 718-581-2250
Brooklyn: bklyntcac@schools.nyc.gov | 718-804-6790
Manhattan: mntcac@schools.nyc.gov | 212-609-8491
Queens: qnstcac@schools.nyc.gov | 718-557-2782
Staten Island: sitcac@schools.nyc.gov | 718-420-5723
Students in D75: D75transition@schools.nyc.gov

Updated Grading Policy for the 2019-20 School Year

Watch our webinar on the new DOE grading policySlides from the webinar are available online [PDF]

The DOE has released a new grading policy for rest of the 2019-20 school year. Here's a summary of the changes:

    • Students in 3K and Pre-K: No change — these students do not receive report cards or grades
    • Grades K – 5: Students will receive a final grade of either "Meets Standards" (MT) or "Needs Improvement" (N)
    • Grades 6 — 8: Students receive a final grade of either "Meets Standards" (MT), "Needs Improvement" (N), or "Course in Progress" (NX) if additional time is needed to complete the course.
    • Grades 9 — 12: Each school's existing grading scale applies, but no failing grades will be issued. A "Course in Progress" (NX) will be issued instead, providing students with additional time to complete the requirements for the course. After final grades have been issued, students and families will have the option to convert any or all passing Spring Semester 2020 final grades to 'CR,' which indicates the course was passed and credit was earned. Any CR grade will not be factored into a students’ GPA.
    • Intensive summer academic support: All students who can’t demonstrate mastery or submit work will be assessed for targeted summer and fall support to get back on track, with all students receiving “Course In Progress” automatically enrolled in summer programming.
    • High school seniors and 8th graders with “Course In Progress” ratings will be prioritized for additional supports, with the goal of August graduation and promotion for these students.

For more information on the policy, visit schools.nyc.gov/gradingpolicy.

Contacting Schools

The best way to contact a school is by email; currently, most school phone numbers are still going directly to the school buildings and will not reach school employees. Schools are working to have calls forwarded to principals and staff in the near future. Contact emails for principals, parent coordinators, and teachers will be available shortly on public-facing websites.


For any newly arrived immigrants who need to enroll in school, Family Welcome Center (FWC) staff are available remotely to assist with enrollment, placement, and questions about admissions, offers, and waitlists. Questions can be emailed to your borough's Welcome Center address:

Bronx: bronxfwc@schools.nyc.gov
Brooklyn: brooklynfwc@schools.nyc.gov
Manhattan: manhattanfwc@schools.nyc.gov
Queens: queensfwc@schools.nyc.gov
Staten Island: statenislandfwc@schools.nyc.gov

 Remote learning for students with disabilities (updated September 21)

Watch our webinar on Remote Learning 101. Slides from the webinar are available online [PDF]
Watch our webinar on IEPs and Evaluations during COVID-19. Slides from the presentation are available online [PDF]

Resources and support for remote learning for special education students is available on the DOE's website. School administrators and individual providers should have contacted families to develop ways for students — including students with IEPs — to get live instruction, including whole classroom, one-to-one instruction, alternate assessment and differentiated content.

The New York State Department of Education (NYSED) has released guidance on special education during school closures, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions — we've compiled the full NYSED FAQ [PDF]. 

Many more remote learning supports for students with disabilities are available below.

 Remote Learning Plans (RLPs) and Program Adaptions Documents (PADs)

The DOE is no longer using Remote Learning Plans (RLPs) for the 20-21 school year. Schools should be contacting parents of students with IEPs to create a Special Education Program Adaptions Document (PAD), which summarizes the programs and services recommended on your child's IEP, and describes how they will be adapted for the blended and remote learning environments. This is created after consulting with the parent.   

Note: PADs can be changed. If you would like to make changes, contact your child’s teacher and the school based support team at your child’s school. You can also email specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov

The PAD does not replace or change your child's IEP. Your child's IEP remains an active document that includes annual goals and recommended programs and services. The PAD summarizes your child's IEP-recommended special education program and services, and describes how they will be adapted for the blended and remote learning models available this fall. 

Schools should be reaching out to families to create PADs in mid-September. If you have not heard from the teacher by September 18, or you have not received a copy of your child's PAD by September 25, please contact the teacher or principal and the DOE at specialeducation@school.nyc.gov. 

 Related Services Adaptations Document (RAD)

The Related Services Adaptations Document (RAD) is similar to PADs. The RAD will summarize a student’s related services, and describe the way in which these will be offered. 

For students who are fully remote, related services will also be provided remotely. Services providers should be contacting parents directly.  

For students in blended programs, related services can be provided in a combination of in-person and remote or all remote. Related services providers should be reaching out directly to families to schedule services. 

Each related service provider should be reaching out to you soon to discuss the program and create a written plan for each related service. If you don’t agree with the plan make sure you let the provider know what you think would work for your child.  When you get a copy of the plan make sure it’s right and your concerns are noted.  

Contacting CSEs & CPSEs

CSEs are shifting to a remote practice, but you can still get direct support from a Committee on Special Education staff member. All documents regarding special education services can now be faxed via a secure, electronic DOE system. Fax numbers for CPSEs and CSEs can be found on the DOE's website.

    • Documents for preschool children should be sent to the “CPSE” number of the region, based on the school district where the child lives (you can locate school districts at the MySchools website).
    • Documents for children who attend parochial, private or charter schools over the age of 5 should be sent to the “CSE” number of the region, based on the school district of current school attendance.

If you faxed any documents to a CPSE or CSE between March 20th and April 15th, please re-send the document to the new fax numbers. If you experience any challenges transmitting information via fax to one of these numbers, please email efaxhelp@schools.nyc.gov.

Tech support for assistive technology

Visit the DOE's website for additional tech support and user guides for AT and other remote learning devies. More information about AT, and who to contact for support and assistance, is available in our Guide to Assistive Technology [PDF]. See below for additional resources and support for families who currently use or will soon require assistive technologies.

For students who have IEPs that include Assistive Technology (AT) or Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), schools should have already provided that necessary AT and AAC for students to use at home during remote learning. The DOE is working to develop a tele-therapy readiness checklist for providers, and will be working with schools to send those home to families.

IEP meetings, Turning 5 meetings & Evaluations

IEP meetings for all students with disabilities will be conducted by phone. The school should send you copies of any documents that will be discussed before the meeting.

For families of students with disabilities entering kindergarten next year, contact your child’s school or your Turning 5 contact if you want to participate in an IEP meeting by phone. All social history interviews can also be done by phone if you would like to do that.  

Families who wish to refer their child for special education evaluations may continue to do so by emailing the principal, calling 311, or by emailing specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov. Assessments may be conducted remotely. For more information on referrals and evaluations, see our Guide to Special Education [PDF].  If you have any questions, call AFC's Educational Helpline: (866) 427-6033 for support.

Federal Guidance

The Federal Government released guidance on March 12 about providing services to children with disabilities, and school district’s legal responsibilities to students with IEPs in times of school closings.  Some key points from that guidance: 

    • As long as the City’s schools remain open, they must make sure that students with disabilities have the same access to school as their general education peers even if that means access through a distance learning plan;
    • Students with disabilities who are absent because of the virus must continue to receive special education and related services if their absence lasts longer than 10 days;
    • If schools don’t provide the services on a child's IEP for an extended time, the schools and families should talk about what compensatory services may be needed to address skills lost during that period.  

 Early Childhood Education (updated May 19)

Watch our webinar on early childhood education during COVID-19. Slides from the webinar are available online [PDF]

IEP meetings, Turning 5 meetings & Evaluations

IEP meetings for all students with disabilities will be conducted by phone. The school should send you copies of any documents that will be discussed before the meeting.For families of students with disabilities entering kindergarten next year, contact your child’s school or your Turning 5 contact if you want to participate in an IEP meeting by phone. All social history interviews can also be done by phone if you would like to do that.  

Families who wish to refer their child for special education evaluations may continue to do so by emailing the principal, calling 311, or by emailing specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov. Assessments may be conducted remotely. For more information on referrals and evaluations, see our Guide to Special Education [PDF].  If you have any questions, call AFC's Educational Helpline: (866) 427-6033 for support.

Preschool Special Education Services

While schools are closed, preschoolers with IEPs can receive their Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) and related services online through teletherapy.  Service providers should be calling families to set a schedule for services. 

Children enrolled in 3-K, Pre-K, and preschool special education programs should receive remote learning such as video instruction, suggestions for activities children can do at home, and communication from the program, in addition to the SEIT and related services on their IEPs. 

Families that are having trouble getting services in place or whose children have significant needs and may be put at risk if they go without in-person services for a long period of time should contact their services providers, e-mail the DOE at specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov (and feel free to copy AFC at preschool@afcnyc.org), or call AFC’s Helpline at (866) 427-6033.

Early Intervention (EI) Services

Children can receive their Early Intervention (EI) services through teletherapy (online). To request these services, families should contact their EI Service Coordinator or call 311. Children who usually get EI center-based services can get services through teletherapy at home. Families having trouble getting EI services in place can call AFC’s Helpline at (866) 427-6033. 

Families concerned about the development of their 0-2-year-old child can still refer their child for EI evaluations by calling 311. Assessments and evaluations are taking place through teletherapy, and Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meetings are taking place over the phone. For more information on referrals, evaluations, and IFSPs, see our Guide to Early Intervention [PDF].  If you have any questions, call AFC's Educational Helpline: (866) 427-6033 for support. 

Contacting CSEs & CPSEs

CSEs are shifting to a remote practice, but you can still get direct support from a Committee on Special Education staff member. All documents regarding special education services can now be faxed via a secure, electronic DOE system. Fax numbers for CPSEs and CSEs can be found on the DOE's website.

    • Documents for preschool children should be sent to the “CPSE” number of the region, based on the school district where the child lives (you can locate school districts at the MySchools website).
    • Documents for children who attend parochial, private or charter schools over the age of 5 should be sent to the “CSE” number of the region, based on the school district of current school attendance.

If you faxed any documents to a CPSE or CSE between March 20th and April 15th, please re-send the document to the new fax numbers. If you experience any challenges transmitting information via fax to one of these numbers, please email efaxhelp@schools.nyc.gov.

 Supports for Multilingual Learners & English Language Learners (updated May 21)

Las diapositivas del nuestro seminario web, Instrucción Remota 101, están disponibles en línea.

The DOE has posted supports and resources for Multilingual Learners and English Language Learners on their website

Every school will create a remote learning plan to ensure that English language learners and former English language learners receive targeted instruction in English with the appropriate amount of supports in their home language. Your school will continue to consider your student’s specific strengths and needs, such as their current level of proficiency in English and the academic areas where they need the most support. These services will be provided by and in collaboration with an appropriately certified teacher.

Students who receive loaned devices from the DOE can change the default language and settings to a preferred language (directions are available for Apple and for Android devices). The DOE recommends that students use Google Translate to translate any online content into their preferred language.

Need help using Google Translate? We've created a step-by-step guide [PDF] in English and Spanish. We also have step-by-step directions for getting set up on Google Classroom, available in English and Spanish [PDF].

Parents of students with disabilities in NYC schools who are Limited English Proficient are entitled to translation and interpretation services, as confirmed by a recent resolution agreement. The DOE is responsible for informing families of their right to request these services, tracking translation and interpretation requests, and creating a centralized system for providing translated documents to families in all school districts in New York City. Read more about this resolution agreement.

 Remote Learning Tech Support (updated September 21)

Watch a video on this topic in English | Mire un video sobre este tema en español

The DOE's Remote Learning Model for all NYC students began March 23.  Families who have trouble connecting to remote learning should contact their individual schools via email for help and troubleshooting. Schools will be able to monitor student use of the remote platform, and should be able to contact families that have not consistently logged on. Device support and other resources for assistive technology are available on the DOE's website.

Tech support for remote learning

 Any student with a broken iPad should take the device to their school. Schools have been directed to work with DOE IT to send devices back to Apple to get them repaired or replaced; students turning in broken devices should get replacements from their school. 

Families can submit requests for technical support for a broad range of issues, including application support, lost, stolen, or broken devices, and delivery status, through the Technical Support for Families page. Note: when you select a topic and issue in the ticket submission form, the form will automatically list common resolutions to technical support problems; if the suggested resolutions do not resolve your issue, you can continue to submit a tech support ticket by completing the form.

The DOE has compiled tech support resources, including getting started with a DOE-issued iPad. For additional tech support, call the DOE's Service Desk at (718) 935-5100. For questions about DOE-issued devices, you can also email schooldevices@schools.nyc.gov.

Every DOE student has an account for remote learning. If you need help with your student's username or password, the DOE has step-by-step instructions.

Google Classroom

We've created a step-by-step guide to navigating Google Classroom (also available in Spanish), including how to join a class, view and submit assignments, and more.  For step-by-step instructions on how to set up Google Translate, see our Guide to Google Translate (in English and Spanish).

New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (NYS TESOL) has created Google Classroom tutorial videos for families and students in the following 10 languages: Bengali, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Urdu.

The DOE has created a technical support guide for Google Classroom, and a step-by-step Parent's Guide to Google Classroom, developed by teachers, is available online in multiple languages: EnglishSpanishChineseKoreanBengaliRussian, and Arabic

Device needs for remote learning

The DOE is loaning 300,000 data plan-enabled iPads (which have been donated by Apple) to students who need them for remote learning. We urge everyone who needs a device for remote learning to apply for one. There is a limit of one device per student.

If there are multiple students in your household who need remote learning devices, you should apply for multiple devices. More information about device delivery is available on the DOE's website.

The following students are eligible for an iPad from the DOE:

    • students attending DOE schools, including District 75 schools
    • students attending DOE Pre-K Centers
    • students at state-approved non-public schools
    • students at preschool special education programs, 3-K, Pre-K, and EarlyLearn programs
    • charter school students in temporary housing or foster care
    • SOME charter school students with IEPs
    • students with disabilities enrolled in religious and independent private schools 

To request one of these Remote Learning Devices, submit a request online or by phone at (718) 935-5100 (press 5).  The same survey will also be available as a flyer at all Grab & Go meal pickup sites (for more information about meals, see below). Priority for devices will be given to students most in need, and all devices are granted on a temporary basis and will later need to be returned.

Wi-Fi access for remote learning

Charter cable and other providers will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription, and installation fees will be waived for new student households (see below for a full list of service providers and contact information). Any students who receive loaned DOE devices for remote learning will have a device that is WiFi-enabled.  The DOE says they will continue to work with providers to find solutions for areas where these services are not yet provided and for other issues regarding Wi-Fi. 

Students who request and receive an iPad will be given a device that comes pre-loaded with a data plan, and will not requite Wi-Fi.

 Testing and State assessments (updated May 5)

Regents Exams

Watch our webinar on Regents cancellations and updated graduation requirements. Slides from the webinar are available online [PDF]

The June and August 2020 administrations of Regents Exams have been cancelled. Students in grades 7-12 who have passed a Regents-level class and were scheduled to take (or re-take) the Regents exam this June will be allowed to graduate without passing the corresponding exam.

Learn more about what this means for students in our Summary of Changes to Graduation Requirements [PDF]. Also available in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, French, Fulani, Haitian Creole, Russian, Urdu, and Wolof.

SAT Exams

The March 14, May 2, and June 6, 2020 administrations of the SAT have been cancelled. Any students who were registered will receive a refund, and the College Board plans to provide future testing opportunities as soon as is feasible. More information is available on the College Board's website. In the unlikely event that schools don't reopen this fall, the College Board plans to provide a digital SAT for home use.

State Exams

The 2020 elementary- and intermediate-level State assessments have been suspended:

    • Grades 3-8 English Language Arts Test;
    • Grades 3-8 Mathematics Test;
    • Grade 4 Elementary-Level Science Test;
    • Grade 8 Intermediate-Level Science Test;
    • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in Grades K-12; and
    • New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for students with severe cognitive disabilities in Grades 3-8 and high school.

AP Exams

The College Board has developed online AP Exams in response to school closures, as well as free online review lessons (live and on-demand). Learn more on the College Board's website, and find AP instruction support on their YouTube channel.

This year, the DOE will cover all base AP exam fees (the basic cost of the exam, and late order fees) and the College Board will waive all other fees (including canceled, unused, and late-testing fees) for spring 2020 for all students. The College Board will not assess any fees for exams not taken in spring 2020. 

 Free Meals and other supports (updated September 18)

Watch a video on this topic in English | Mire un video sobre este tema en español

For a full list of the City's current emergency food responses, including applying for SNAP benefits, a map of free grab-and-go meal sites, and more, visit nyc.gov/getfood or call 311 and say “Get Food."

Free Meal Hubs

The DOE will continue to provide summer meal services at 410 meal hubs throughout the City until September 29. Find a location near you at schools.nyc.gov/freemeals. These sites will be open from 7:30am – 1:30pm, and offer breakfast, lunch and dinner (one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian option). All three meals can be picked up one time; no ID is required. To find a meal site near you, text 'FOOD' or 'COMIDA' to 877-877.

After September 29, families with students in remote learning or at-home days for blended learning will be able to receive free meals at most DOE school locations. In addition, the DOE will be distributing meals at over 200 locations for the general public. All of this information will be updated regularly on the DOE’s website on the Free Meals page.

10 meal sites in Brooklyn and in Queens are providing exclusively kosher meals. Learn more about where to locate these meal sites on the DOE's website.

Food benefits and emergency food assistance

If you need emergency food assistance, call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777 or 311 to find a local pantry or kitchen. There is no income limit for emergency food. Learn more about Emergency food.

Beginning in June, all NYC public school families will automatically receive $420 per child for food benefits through federal coronavirus relief effort (this is the equivalent of about $5.70 per day, to make up for meals that each student would have been eligible for while in school). Families do not have to apply for this benefit. Families who are already receiving food assistance or medicare will see the additional funds automatically added to their EBT or identification cards. For all others, benefits are expected to be mailed beginning late June. More information is available on NY.gov. See this helpful fact sheet from Hunger Solutions New York (available in English and Spanish), or watch a recording of Community Food Advocates's informational webinar if you have more questions.

If you are not able to go out to get food, no one can bring you food, and you are not able to use private delivery options, New York City will deliver emergency meals to you within 72 hours of placing an order. Deliveries include 3 days’ worth of food (pantry items and shelf stable meals) for up to two people per household, and can be scheduled for up to 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, you will need to re-enroll. Kosher and Halal options available.

Check your eligibility and sign up online.

Free Online Tutoring for Students

The UFT's Dial-a-Teacher hotline offers free homework help with English language arts (ELA) and math to students in K-5th grade. Visit tutor.dialateacher.org to enter your information and get a callback from a teacher. The hotline is open Mondays through Thursdays, 4–7 p.m

Students can receive one-on-one free online homework help from one-on-one tutors through the New York Public Library, daily from 2–11 PM.  Tutors are available in English and Spanish, from early elementary through high school grades, in core subject areas. Video content and other resources are also available 24 hours a day.

Alternative Learning Centers in the Bronx are offering one-on-one tutoring in all core areas for students in grades 6-12. To request tutoring, fill out this Google Form and ALC staff will contact you. 

Let’s Learn NYC! On WNET/PBS 

Let’s Learn NYC! is a new educational public television program, produced by the WNET Group in partnership with the DOE. It will air weekdays at 11am on PBS, and feature lessons for children in 3K through second grade that will supplement remote learning. Learn more.

Resources for Families