Announcements - Stay in the Know!

  • Summer Learning Resources for Families

     

    July 13, 2020

     

    Dear Families,

    I hope you and your children are having a happy summer and staying healthy and safe. Summer can be an important time for resting and recharging—especially given the past few months, which have been so challenging for students, families, and staff alike.

    Together, we have risen to meet that challenge—and your children have proven what they are capable of under remarkable circumstances. This summer, I urge you to keep the learning going!

    We have an unconventional start to the school year ahead of us, and we know that all students will be best positioned for success if they remain socially and emotionally engaged, and actively involved in academic exploration over the next several weeks.

    To support your children’s path to academic success, we have pulled together learning resources that will be both fun and intellectually stimulating for you and your family: Summer Reading, Summer Enrichment, College Bridge for All, and other supports that are ongoing throughout the summer months. Please read on to learn more—I encourage you to take advantage of as many of these as you can!

    Summer Reading

    One of the best ways for children to keep their minds active and their creativity flowing is to continue to read throughout the summer. Since just the end of the school year, New York City students have accessed over 30,000 books and logged over 7,500 hours of reading with the eBook reader, Sora. The DOE is thrilled to continue to offer our 3K–12 students free access to hundreds of eBooks and audiobooks through Sora. We encourage you to read to your children and to encourage them to read independently. You just need your DOE account name and password to access the collections. Visit schools.nyc.gov/summerreading to learn more.

    In addition, the New York City School Library System has also curated a special collection of K–12 fiction and non-fiction eBooks for NYC public school students. Visit galepages.com/nycdoe11/ebooks to view the complete collection. To access the eBooks, please email libraries@schools.nyc.gov to receive a username and password.

    Summer Enrichment Challenges and Activities

    Who says learning can’t take you to exciting new worlds? This summer, families can choose to virtually “visit” extraordinary people and places on more than 100 free virtual field trips. These virtual resources will help students to encounter remarkable events in history and learn more about fascinating topics: from animals to aerospace, New York City’s water supply to national parks, honeybees to hip-hop, and so much more. Our dozens of partners include Audubon New York, the Paley Center for Media, the Queens Botanical Garden, the Staten Island Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society. They can’t wait to help you explore the streets of New York and beyond.

    The DOE is also hosting several citywide challenges for students to participate in during the weeks of July 13 through August 17. It doesn’t matter which borough you’re from or which grade you’re in: you can join a fun competition where you can show others your hard work and talent. These exciting summer challenges range from expressing yourself through dance or song, to creating a pixel portrait of yourself in Minecraft, to a New York City bird watching challenge.

    You can find more information on Sora, virtual field trips, and the citywide challenges at schools.nyc.gov/summerlearning.

    College Bridge for All

    We’re so proud of the graduating Class of 2020 – we joined forces with Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and many more proud New Yorkers in celebrating them with a citywide virtual graduation ceremony at the end of June. If you missed the citywide celebration, you can view it at nycclassof2020.com.

    We are continuing to support our graduates along their next steps with free individualized coaching through the College Bridge for All program. From now through September, graduates have access to coaches who are trained to support them in their transition to all pathways, whether that’s college, a career training program, a vocational program, service, or employment. Please encourage your graduate to fill out the Senior Contact Form at bit.ly/classof2020nyc.

    Ongoing Supports

    A quick reminder of these continuing services:

    • Summer School runs through mid-August. For more information, visit schools.nyc.gov/summerschool.
    • Remote Learning. Want to brush up on your digital skills? Visit schools.nyc.gov/technicaltools to learn more about Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and other remote-learning platforms.
    • “Let’s Learn NYC!”, the educational public television program produced by WNET/THIRTEEN and the DOE, starts up again on July 13 and airs 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (EST) through August 28 on channel 13 on your local television network. Let’s Learn NYC! Episodes can also be watched online at thirteen.org/programs/lets-learn-nyc/. Episodes will continue to focus on foundational reading and writing skills, mathematics, social studies, and science for children in 3-K through second grade. Find more information here: schools.nyc.gov/letslearn.
    • Meal Hubs provide free grab-and-go meals to all New Yorkers. Service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visit schools.nyc.gov/freemeals for more information and to find the Meal Hub nearest you.
    • Regional Enrichment Centers provide emergency childcare to the children of essential workers, and operate Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through August. Find more information here: schools.nyc.gov/RECs.

    While you are making the most of summer, I know you are also eager to hear what education will look like for your child this fall. I want to thank the more than 400,000 families that completed our Return to School survey. Your feedback has been an important part of our decision-making. As always, the safety of our students, families, and staff members continues to be our first priority. We are closely tracking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of New York, and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

    Initial planning guidance has been shared with schools and families, and you can find the most up-to-date information at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020. Please know that our plans will be flexible as necessary, and we’ll continue to adjust and update as the public health landscape continues to evolve, and as we get closer to reopening.

    A safe return to schools in the fall will require a partnership not only with school leaders and educators but also with you, our families and students. I will continue to keep you informed as we receive the necessary guidance. I have said it before but it’s no less true now: You are our most important partners and I am grateful for you today and every day.

    Enjoy your summer. Please stay safe and healthy—and keep the learning going!

    Sincerely,

     

    Richard A. Carranza

    Chancellor

    New York City Department of Education

    Queens Preparatory Academy
  • School Reopening - Update for Families

     

    July 8, 2020

    Dear Families,

    I hope you are having a restful summer so far, and staying healthy and safe. I am writing today to share important information about the fall, when school will start up again for the 2020-2021 school year. At the conclusion of this note you will find this information organized by topic, including school scheduling, health and safety protocols, and more. Please bookmark schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020, where more information is available, and which will be regularly updated as we get closer to reopening.

    Our commitment to health and safety drives everything that we do. It drove the transition to remote learning this past March, when we knew that closing school buildings was essential to flattening the curve of COVID-19 infection across New York City. It was profoundly challenging, but you and your children handled it with unbelievable grace and effort, and school communities came together to make it work in historic fashion.

    Now, almost four months later, our commitment to health and safety will drive us into the new school year. We have been through so much together, and 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.

    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.

    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 at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020, and at the end of this letter are the most important takeaways for you at this moment. Please remember that this guidance may change as public health conditions evolve.

    In closing, I want to say that I’m excited, and I’m anxious—just like you. I know that blending in-person and remote learning feels like an improvement over the all-remote experience of the last three months, but still comes with many questions and concerns. We will work with you every step of the way to answer questions around sibling scheduling, transportation, what happens if there’s a confirmed case in a school, and more. I’m committed to doing everything I can to make this easy for you—and I will not compromise on health and safety.

    I always say that New York City has the best students, families, and staff in the world—and that nothing will ever change that. A safe return to schools in the fall, and the broader safety of our whole city, will require we consistently work together as partners—DOE staff, families, and students. Together we can ensure that the 1.1 million students—your children—in the NYC public school system get the education they deserve in the safest, most supportive environments possible.

    Sincerely,

     

    Richard A. Carranza

    Chancellor

    New York City Department of Education

     

    Queens Preparatory Academy
  • Return to School 2020 Survey

    June 12, 2020

    Dear Families,

    I hope you are staying safe and healthy. We are heading towards the end of the school year, soon to close the chapter on an experience none of us could have imagined.  

    But while we are thinking about concluding one chapter, we are focused on the beginning of another: what the future of our schools will look like, and how we will come back in September for the 2020-21 school year. I am writing today with an important update and an opportunity to lend your voice to the planning for this fall.

    You, your children, and all the staff at DOE have done an extraordinary job adjusting to a total transformation of education in the nation’s largest public school system. We must continue to center health and safety and be prepared to follow guidance issued by health experts and other important authorities as autumn approaches. Since we don’t know what the state of the coronavirus will be at that time, we must be ready for a number of options for teaching and learning. In addition to the risks posed by COVID-19 directly, we are acutely aware of the emergence of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a condition related to COVID-19 that has affected children in New York City as well as across the country and the world. 

    What Might Fall 2020 Look Like?

    We have not yet made any firm decisions for what this fall will look like as we start the 2020-2021 school year. However, we believe that all options will need to take into account social distancing. We know that for many students, nothing can quite match full-time teaching and learning in a school building. Given the ongoing health risks related to COVID-19, we also need to prepare for a variety of educational models and approaches, including what I call blended learning. Blended learning means combining in-person and remote instruction to create a powerful educational experience where each mode of learning supports the other. Throughout it all, the goal remains to provide as much in-person learning as possible, and give every child the academic support they need while keeping them safe.

    Lend Your Voice Through the Return to School 2020 Survey

    There are many ways blended learning can operate, and we know every student and family has experienced remote learning differently. We want to hear from you about your preferences and concerns as we head into the 20202021 school year. We have created a short survey for both families and students—please take a moment to fill it out and share your thoughts by Monday, June 22. The survey is anonymous and should take about 7 minutes to complete. It’s available in 9 languages at      schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020, and those without the ability to complete it online can do so by calling 311. Thank you in advance for taking the time to again give us your feedback: it will help us to better serve you. 

    Working together, we will build a strong, just, safe, and successful future for our schools and our City. 

    Sincerely,

     

    Richard A. Carranza
    Chancellor
    New York City Department of Education

     

    Queens Preparatory Academy
  • Summer School Letter Updated May 20, 2020

    May 20, 2020 Updated Summer School Dates

    Earlier this week, we announced our plans for summer learning, to ensure that our students can continue to engage and receive the academic supports they need to be ready for returning to school in the fall. We are writing to you today with an update on the summer calendar, informed by feedback from DOE communities.

    For elementary and middle school students who are required or recommended to attend summer school, the program will start one week earlier and will run from Monday, July 6 – Tuesday, August 11. There is no change to the duration or structure of the program.

    For high school students who are attending summer school, courses will also start one week earlier and will run from Monday, July 6 – Friday, August 14. There is no change to the duration or structure of this program either.

    For students with 12-month Individualized Education Plan (IEPs) services, there will be no change to the calendar. Our teachers start on Wednesday, July 1 and students are expected to participate from Thursday, July 2– Thursday, August 13.

    These changes will help accelerate learning for all students. Beginning summer school earlier—closer to the end of the regular school year—allows for continuous learning for students. Concluding programs earlier also allows more time for continuous rest for your family in the month of August.

    We appreciate your ongoing patience and flexibility as we adapt to this crisis in real time. Nothing is more important than the health, safety, and continued academic success of your child: we thank you for your partnership in this important endeavor now more than ever.

    Sincerely,

    Richard A. Carranza

    Chancellor New York City Department of Education

    Queens Preparatory Academy
  • Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) formerly PMIS.

    Dear Families,

    Following up on our letter to you last week about the new health condition appearing in children in New York City and elsewhere, linked below is a Fact Sheet from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health) that provides additional information.

    Per NYC Health, this condition has been renamed Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)— formerly Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (PMIS). The condition is rare and it is potentially life-threatening, so it is important that you know its signs and symptoms.

    NYC Health’s Fact Sheet conveys new information about the syndrome, its symptoms, when to seek medical help, treatments, and preventative steps. Because MIS-C is associated with COVID-19, acting to keep your child from being exposed to COVID-19 continues to be essential.

    As a reminder, families should help their children understand the importance of the following measures and ensure their children follow them:

     As per NYS Executive Order 202.17, all people over the age of two who can medically tolerate a face covering must wear one when they are outside their home if they cannot maintain physical distance from others. Free face coverings are available at DOE Meal Hubs in all five boroughs—you can find one close to you on the DOE website.

     Physical distancing and good hygiene remain critical, even while wearing a face covering.  When outside the home, adults and children must maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others whenever possible.

     Parents should remind children of the importance of good hand hygiene and should help ensure that children frequently wash their hands.

    The health and safety of our communities remains our top priority, and we will continue to take all appropriate measures to help keep our students, families, and staff members safe. Please visit nyc.gov/health at any time for the latest information on MIS-C, and do not hesitate to contact 311 with any questions.

    Sincerely,

    Richard A. Carranza

    Chancellor New York City Department of Education

    Queens Preparatory Academy
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