The following is an update from the Office of Family and Community Empowerment:
This has been a challenging week. We had to make the difficult decision to close schools given the increasing infection rate of COVID 19 in the city. No-one wants to be in this situation – we know that. But we also know that we must make difficult decisions in order to reduce transmission and keep as many New Yorkers safe and healthy as we can.
We also know so much more than we did this time in March. We are better at teaching, working, and living remotely than we were when all this first began. Many of you have developed outstanding and innovative strategies for serving and supporting families during these times from watch parties, check ins, online trainings and phone calls. We’ve all become expert at Zoom, Google, Webex, and FaceTime. We will get through this closure, and this pandemic, and hopefully, be better and stronger for the experience.
Please know that during this time of reflection before the Thanksgiving holiday that we are so immensely grateful for the strength, compassion and energy that you all bring every day.
EVENTS FOR PARENTS
Building Relationships and Engaging your Membership for Parent Leaders
December 1st, 2020 at 10:00 am
Please join us as FACE host a workshop where we share best practices to help you, as parent leaders, engage with your school community. Come ready to share and grow as we learn together how to build relationships and community, develop future leaders and create partnerships to support the parents and students in your schools and districts!
When: Tuesday, December 1st, 2020 @ 10am
Where: Zoom Webinar - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87592084920?pwd=aHA3THVWRFlsMWxzWEtneStOenpDUT09
Dial-in number: US: +1 646 558 8656
Webinar ID: 875 9208 4920 Passcode: 201835
Family and Student Information Session
Missed the November 12th or 19th Family and Student Information Session?
You can view the recording here: https://learndoe.org/face/recordings/
For MLL/ELL students and families
City University of New York Admissions Events
Monday November 23rd and Tuesday November 24th - 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
For all families, especially junior and senior MLLs/ELLs
CUNY Application Support – 11.23 and 11.24
Receive hands-on support in starting and completing an application to CUNY colleges.
Held in the afternoons on November 23-24, and offered in Spanish, Mandarin, Bengali, and Russian. Students wanting to apply to CUNY are welcome.
City Harvest Food Drive
For 38 years, City Harvest and the Daily News have partnered to host the city’s largest food drive, taking place this year from Tuesday, October 20, 2020 through Friday, January 22, 2021. Our goal is to collect one million pounds of nutritious food, which we will deliver, free of charge, to hundreds of soup kitchens, food pantries, and other community food programs across the five boroughs.
Find out how you can get involved this year by visiting City Harvest’s website
Parent University is Here!
We’re delighted to let you know that Parent University is live. Parent University is for all parents and family members. Parent University is a course registration and management system where NYC families can find free trainings on a wide range of topics. Parent University serves all families, from early childhood through adulthood, and seeks to educate and empower them as partners and advocates through free courses, resources, events, and activities.
You can check out the site here: https://parentu.schools.nyc/
For more information, including flyers in different languages please visit the DOE’s Family Empowerment site.
Schools Temporarily Closed
All along, we have kept health and safety at the forefront of everything we do. That includes carefully monitoring COVID-19 transmission rates across the city and, when necessary in response to infections, temporarily closing our school buildings and transitioning students to fully remote learning.
Given recent increases in transmission, we have reached a point in our City’s infection rate that requires all students to transition to remote learning. Beginning Thursday, November 19, all school buildings will be closed, and all learning will proceed remotely for all students, until further notice. You will hear from your principal shortly about next steps for you and your student. Please note that this is a temporary closure, and school buildings will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.
Here’s a checklist to help parents prepare for this time of remote learning, including translations.
Devices for Remote LearningDo you need a device, need technical support or to fix a broken device, or are dealing with a lost or stolen device? Call DOE’s IT Help desk at 718-935-5100 and press 5 to get assistance.
You can also get quick help online:
We are committed to ensuring every student is learning 5 days a week. Your child’s school will support you in remote learning if you currently don’t have a device by providing paper-based work. Contact your school for more info.
Free Meals for Students and FamiliesAll families and students can continue to go to any school building between 9:00 a.m. 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 schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.
From 3-5 p.m., New Yorkers of all ages can pick up free meals at 260 Community Meals sites across the city. For a list of sites, please visit schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.
Learning BridgesLearning Bridges, the City’s free childcare program for children in 3-K through 8th grade, will continue to serve families enrolled in blended learning. We will continue to give priority to children of essential workers, as well as students in temporary housing or residing in NYCHA developments, children in foster care or receiving child welfare services, and students with disabilities. Families can learn more and apply at schools.nyc.gov/learningbridges, and new offers will be made to families weekly as seats are available.
Early Childhood Education3-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 childcare 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. Strong supports are in place to ensure that these sites can continue operating safely.
Although we are temporarily shifting to fully remote teaching and learning for all students, if you have recently elected to enroll your child in blended learning, your child will be able to begin in-person learning after we reopen. I know that for many of you, this decision to temporarily close school buildings that we recently opened up will be disappointing, and I understand. But by confronting these challenges together, we can continue to fight back against COVID-19. And I am confident that before long, we will be able to safely reopen our school buildings again.
Please remember the “Core Four”: wash your hands, wear a face covering, keep six feet of distance from others, and stay home if you’re feeling sick. These are critically important steps that all of us can take every day.
We will continue to provide updates, supporting you and everyone in the DOE family as this public health crisis continues to evolve. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school with any questions or concerns. We are grateful for your partnership and all you do for our city.
Citywide and Community Education Council Elections
Elections for Community and Citywide Education Councils will take place between February and May 2021 and this cycle promises to be historic! Thanks to the advocacy of Education Council members, NYS law was changed to allow parents of all NYC public school students to vote in these elections. In addition, voting for the Citywide Education Councils representing Special Education and English Language Learner communities was expanded to include all families of the students in these programs. We are excited about these changes!
Are you ready to Run. Serve. Lead?
As NYC School Account (NYCSA) is becoming a one-stop shop for student records and communications to parents, we have leveraged it to make the application and voting process more user-friendly and encourage maximum participation. Because NYCSA is the entry point for both applying and voting, it is imperative that all parents create an account and link all their children to it.
We urge all Family Leadership Coordinators and Parent Coordinators to find creative ways to increase parent NYCSA sign-ups in their school communities. The Elections Team is available to provide technical assistance and to brainstorm solutions to remove all barriers to NYCSA creation. Details on the NYCSA account and ways to activate it can be found here https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/student-journey/nyc-schools-account.
Please invite the Elections Team to your parent events and Parent Coordinator meetings for more in-depth conversations about the elections. We are looking forward to partnering with our families, parent leaders and colleagues to make these elections the most successful yet!
Big Apple Awards 2020 Nominations are Now Open!We are now accepting nominations for the Big Apple Awards! Nominations for teachers and college and career counselors will be accepted through January 10, 2021.
Students, families, educators, school staff, and community members can nominate teachers and counselors by visiting the Big Apple Awards website, today through January 10, 2021. Nominees must be current, full-time public school teachers or college counselors in a district school, charter school or early childhood education center in New York City who demonstrate exceptional success in the classroom.
PA/PTA Roles and Responsibilities Virtual Training
We would like to share the Roles and Responsibilities for PA/PTA presentation and recording for the virtual training held by FACE on November 10, 2020. We will be posting on the DOE website over the next few days.
Access the recording here with Access Passcode: s99?n.gg