Update on Preparing for School Reopening 2020-2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Yesterday, the Chancellor Carranza and Mayor DeBlasio announced the new split schedule program models that schools will choose from for the fall.  Below is the most current information and guidance we received from the DOE. 

Overall Guidance

  • The 2020-21 school year will start in September 2020 (exact date is to be determined, pending a variety of considerations).
  • NYC public school students will be learning 5 days a week, whether in-person in a school building, or at home.
  • We will be maximizing in-person instruction as much as possible, given health and safety guidance. Students will return to either a blended learning model (a combination of remote learning and in-person instruction), or a fully remote learning model, based on the decision of their parents or families.
  • Health officials have made clear that the following basic safety protocols are key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 (I.e. social distancing, face coverings (masks), hand hygiene washing, and staying home when sick).
  • The DOE is currently assessing student busing and transportation options for fall 2020.

Developing Student Schedules It is clear that given the necessary health and safety requirements, it will not be feasible to have 100% of students present in any school building at the same time on any given day.

  • Under the blended learning models, all students who wish to return to instruction in the school building will be taught on-site in school for a portion of the week and remotely on the other days of the week.
  • Schools will provide families each student’s definitive schedule. 
  • Families can expect children to be in school at least one or two consistent days per week throughout the year. Schools will make every effort to safely conduct as much in-person instruction as possible.

Families can elect to choose all-remote learning for their child. The DOE will be following-up with more information on how families can submit their preference. The deadline for completing the form is August 7. There will be specific periods in the school year during which remote-only families may opt back into in-person learning.


  • All people in a school building must remain at least 6 feet apart at all times, including in classrooms, common areas, and during lunch periods.
  • Face coverings will be required for all students, staff, and visitors while inside buildings. Disposable face coverings will be provided to students and staff who need them.
  • Exceptions will be made for those who cannot wear masks for developmental reasons, including based on their age.
  • Students and staff will have increased access to hand washing facilities and sanitizer. Schools will be supplied with additional cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, in addition to disposable face coverings to students and staff.
  • All schools will identify a space to be equipped as an Isolation Room in the event a student or staff member becomes ill while at school.
  • Our buildings will be deep-cleaned on a nightly basis with electrostatic disinfectant sprayers, and HVAC systems are being upgraded to ensure better ventilation.

In addition, the DOE is developing a family engagement toolkit related to school reopening, which will be available later this month.