Public schools officially closed today after Mayor Bill de Blasio relented following days of
public pressure calling on him to shut down the vast system of 1,800 schools. Now, some 1.1
million children, 1 million parents and 75,000 teachers, which the system serves, have entered a period
of uncertainty and anxiety.
Like the nation’s other school systems that have suspended classes, NYC Public Schools will
transition to a remote learning model this week.
In a letter to the community, Richard Carranza, chancellor of the education department, outlined the
agency’s plans going forward – including a plan to provide meals for students who rely on
school to eat.
Regional Enrichment Centers will open March 23, 2020, for children of healthcare workers, transit
workers and the most vulnerable populations, Carranza wrote. It is unclear how these centers will
operate and where they will be located.
To address the mayor’s concern about feeding students, public schools will now provide free breakfast and
lunch from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. outside of every school.
“I know this may feel abrupt and has the potential to cause disruption in your lives,” he wrote.
“We are committed to consistent and clear communication with you throughout this time period,
and a clear understanding of what will happen.”
Additionally, teachers are expected to report to their schools for remote learning training starting Tuesday,
while students must acquire the necessary materials and technology for the coming weeks.
“I want to be clear that this is not a closure, but a transition,” he wrote. “We will not lower our
expectations for our students.”
Parents can complete this survey released by the Department of Education to request internet-enabled iPads for remote learning or call (718) 935-5100 and press five. Survey fliers will be available at all “Grab-and-Go” meal pickup sites.
“Priority will be given to students most in need, and all devices are granted on a temporary basis and will later need to be returned,” NYC Public Schools tweeted. “There is a limit of one device per student.”
Home learning resources for preschool through 12 grade students are available on the
Department of Education’s website.