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Message from Our Chancellor

Translations are available here: Message for Families 9.1.21

Back-to-School Family Forums

You’re invited to attend virtual Back-to-School Family Forums to learn about our preparations for the first day of the 2021–2022 school year! In the forums, you will hear directly from Chancellor Meisha Porter and a public health expert from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In addition, executive superintendents will review the DOE’s protocols for a safe re-opening, followed by a live Q&A.

You can sign up for the forums at external link) and you’re welcome to attend any of the events. If you missed a session, feel free to attend another of your choice or watch a forum later at external link). Interpretation will be provided in the top languages spoken in each borough. American Sign Language (ASL) will be available at all sessions.

  • September 1: Brooklyn, 6:00–7:30 p.m. (Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic)

  • September 1: Queens, 8:00–9:30 p.m. (Spanish, Mandarin, Bengali)

  • September 2: Bronx, 6:00–7:30 p.m. (Spanish, French, Arabic)

  • September 2: Staten Island, 8:00–9:30 p.m. (Spanish, Mandarin, Russian)

  • September 9: Manhattan, 8:00–9:30 p.m. (Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese)

Updated Health and Safety Guidance

As you prepare for the first day of school, we hope your first stop will be the DOE’s website for school year 2021–22: There you will find the most up-to-date information on how we’re working to keep students and staff healthy and safe this school year.

In addition, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Porter have released the DOE Homecoming 2021 Health and Safety Guide. The guide includes updates about vaccination, health screenings, quarantine protocols, and other important information. It is available in multiple languages on the School Year 2021-22 page on our website.

Attendance and Grading


Regular school attendance is crucial to learning successfully. Here are attendance policies for the 2021-22 school year:

In-person: To be marked “present,” your child must be physically present in the classroom or school learning environment for at least one instructional period during the school day.

Remote: When students must be remote (for example, when they are quarantining or their school buildings are closed in whole or in part), they must be virtually present for synchronous or asynchronous instruction during the scheduled program day.


Grades provide you and your student important feedback about how they are progressing in their learning. Here is what you need to know about grading for 2021–22:

  • Schools will continue to select their own grading scales—as they did prior to the pandemic and again beginning last school year. Grading options include the 1–4 scale, alphabetic scale (A –F), and the 100-point scale. “Course in progress” (NX) is available to individual students in exceptional circumstances.

  • Middle and high school parents will continue the policy adopted last year to choose to replace any passing final grade with a grade of “CR” or “P,” indicating earning course credit or passing.

  • Schools will not factor attendance into grades at all, continuing the policy adopted last school year. Your student’s grade will be based primarily on their academic progress.


School buses transporting students will follow guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State. Buses will take the following steps:

  • Where practical and weather permitting, windows will remain open and the air system on the bus will run in the non-recirculating mode during transit; please dress your child appropriately.

  • Everyone in a school bus must wear face coverings (masks) at all times regardless of vaccination status, unless they have an approved medical exemption from the mask requirements

  • Students should maintain physical distance when possible.

Update Your Contact Information

Stay up to date on important announcements from the DOE, including school closures and events happening in your district or citywide! With a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) account, you can update your contact information, fill out important school forms online, see your child’s grades, schedules, test scores, assigned transportation, attendance and more. You can sign up for an account today with just your name and contact information! To connect an account to your child’s school records, please contact your school to confirm your information.

Vaccination Reminder

Vaccination is the most important step you can take to protect you and your family from COVID-19, and all New Yorkers ages 12 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a child who is at least 12 years old and not yet fully vaccinated, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the DOE strongly encourage you to make a vaccination appointment for them as soon as possible by visiting external link). For the latest DOE vaccination information, visit the COVID-19 on our website.

Final Day of Community Meals Service

The last day of community meal service at NYC schools will be Friday, September 10. Starting Monday, September 13, please visit your local food pantry, soup kitchen, green market, or call 311 to assist in finding a location near you. Additional information can be found at external link).

Please note that the NYC Department of Education continues to offer free breakfast, lunch, and afterschool meals to all NYC public school students during the school year. We look forward to welcoming our students back and serving them a fresh and nutritious meal.

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