NYCDoE - Our Plan to Re-Open School Buildings - Nov 29 2020

Dear Colleagues,


I hope you had a restful Thanksgiving holiday this year.


This has been an eventful and challenging year on many levels. With your efforts and contributions, our school buildings have been safe places for teaching and learning for hundreds of thousands of students. We are grateful for the tireless work you have done to ensure this is possible.


Working in partnership, the City and the State, we are releasing plans today to re-open school buildings with enhanced weekly testing for COVID-19 in place for students and staff. To re-open our schools successfully and with sufficient testing support, students in blended learning—including those who just opted into blended learning—will begin in-person on the following schedule:


  • Students in 3-K, Pre-K and grades K through  5 will return to in-person learning beginning on Monday, December 7
    • This includes all students in 3-K, Pre-K and grades K through 5, across school types (e.g., in K-2 schools, K-3 schools, K-5 schools, as well as District Pre-K Centers, K-8 schools, and K-12 schools).  
    • This excludes schools currently located in State-designated Red or Orange Zones. You can see if your school is in a Red or Orange Zone at


  • Students in all grade levels in District 75 schools will return to in-person learning beginning on Thursday, December 10
    • This excludes schools currently located in State-designated Red or Orange Zones. 


  • Students in grades 6 through 12 (outside of District 75 schools) will continue to learn remotely until further notice.


  • These return dates apply to all students in blended learning, including those who selected blended learning during the recent opt-in period. Students who selected remote only instruction will remain in remote only.


As always, our first commitment is to health and safety for all of our DOE community above and beyond everything else. Your efforts have made it possible for our schools to re-open for in-person learning.


Here is how we collectively will keep them open:

  • Weekly Testing: All schools will have 20% of students and staff randomly tested on a weekly basis.


  • Student Consent: All students in grades 1 and higher are required to provide consent for testing by their first scheduled in-person learning day. Families can submit consent using NYCSA or this updated paper form.  Students who do not submit consent will be transitioned to remote only learning.


  • Staff Consent: All staff are required to provide consent by the first day they report to their school building. Staff can submit consent using the daily Health Questionnaire or using this paper form.


  • Situation Room: The Situation Room remains schools’ main point of contact for any possible cases of COVID-19 in school buildings, and will continue to guide schools through any COVID-19 cases occurring in their buildings.


  • Travel & Gatherings: For the holidays, the City recommends that employees refrain from all nonessential travel and limit gatherings to those within your household. Please refer to the Coronavirus Staff Update page for more information about the DOE’s COVID-related policies for employees.  


Thank you for continuing to provide our students with a strong, supportive education in the midst of all the challenges caused by the pandemic. I am excited to welcome back many of our students to in-person learning, and I am so grateful for your work to make that happen. I know our students and families are too.


In unity,