Letter from the Chancellor

First, thank you. I know the past year has required resiliency, determination, flexibility, and sacrifices from all of us, and from you in particular. You have taken on new roles that many of you never imagined you’d have to take on, and have balanced so much while coping with losses and the many life challenges that COVID-19 brought to us over the past year.

As we close out this school year, I am looking forward to the opportunity that lies before us to reimagine what school is and means for your children. We know that we have to welcome our students back to a warm, welcoming, and affirming learning environment that challenges them academically while lifting them up when they need support.

Trauma Informed Care

NYCDOE cares deeply about the social-emotional health and wellbeing of NYCDOE’s children, families, and staff. We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting repercussions across New York City have had significant impacts.

In response to this, through cross-divisional and inter-agency partnerships, the NYCDOE will implement a comprehensive, multi-part professional learning series that empowers teachers with foundational knowledge and basic skills of trauma-informed care. This is for all staff serving students from Birth to 5 and K-12 populations. Anchored in a continuum from trauma-aware to trauma-informed, this series will include foundational elements to be completed between July and September 2020 with the possibility of supplemental sessions interspersed throughout the school year.

These trauma modules include examination of equity and cultural considerations, the importance of adult self-care, and actionable trauma-informed strategies for classroom teachers and all support staff. School leaders will also participate in a supplemental training series that offers specialized content for framing trauma-informed care in a broader school vision and how to establish systems of support for implementation. 

Annual Parent Teacher Meetings for English Language Learners

Every year, the school is mandated to hold an annual meeting to inform parents of English language learners about their academic and language progress in school. This is a great opportunity for parents to meet individually with members of the staff including guidance counselors and discuss the child’s progress as well as the services the school is providing. This is in addition to your initial parent orientations, your regular parent-teacher conferences, and other meetings.

The Annual Parent Meeting should let you know about:

·       Your child’s language development progress

·       Your child’s New York State English as a Second Language Assessment Test (NYSESLAT)

·       Services and Program entitlement in the school

You can ask your child’s teacher in advance for a qualified interpreter or translator in your preferred language, and one will be provided.

Annual meetings are great opportunities to get answers to any questions you may have about your child’s education. To help you, we’ve created some questions you can ask.

Questions to Ask