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It is hard to recall another time as gut-wrenching and heartbreaking as these recent days have been. George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police officers last week was horrifying. I am sickened. But, like many of you, I am not surprised. We have seen this abominable disregard for Black lives so many times before, including multiple times in recent weeks. It is truly agonizing to witness; it is nothing short of another pandemic presenting itself on the streets of America.
The New York City Department of Education condemns police brutality and this brutal loss of life. My heart breaks to know that yet another Black family has lost a son, a father, a brother. I stand in solidarity with Black New Yorkers and Americans, and with everyone who is mourning yet another senseless loss. Pain ripples and resonates across communities all over the City. I am with all of you as we individually and collectively reckon with this tragic injustice. The demonstrations happening in the five boroughs and in nearly 140 cities across the country are a reflection of this anguish, and the desire for a better world.
It is incredibly difficult to be a parent or caregiver right now: grappling with emotions, seeking actions that both feel of service and of the magnitude needed in this moment, and thinking through ways to begin or deepen conversations with children and families about recent horrific incidents and the systemic racism from which they spring—all at the same time. The pain and struggle are very real.
For communities of color, nothing about this pain is new. It’s been in the bodies, minds, and hearts of millions of New Yorkers and Americans for generations—because racist violence has been perpetrated for that long.
Racism also causes new harm in other ways, every day, because it is systemic—woven deeply into the fabric of our institutions, our economy, and the systems that make up our shared community. That is true in New York City, as progressive and forward-thinking as we are, including in our public school system.
At the DOE we have said, and we will continue to say: no more.
We must answer the call to be actively anti-racist and work every day to undo these systems of injustice. We will continue in our resolve to advance equity now. We will honor the dignity and humanity of every student, parent, educator, employee and member of our community every day.
No matter the form teaching and learning takes—in brick-and-mortar classrooms or on a digital device—the goal remains the same: providing an excellent education to every single student. In doing so, we must also continually find ways to dismantle institutional racism and reverse its effects.
That work is underway. It includes implementing restorative practices, training all educators and employees on implicit bias, providing mental health supports to school communities, and more. This work creates a lifelong effect in children and has the potential to transform our society in ways that make that the world safer, more just, and better for everyone.
When, for example, children learn from books featuring protagonists and lessons featuring stories from people of different races, abilities, genders, ethnicities, languages, and more, they learn also to value difference and diversity. When students experiencing anger or resentment are taught healthy ways to communicate, it’s more likely they won’t react out of unfounded fear.
We will not relent in the work to intensify equity until, student by student and school by school, change comes. We all need this, because racism doesn’t just harm Black, Brown, or Asian families—it harms us all.
June 3, 2020
Everyone has a role to play. In addition to continuing our work centrally, we are supporting educators with resources to teach episodes from our history and our present, episodes where these same shudders of injustice and outrage, peaceful protest, and also violence and destruction have ripped through our city and society.
At the same time, many of you have already been doing this work at home or are otherwise putting personal resources into these efforts—your time, your energy, your heart, or your voice. We see you, and we are grateful for your powerful commitment. Children see and feel the world around them, and now is an important time to guide them in understanding and engaging with their experiences and those of their friends, families, and fellow New Yorkers.
Below you will find resources to help start, continue, or deepen conversations with children about racism and injustice. We are also sharing resources to help with stress, exhaustion, and self-care. As parents and caregivers, caring for yourself is essential in order to be able to care for others. We will continue to update resources as we move ahead, and you can find them at schools.nyc.gov/togetherforjustice
I have been reminded of this quote by the writer James Baldwin that resonates so powerfully in this moment: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” These are difficult days of reckoning, but we have the opportunity—and a calling—to go farther in facing injustice.
You are our most important partners in the education of the children of New York City and the building of a better world. We are grateful for you today and every day.
Richard A. Carranza
New York City Department of Education
June 15, 2020
I hope you had a safe and restful weekend. I’d like to share information provided by our City colleagues about two important actions you can take immediately to have your voice heard about the future of our city: filling out the 2020 United States Census, and voting in the primary election on Tuesday, June 23. Here is what you need to know:
How to Vote in the June 23 Primary Election
This month, primary elections will take place across New York City. You can confirm which races are happening in your district with nyc.pollsitelocator.com
Here’s how you can vote:
Vote by Mail
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, all New Yorkers with primary elections are able to vote by mail. You must request your mail-in ballot by Tuesday, June 16, which can be done online at nycabsentee.com, by calling 1-866-VOTE-NYC, or by mail.
For those who are away from home, you may request that your ballot be sent to your current residence. Once you receive your ballot, you must complete and postmark it by Tuesday, June 23. For more information, visit vote.nyc
Vote in Person
In-person voting, including early voting, is still available. You may do so during the early voting period from now until Sunday, June 21, or on Election Day, June 23.
If possible, we recommend voting early, when crowds are expected to be smaller and lines to be shorter. To find your early voting site, Election Day site, and poll site hours, visit nyc.pollsitelocator.com
To register to vote in future elections, update your existing registration, find your assigned poll site, check your registration status, or get more information on voting, visit voting.nyc or call 311.
How to Fill Out the United States Census
The Census is a headcount of the U.S. population that happens once every ten years. It is extremely important to fill out because it determines critical educational resources available to New York City, as well as other vital government benefits and electoral representation.
This year, filling out the Census is easier than ever. You can complete it in five minutes, in fifteen languages, online at my2020census.gov or over the phone by calling 844-330-2020.
The Census does not include a citizenship question. Even if you are undocumented, filling out the census will not put you or your family at risk. Census responses are private, protected by federal law, and will never be shared with NYCHA, ICE, HRA, Department of Buildings, or any other government agency—or your landlord.
You and your family need to be counted because Census results determine critical school funding, including special education grants, extra supplies, much-needed technology, and more teachers for our classrooms. It also helps to set funding for Early Learn Centers, In-School and Out-of-School Youth Programs, child care programs, and more.
The Census also serves enormously important non-education purposes. That includes funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, hospital care, affordable housing, and more. Plus, the Census affects each state’s allotment of representatives to Congress and Electoral College votes.
Now more than ever, we need to step up and help make sure all New Yorkers are counted! A complete count will bring our city the resources we need as we recover from the pandemic and its economic impact.
Civic participation is critical for a healthy democracy. I hope these resources are of use to you and your family.
Richard A. Carranza
New York City Department of Education
These can help address stress and trauma that children and families may be experiencing at this time
Please see below, options that may be available to you.
· AlticeUSA is providing free internet service for all students for 60 days. Please call 866-200-9522 to enroll.
· Comcast - Comcast is offering an internet essentials package for free. To sign up for a free internet essentials package for 60 days, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
· Spectrum - Beginning March 16, Spectrum is offering free internet for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
· Charter - Charter is offering free internet for 2 months. 1 (877) 906-9121
· AT&T - AT&T COVID-19 response. AT&T will offer open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families.
· Sprint - Sprint is following the FCC agreement, providing unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
· T-Mobile - T-Mobile is following the FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
*Please note there is no affiliation or legal responsibility between the Dept of Education and these companies. Any concerns, please contact the company directly
We are here to help!
If you need to reach out to your child's teacher over the phone, we have access to translation services!
Please visit the link below to request a device
If you need help with your device, please fill out this link and someone from the DOE will reach out to help.
Do you need help but also need translation?
Please call this number: 718-935-5100
Update for Families-Grading Policy_April 28 2020 Translation for this document can be found here, https://sites.google.com/strongschools.nyc/bksouthlaabcommunityresources/language-access-resources/covid-19-related-language-access-resources
Parent survey for the reopening for the next school year (please fill this survey out, this is very important)
Please join us on REMIND through the app or through text message.
to keep in contact with us you can download the REMIND app, make an account and input the class code @school216
you can text the number 81010 and reply with @school216
Please see the attached letter, a case has been self reported at P.S. 216
Please see the link below for a walkthrough on Google Classrooms
In response to COVID-19 and in an effort to keep our community safe and healthy, beginning, Friday, March 20, 2020, Community School District 21’s office has been temporarily closed.
Beginning Friday, March 20, 2020, staff members will be working remotely to support families.
You can receive direct support from the Family Support Coordinator and the Family Leadership Coordinator by e-mailing:
Mary Dorney: Family Support Coordinator
Georgette Pezzolanti: Family Leadership Coordinator
We may also be reached at 347-371-0882
Follow us on Twitter for updates and announcements @D21_Community
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