Special Education Remote Learning Information/Contacts/Resources/Links

July 15, 2021

Coronavirus, Education

Coronavirus Information and Resources

The switch to remote education because of the coronavirus crisis has created many educational challenges for families. New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) offers the following information, arranged in alphabetical order, to students with disabilities, their caregivers, and other advocates. We will update the information as soon as we learn of changes and additions, particularly information related to COVID-19. Please contact us if you seek advocacy assistance regarding the education of your child with a disability.


The New York State Senate


COVID vaccine perception survey

  • The Rose F. Kennedy Center in partnership with other University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs) developed a survey to learn about parent preferences for getting vaccines for their child with a disability.
  • This information will be used to address inequity in vaccine information and access. The DDPC is helping to fund this project and distribute the survey.
  • The survey is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Bengali, or ASL. To take the survey click here https://j.mp/3fPDrv2

About OPWDD from NYLPI

Undocumented person with developmental disabilities in need of services? No problem-Learn how to apply for OPWDD

Please check NYLPI’s Factsheet

English: https://www.nylpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/OPWDD-Eligibility-for-UndocumentedFS-FINAL-5-12-21.pdf



NYC Department of Education

Mayor de Blasio and chancellor porter announce academic recovery plan for pivotal school year ahead 

  • $635M historic investment to jumpstart academic achievement for every student.
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter today announced their academic recovery vision for New York City’s public schools and students in the wake of the pandemic.
  • The framework will guide school communities and support students during the 2021-22 school year and beyond, stressing six critical areas of focus: early literacy for all, developing students as digital citizens, preparing students to be college- and career-ready, investing in special education services, building a rigorous and inclusive universal curriculum, and investing in social emotional supports for every student.
  • To read the full announcement please visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/news/announcements/contentdetails/2021/07/09/mayor-de-blasio-and-chancellor-porter-announce-academic-recovery-plan-for-pivotal-school-year-ahead

Special Education-Summer Rising and Students with Disabilities


School District Responsibilities for Preschool Inclusion in Publicly Funded Prekindergarten Programs.

  • The Office of Special Education and Office of Early Learning have issued joint guidance on preschool students with disabilities’ inclusion in prekindergarten programs (PreK).
  • This guidance contains federal and New York State expectations that school districts ensure resident preschool students with disabilities have equal access to enroll and attend the district’s public PreK programs in accordance with the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
  • If a preschool student with a disability satisfies the enrollment and selection requirements applicable to other resident children for the district’s PreK program, the Committee on Preschool Special Education must develop or review the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) to identify the appropriate supplementary supports and services and special education services to support the child within the PreK program.
  • Removal of that child from the PreK program and provision of special education services in a setting with no regular contact with age-appropriate peers without disabilities must be documented on the child’s IEP and may only be considered when the nature or severity of the child’s disability is such that education in a less restrictive environment with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

Advocates for Children (AFC) Information regarding Summer Rising

Expanded transportation options for students attending summer rising

  • The DOE has agreed to provide bus service to and from the instructional portion of Summer Rising for students living in shelter and students with disabilities who receive bus service during the school year.
  • **No return bus service is currently available at the end of the enrichment portion of the day, but eligible families can fill out the Alternate PM Drop-Off Request Form to request transportation from the instructional program to a Summer Rising program closer to their home.


Ensure all students receive the targeted support they need after the pandemic.

  • The DOE is receiving a historic influx of state and federal funding, including $7 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funding.
  • Mayor de Blasio’s budget proposal does not target any of this new funding to programs or services to support English Language Learners, students who are homeless, students in foster care, or students in juvenile detention—students who were hit particularly hard by the closure of school buildings during the pandemic and will need extra help in the coming year. Take ACTION today, please click here https://actionnetwork.org/letters/ensure-all-students-receive-the-targeted-support-they-need-after-the-pandemic


Find help in NYC with Food, Money, Hosing, Work and more


Webinar: nuts and bolts of the department of education’s office for civil rights

July 27 (3:00-4:15pm)

  • Discussing OCR’s Case Processing Manual, including: OCR’s jurisdiction; what OCR considers when evaluating a complaint; and how OCR processes complaints.
  • The webinar will provide specific examples of the types of disability discrimination allegations that OCR is more likely to investigate as well as the types of disability discrimination allegations that OCR generally would not accept for investigation (i.e. placement disputes).
  • OCR’s legal analysis when investigating specific types of allegations, such as different treatment, harassment, and retaliation. To register https://www.ndrnevents.org/profile/form/index.cfm?PKformID=0x18469abcd&eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=6d098e5e-25be-4eb8-9f22-829b2b6290ce


Ensure that Every Student Learns to Read

  • Before the pandemic, less than half of NYC students were reading proficiently, with troubling disparities based on race, disability, language, and housing status.
  • Research shows that nearly all children, including those with disabilities, can learn to read when they are taught appropriately. But many schools continue to use curricula that are not in line with the science, while far too many teachers have never received the training and support, they need to effectively help students learn to read. TAKE ACTION, please click here https://actionnetwork.org/letters/ensure-every-student-learns-to-read


Register at https://www.includenyc.org/resources/calendar/

July 20: Online parent support group

July 20: Advocacy skills for families

July 21: Understanding Early Intervention

Department of Social Services (DSS) Updates

Health and Human Services Disability Information and Access Line

  • Cooling Centers and Extreme Heat Information. High heat and humidity are in the forecast this week with heat index values in the mid-90s to low 100s. To help New Yorkers beat the heat, New York City has begun opening cooling centers throughout the five boroughs. Attendees must wear face coverings inside all cooling centers and adhere to social distancing guidelines. To find a cooling center, including accessible facilities closest to you, call 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) or visit the City’s Cooling Center Finder. Additionally, a citywide map of outdoor cooling options (including spray showers, drinking fountains, and more) can be found online at Cool It! NYC.
  • To prepare for future hot weather, eligible New Yorkers can also obtain free air conditioners, including installation, through the New York State Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). More information on eligibility and how to apply can be found below, at this website, or by calling 311 and asking about the cooling assistance benefit.
  • U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind national hotline to connect people with disabilities to information and services to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The newly established Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is now available to help people with disabilities find vaccination locations in their communities, assist callers with making vaccination appointments, and connect callers to local services – such as accessible transportation – to overcome barriers to vaccination.
  • The hotline can also provide information and resources to answer questions and address concerns about the vaccines and can connect callers to information and services that promote independent living and address fundamental needs, such as food, housing, and transportation. Learn more at acl.gov/dial or call 888-677-1199 from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.

JCC-Manhattan-The Jack and Shirley Silver Center for Special Needs

The U.S. Department of Education

Feds Launch Hotline To Help People With Disabilities Access COVID-19 Vaccines

  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is unveiling what it’s calling a first-of-its-kind national hotline offering information and services directly aimed at boosting access to the shots for people with disabilities.
  • The Disability Information and Access Line can be reached between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET at 888-677-1199 or by emailing [email protected]

The Seaver Autism Center is providing a webinar series to help provide parents with virtual tools and supports to more effectively manage their children’s behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)- rental assistance program available as of June 1, 2021. 

Residents of New York City are eligible if they:

Chalkbeat: School News

NYC public school families: Up to $1,320 per child is coming your way in food benefits through federal COVID relief. Since New York City is a universal school lunch district, all public-school families regardless of income will receive the benefits. https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/6/14/22533836/nyc-public-school-families-food-benefits-covid-relief-1320

Advocates For Children (AFC): what we know so far about the DOE’s summer programming.

Webinar-At this week’s webinar, we took your questions about Summer Rising, including how to register, the programs and supports the DOE will be offering for multilingual students and students with disabilities, and shared advocacy tips for parents who still have unanswered concerns. Find video and slides from the webinar at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90rMwYPQ7Mg

YAI Workshops

These workshops are open to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, families, caregivers, and professionals. Visit the https://www.yai.org/training/free-workshops to register and learn more.

New York State Education

School Health Examinations in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Effective May 11, 2021, students who are unable to obtain a health examination in the required grade have until September 1, 2021 to obtain the required health examination.
  • Schools should communicate the revised timeframe to parents/guardians and encourage physicals be completed and returned to school by September 1, 2021.
  • Medical directors may choose to postpone completing health examinations until after December 31, 2021 for students who do not provide a health certificate for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • For questions please contact the Office of Student Support Services if you have questions by email at [email protected] or at 518-486-6090.

Biden-Harris Administration Efforts to Support Full Participation and Equality for People with Disabilities

In the first 100 days, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken significant steps to achieve a more inclusive country for people with disabilities. Through quick policy action, this Administration has ensured disabled Americans are receiving resources and were included in key administrative proposals. Access full factsheet at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/White-House-Disability-Policy-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Chalkbeat: No Remote Learning: Mayor Announces

New York City schools will not offer a remote option for students next fall as city officials mount a full-court press to bring all students, teachers and staff back to their campuses full-time. https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/5/24/22450700/nyc-no-remote-learning-option-next-school-year

School Re-opening Plan 2021-2022

Message from Chancellor Porter https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/news/chancellor-s-message-for-families

Questions and Answers on Civil Rights and School Reopening in the COVID-19 Environment

  • Education Department Sets Expectations for Special Education.
  • As Schools Reopen, the U.S. Department of Education is laying out how the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and other civil rights laws apply as schools return to in-person learning. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/qa-reopening-202105.pdf

Housing: NYC Section 8 Housing Voucher

To apply for the waitlist lotter, click https://hcr.ny.gov/section8?utm_source=ACCESS+NYC+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1e1291ad9f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_05_19&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_aa67394696-1e1291ad9f-68517457

Chancellor porter launches five-borough family engagement forums

  • Chancellor Meisha Porter announced today the launch of a five-borough family engagement tour to hear directly from school communities about their experiences over the school year, help answer questions and gather feedback on the Executive Budget and foster a discussion on school reopening for the fall.
  • Families can listen to the forums online at https://learndoe.org/chancellor/

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB)

EBB is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals.
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands.
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50). To apply for this program, please check www.getemergencybroadband.org

Daily News: NYC Education Dept. expands halal meals program to 11 new schools

A pilot program that provides Halal meals to city public school students who request them will expand to 11 new schools, Education Dept. officials announced Monday. https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/ny-halal-meals-expand-11-new-schools-20210517-ivch6vpfsraotpxvdqrnlcmouu-story.html

Summer Opportunity: IRC’s Newcomer Youth Summer Academy

  • Students accepted to the Academy are expected to attend the program online Monday-Thursday. Friday trips are in-person and are optional. Families will pick up learning kits from IRC office in midtown in June.
  • To request the link to register for the program, reach out to Biss at the IRC at [email protected] or call 347-380-3157.
  • IRC has space currently in LS1 (K-2nd grade), LS2 (3rd-5th), US1 (6th-8th), and US3 (11th-12th, up to age 21). Their US2 class (9th-10th, ages 15-16) is at capacity, with the waitlist open to interested families.


Assistance for New Yorkers Who Test Positive for COVID

NYC Health & Hospitals’ Test & Trace Corps is providing special services for New Yorkers who test positive and their close contacts:

  • “Take Care” packages which include enough personal protective equipment for a household of three to quarantine for 10-14 days.
  • A free hotel room for up to 14 days if quarantining at home is impossible. To learn more or call (212) 268-4319 to book a room.
  • Free dog walking and other pet drop-in services to ensure New Yorkers can remain safely separated in a hotel or at home. https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/test-and-trace/take-care-package/

What’s it like to serve on a Community Education Council?

Read about the council’s role and why parents should care: https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/5/7/22425272/nyc-cec-community-education-council-election

CUNY Initiative on Immigration and Education (CUNY-IIE) Workshops

Summer School Programs Open to All Students

  • Summer Rising is New York City’s free summer program for any NYC child in grades K–8, including students with disabilities, who wants to participate. All K–8 students participating in programs will have access to academic classes and enrichment programming, including field trips, arts activities and outdoor recreation.
    • Grades K-5: July 6 to August 20 (except July 20), Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
    • Grades 6-8: July 6 to August 12 (except July 20), Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
    • For Summer Rising programs (grades K-8) families can sign up through the Discover DYCD website starting on Monday, April 26 here: https://discoverdycd.dycdconnect.nyc/home
  • Summer Rising High School is a chance for all high school students to make up previously failed courses, complete courses in progress, and participate in academic acceleration.
    • Grades 9-12, July 6 to August 13 (except July 20), schools will program students for courses and activities within Monday to Friday, at hours throughout the day to accommodate your student’s schedule.
    • High schools will reach out students in the coming weeks to discuss participation.
  • Programming for students with 12-month IEPs (D75 and ESY) will be from July 2 to August 13 (except July 5 and July 20), Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m., with the option to stay for the extended day. Families of students with 12-month IEPs can pre-register and submit their preference for in-person or remote services this summer here: https://www.nycenet.edu/surveys/summerprogram
  • Summer Rising will be available in every neighborhood. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack will be served to each student. All New York City residents are eligible for Summer Rising programs. If your student is a New York City resident but does not attend a DOE school, you should apply to a program that is in your neighborhood.

Event: Re-Engaging Multilingual Learners Post-Pandemic

Ramadan Relief Fund

  • The Ramadan Relief Fund provides monetary relief to individuals and families who are struggling to cover basic living costs.
  • The application for financial assistance is open and available here: https://zakatfundofnyc.org/nyc-ramadan-relief

3-K Access EXPANDING; 3-K and Pre-K Applications Open and EXTENDED







Behavioral Health

  • Students who need mental health services as it relates to remote learning should contact school administrators. Emails for school principals are posted on the school website. They can also contact the school’s superintendent.
  • Social workers have been providing mental health supports for families to help students access to behavioral health services. DOE encourages families to use schools as the first line because of “the comfort levels.”
  • Behavioral health resources:

Behavioral Expectations and Guidance


  • Households who lost a breadwinner or caregiver to COVID-19 may be eligible for emergency cash assistance through the Montefiore Family Resilience Fund, which will provide cash assistance to 375 bereaved families in financial distress.
  • Eligible families must be referred to the program by a doctor, nurse, social worker, or other clinician and then screened by Montefiore staff to receive $2,000 of financial support for food, shelter, utilities or child care.  Families eligible for a referral must meet the following criteria:
    • Have lost a loved one to COVID-19 who was an income earner or caregiver in a household. This includes the death of a household member who provided childcare or an adult whose paycheck covered family bills.
    • Have a child or young adult under age 26 in the household.
    • Live in New York City or lower Hudson Valley.
    • Are struggling to pay basic expenses such as housing, food, utilities or child care.
  • Find the referral form here: https://einsteinmed.org/docs/departments/family-social-medicine/family-resilience-fund-referral-form-fillable-7.13.2020.pdf.

Reimbursement for COVID-19 Burial Costs

  • Families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 are able to apply for retroactive reimbursements for burial costs. Applicants can receive up to $9,000 per burial.
  • The deceased’s documentation status is not considered, but the applicants must be U.S. citizens, legal residents, asylees, refugees, or non-citizen nationals.
  • To apply, call 844-684-6333. The call center is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.



Child care services

  • Recipients of Cash Assistance who are participating in an approved education or training program outside of the home or are employed, may be eligible for childcare assistance. Active Cash Assistance recipients should take the following steps to apply for childcare:
  • Information about childcare programs can be found here: https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/childcare.



  • If there are issues reaching school-based staff or if a school does not have email or phone contacts on their website, contact Melissa Cisco at [email protected] or Michele Martinez-Gugerli at [email protected].


NYC Health Post-COVID Clinics


Access for People with Disabilities

Vaccinations for Homebound NYC Residents

  • NYC residents are eligible for the in-home vaccination program if they are fully homebound, have not already been vaccinated, and do not already have access to a vaccination program.
  • If you believe you or a family member may be eligible for an in-home vaccination, fill out this form and you will receive a call back from the city to discuss eligibility: https://forms.cityofnewyork.us/f/homebound.

More Information


  • A strategy inclusive of universal assessments, screeners, and benchmark assessments that would allow schools and staff across DOE to effectively monitor student progress.
  • Increasing access to high-quality digital curriculum (Use Shared and Inclusive Curriculum). Culturally relevant curriculum (including electives for MS/HS) and project-based learning enrichment programs.
  • Launching a one-stop digital learning hub (Strengthen Core Instruction). A citywide LMS to facilitate sharing across schools. Deepening our professional development for our teachers (Strengthen Core Instruction).
  • Professional learning resources and coaching. Expanding Parent University to continue supporting parents with the tools they need to support and deepen learning at home in their language.
  • Confronting the trauma and medical health crisis faced by our students through a citywide approach
  • Safeguarding and prioritization of funding to ensure continuity of learning for MLLs/ELLs.
  • Please refer to NYCDOE for more information.



  • Education councils are part of New York City’s school governance structure. There is a Community Education Council (CEC) for every community school district. There are also four Citywide Councils:
    • Citywide Council on High Schools (CCHS)
    • Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE)
    • Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL)
    • Citywide Council for D75 (CCD75)
  • Learn more about citywide councils here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/get-involved/families/education-councils.


Newly Arrived Immigrants


  • NYSED issued an April 13, 2021 memo encouraging schools and districts to allow those students who will age out of school the opportunity to return for summer school and, if necessary, attend school in the 2021-2022 school year, in order to complete their education and earn a diploma.
  • If you or your child needs more time to finish high school due to COVID-19, share this memo with your school and ask about attending summer programming or returning to school next year.
  • Read the memo here: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/coronavirus/memo-over-age-students.pdf



Free Meals to Children through Summer 2021

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that summer meal programs that make nutritious meals available to all children will be extended through Sept. 30, 2021 due to the pandemic to ensure food access this summer when schools are out of session.

Local Resources

  • Over 400 school locations are serving Grab and Go meals for ALL New Yorkers (no children required). For general information about meals, visit http://www.schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.
  • Grab-and-go free meals are available to students and families Monday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and to community members Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. All sites offer vegetarian meals. Kosher and halal meals are available at select sites which can be found online here: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/food/community-meals.
  • For more information please visit www.schools.nyc.gov/freemeals, and/or text “NYC FOOD” or “NYC COMIDA” to 877-877 to find a location.
  • No registration, ID, or documentation is required to pick up these meals.
  • Three meals a day will be available per person and may be picked up at the same time.
  • To find the closest location serving meals, visit https://www.opt-osfns.org/schoolfoodny/meals/default.aspx.
  • Get connected to local resources quickly, whether that’s your neighborhood food pantry or soup kitchen, local volunteers offering food assistance, or government benefits. Text FOOD to 90847 to find free food near you or call 844-995-0989 to get help from a person.  
  • Use the Get Food NYC map to find locations that offer free food (food pantries and Grab & Go meals at NYC schools), as well as grocery stores and farmers’ markets: https://nyc-oem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=d781ef8a46cf417dbbfaf28f3b902ac4
  • The Neighborhood Opportunity Network is operating Nutrition Kitchens with locations in all five boroughs. These sites provide free groceries for individuals and families in need. More information can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/neon/programs/nutrition-kitchen.page.
  • The Hunter College Center for Food Policy has created food resource guides for 59 New York City neighborhoods, available here: https://www.nycfoodpolicy.org/coronavirus-nyc-food-reports. Each resource guide includes information related to food access within the community, such as the location and hours of food pantries, meals for students and seniors, delivery services for people with disabilities, and resources for immigrants.
  • Plentiful​ is an app that lets New Yorkers find food pantries and make reservations ahead of time through their phone or iPad. There is a map of pantries all over NYC with over 300 locations. More information is available at www.plentifulapp.com.
  • Visit a City Harvest Mobile Market, which provides free fresh produce throughout the five boroughs. Each Mobile Market has its own dates of operation. Mobile Markets are open from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Each site may have its own eligibility criteria to receive free food. A list of Mobile Markets by borough is available here: https://www.cityharvest.org/programs/mobile-markets/



  • Emergency benefits are available to assist eligible households with a heating emergency or a heat-related domestic emergency. Households can now apply for a third emergency HEAP benefit, even if they have already received a HEAP benefit this season. The deadline for HEAP applications has been extended from April 30 until August 31, 2021, or until funds allocated to this program have been exhausted.
  • Applications for the 2021 HEAP Cooling Assistance Component (CAC) will be accepted starting on Monday, May 3, 2021. Benefits will be provided on a first come, first served basis to eligible applicants through Tuesday, August 31, 2021, or until funding allocated to this component is exhausted.
  • In order to be eligible for a CAC benefit, the applicant or a household member must have a documented medical condition that is exacerbated by extreme heat.


Brooklyn Public Library Remote Schooling

Other Support


INCLUDEnyc Help Line

Resources for Advocacy


Federal Eviction Moratorium Extended

  • The CDC extended existing protections from residential evictions for non-payment of rent until June 30, 2021.
  • New York City tenants have broader protections from eviction under New York State law, as well as a statewide order of the Office of Court Administration. Under this law and order, all pending eviction cases in New York City Housing Court are stayed through August 31, 2021 and no new eviction cases can be filed.

Section 8 Vouchers

  • HPD Section 8 team is still available to the public. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email [email protected] or fax at 212-863-5299.
  • During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension.
  • All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled.
  • All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice.
  • HPD will continue to pay subsidies until final determinations are made. All non-emergency Section 8 Housing Quality Standard inspections are suspended until further notice.

New York State Emergency Rental Assistance

  • The New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agency has made funds available to provide rental assistance to individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This State program will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the pandemic. For more information, please check https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP.

Accommodations for DHS Shelter Residents


IEPs and Program Adaptations Documents: What’s the Difference?


  • Resources for students in grades Pre-K-12 for online learning available https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home. More resources are in the works, including webinars for teachers, parents, and caregivers.
  • For specific questions, you can contact the following DOE representatives:


Emergency Broadband Benefit


  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a temporary Federal Communications Commission program to help households struggling to afford internet service during the pandemic. The program can provide a credit of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for homes on tribal lands.
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase an internet-accessible device (laptop, desktop, tablet, etc.) from participating providers is also available.
  • The FCC announced that eligible households will be able to enroll in the program on May 12, 2021! Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting https://getemergencybroadband.org.

Free and Low-Cost Internet Options

  • Free or low-cost internet options are available to New York City students and families. For more information, visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/learn-at-home/technical-tools-and-support/free-and-low-cost-internet-options.
  • Families who have trouble connecting should reach out to their schools directly. Each school will be troubleshooting its own remote technology issues with support from DOE. DOE is working to create more supports for parents in this transition.
  • NYC will install Wi-Fi for students in all family and domestic violence shelters by August 2021.
  • Charter Cable (and possibly other providers) will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription, and installation fees will be waived.  For more information, call 1-844-488-8395. 
  • AT&T is also offering 60 days of free public service. Other providers may also make internet services available for free. For more information, visit this guide on internet providers: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jRzsVlpQL7RbQmrOoVaKBr6735GHz6ab/view. Each loaned device will be Wi-Fi-enabled.
  • Visit NYC’s internet provider resource page for detailed information on local organizations that provide discounted distance learning devices, remote learning programs, and free wireless internet access: https://www.inmyarea.com/internet/new-york/new-york#low-income-resources
  • The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, included in the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, helps to lower the cost of high-speed internet and computers/tablets for eligible low-income households during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal program, which is expected to be open to eligible households by the end of April 2021, will provide:
    • Up to $50 a month to low-income households for broadband service
    • Up to $75 a month to households on Native American land for broadband service
    • A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price
  • More information here: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit


Working Papers – Employment for Minors

Guide for Undocumented High School and College Students

  • Informed Immigrant has put together a guide for undocumented high school and college students, both with and without DACA. The guide collects resources and information to help undocumented students make informed decisions about their futures and acquire the tools they need to advocate for themselves at the high school and college levels. Find the guide here: https://www.informedimmigrant.com/guides/higher-education-undocumented-students/


1115 Medicaid Redesign Team Waiver



New Yorkers Can Enroll in Medicaid, Child Health Plus and Essential Plan Year Round


  • For New Yorkers currently enrolled in Medicaid, Child Health Plus or the Essential Plan and have a coverage end date of March 31, 2021, their coverage will be extended for an additional 12-month period. Visit the NY State of Health website for further information: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/

IRS Tax Form 1095B No Longer Automatically Mailed to Medicaid Consumers.

  • The NYC Department of Health and NY State of Health websites include messaging to advise individuals of this change in policy, which begins with Tax Year 2020. To request IRS Form 1095-B an individual can call 1-800-541-2831, send an email request to [email protected] or send a request via postal mail to NY State of Health P.O. Box 11774 Albany, NY 12211.

Medicaid Renewal Extension

  • Medicaid renewals have been extended through April 2021. All Medicaid cases that were due to expire during the months of March 2020 through April 2021 are extended for 12 months. No Medicaid case will be closed for failure to renew or failure to provide documentation
  • Empire Justice Center is assisting families with issues with unemployment and PAID leave. Call 800-724-0490 x 5827.


Schools to Screen Students for Mental Health Needs


  • New York City educators will screen their students for mental health needs this coming school year using a social-emotional screening tool that assists with better understanding the development of children, identifying common signs of trauma and distress in students, and helping better plan next steps in providing care.
  • The city is hiring over 600 social workers, psychologists, and family support workers, totaling over 6,000 mental health workers in schools across the city. Every school will have a full-time social worker to work with students.
  • Read more in the city’s press release here: https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/312-21/mayor-de-blasio-first-lady-mccray-schools-chancellor-porter-speaker-johnson-announce.

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources for NYS Schools, Families and Students

  • The New York State Education Department (NYSED), in partnership with the Office of Mental Health (OMH), has released a joint letter providing resources regarding  supporting students’ mental health: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/coronavirus/joint-nysed-omh-letter-04-16-2021.pdf
  • The events of the past year have caused an increase in depression, anxiety, and a worsening in the overall mental health of students.
  • This memo includes resources tailored for use by educators, school administrators, and students and families. The resource includes handouts, videos, and information on suicide prevention training, along with information on the OMH Crisis Text Line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
  • For questions contact the Office of Mental Health [email protected] or the Office of Student Support Services [email protected].


  • The Division of Multilingual Learners is developing guidance to support multilingual learners in any language, to maintain continuity of learning, including how co-teaching can work remotely.
  • For information, visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/multilingual-learners.
  • Parents can request assistance to fill out the survey by calling 718-935-5100, Option 5.
  • DOE is also looking into accommodating “low incident languages.” Families in need of translation services should reach out to DOE.


NYC Schools Accounts (NYCSA)

  • There are two types of NYC Schools Accounts (NYCSA): NYCSA “full” and NYCSA “light.”
  • To have NYCSA full, you must get a code from your student’s school. You can create an account at http://www.mystudent.nyc/.
  • NYCSA full will provide all access to student information, including IEPs, transportation, the student’s guardian, school, and test scores, as well as to change basic contact information.
  • A NYCSA light account, which does not require an authorization code, will not allow full access to protected information but will allow parents to change their contact information. You can login at http://www.mystudent.nyc/.

Student Contact Information

Non-Custodial Parents


  • Parent Coordinators will still be supporting families, principals will still be supervising the parent coordinators, but all will be shifting to remote-only work.
  • The DOE has set up a Parent Empowerment Hub for Parent Coordinators here: https://parentcoordinatornyc.connectwithkids.com/. Here school Parent Coordinators will find information and guidance to help them support families.


  • A collaboration between the Office of Family and Community Empowerment (FACE) and the Division of Instructional and Information Technology (DIIT). Register for classes at https://parentu.schools.nyc/.
  • Send suggestions to DOE for additional resources to Michele at [email protected].


Resources: Talking About Racism With Your Children

Videos for Parents of Children with Cognitive Disabilities

Report: 2021 Roadmap for English Language Learners

  • The New York Immigration Coalition’s (NYIC) Education Collaborative developed and published a report on the most significant issues that faced English language learners and immigrant families in 2020 and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and offered recommendations for 2021.
  • Read the report here: https://www.politico.com/states/f/?id=00000178-4249-dd22-a17a-dffdf58e0000.

Resource Guide for Families

THE CITY and Chalkbeat NY Special Education Resource Page

Center for Parent Information and Resources (CIPR)

Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center

  • The Office of Special Education is sharing the following resource provided by the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, a national technical assistance center funded by the Office of Special Education Programs: https://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/.
  • The Family Guide to At-Home Learning has practical strategies that work for helping children of all ages who may be struggling with an at-home learning task. Families may find these strategies useful when helping their children complete various reading, math, and/or behavioral tasks at home. The guide is available here: https://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/family-guide-to-at-home-learning/.

Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide

Respectability: Resource Guide for Virtual Education and Students with Disabilities

BCO Contact Sheet

Resources for students who are homeless or in temporary housing

Temporary Housing

Students Experiencing Homelessness


Evaluation Process


Sexual Health Innovation Network for Equitable Education with Youth with Intellectual Disabilities


Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) 2020-21 School Year

  • The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is providing Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) food benefits to all households with children who receive free school lunch under the National School Lunch Act and whose school was closed or operating with reduced school attendance due to COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • The state expects to issue benefits in one payment for September 2020 through March 2021. This payment will likely be issued in June 2021. The remaining benefit covering the period from April to June 2021 is projected to be issued between July and September 2021.
  • Students are eligible for Pandemic EBT benefits for days when students were not physically in the school building, whether on a hybrid schedule or engaged in fully remote learning.
  • Benefit cards for each eligible child were distributed to families in this cohort.
  • There is no application process for receipt of these funds. Information for distribution of funds will be provided to State OTDA by local school districts (for NYC, the NYC Department of Education).
  • OTDA will be using the March 2020 school enrollment data to determine eligibility by age and enrollment status.
    **** NOTE: Familied will be eligible regardless of immigration status and will not affect the public charge rule.

  • You can now use your SNAP benefits to shop online for fresh produce and groceries. Participating online stores now accept SNAP benefits for online orders and will deliver to you. For participating stores, please visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/snap-online-shopping.page.


Social Security 1.3% Benefit Increase for 2021

  • The 1.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Please check the SSA


  • DOE is working on a mechanism by which parents can obtain their children’s records without an “OSIS number” — a nine-digit number issued to all students who attend a New York City public school. In the meantime, parents should contact their school’s principal.
  • Families may also contact the Committee on Special Education.


  • Students with IEPs who need to be connected with adult/postsecondary services or education and have otherwise completed school:
    • Can get transition supports (help applying to OPWDD, AccessVR, vocational programs, and other adult programs/services) during the summer and 2020-2021 school year through their borough TCAC or the District 75 Transition Office as appropriate to access this service. Contact [email protected] or, for students in D75 programs, [email protected]
  • Families in need of transition services and assistance can contact, The Transition and College Access Services (TCAC). There is one in each borough. Families can email their borough for support.
  • ACCES-VR is not having virtual sessions. Families should contact AccessVR directly for questions at http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr.

New York State Education Department Guidance

  • New York State Education Department has developed a policy brief, Transition Planning and Services for Students with Disabilities reminding Committees on Special Education and school districts of their specific responsibilities under federal and state law and regulations to provide appropriate transition planning and services for students with disabilities.
  • This guidance also identifies technical assistance resources available to assist school districts, students, and families in the transition planning process. For more information, visit http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/documents/transition-planning-and-services-for-students-with-disabilities.pdf.

U.S. Department Of Education Guidance


Fair Fares NYC

  • City program to help low-income New Yorkers with transportation costs. Participants can receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares.
  • Check for info on eligibility and how to apply here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/fairfares/index.page.

Students with Disabilities

  • The Office of Pupil Transportation is working case by case, including bus paraprofessionals and other staff. OPT is making bus alternatives available.
    • Metro cards: OPT has shipped FREE MetroCards to all schools for students and parents.
    • Reimbursement process: OPT is also offering to reimburse families who use other methods of transportation (car services, taxis, Ubers, etc.). Reimbursement process will be expedited and simpler.


Partial Unemployment Benefits

  • Under a new plan to boost partial unemployment benefits, unemployed New Yorkers who accept part-time work are not penalized by basing their partial unemployment benefits on the hours they actually work, rather than the number of days they work in a given week. Partially employed workers can now work up to seven days weekly and still receive partial benefits if they are working fewer than 30 hours weekly and earning less than $504/weekly.
  • Information on applying can be found here: https://dol.ny.gov/unemployment/partial-unemployment-eligibility.


NYC Unity Works – Workforce Development Project


  • NYC Unity Works is a new initiative launched through a partnership between the NYC Unity Project, the Administration’s citywide LGBTQI policy and programming initiative, and the Ali Forney Center, the nation’s largest LGBTQI homeless youth service provider.
  • The program will be a comprehensive workforce development program for LGBTQI communities and will specifically focus on supporting homeless and runaway LGBTQI youth by connecting them to a full suite of services including basic and higher educational opportunities; paid internships and training, work credentials, and job placements; career coaching, and comprehensive, LGBTQI affirming case management that incorporates full wraparound supports and mental health counseling.
  • Click here for more information: https://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/283-21/de-blasio-administration-partners-ali-forney-center-launch-nation-s-largest-workforce?

LAST UPDATED: July 15, 2021

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