Special Education Remote Learning Information/Contacts/Resources/Links

January 13, 2022

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.



  • On January 19, 2022, from 10am-12pm, join the forum with presentations on the NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Accommodation Rights of People with Disabilities
  • Register at https://tinyurl.com/57t37eru



  • Hochul’s first proposal would raise the maximum income that Medicaid beneficiaries are permitted to earn, and the second would do the same for savings



  • On February 4 from 9am-12pm, join the Brooklyn School Law for their annual roundtable centered around the theme of intersectional approaches to inclusion and advocacy. 




  • Schools Chancellor Porter and City Council announced the launch of “Language Access for All,” an historic $4 million investment in improving outreach, engagement, and communication with multilingual families across New York City.
  • Approximately 40 percent of New York City Department of Education families speak a language other than English at home, so this investment will increase the NYCDOE’s ability to deliver resources to all families in a language more accessible to them.


  • On November 26, the IDEA celebrated its 46th birthday. This landmark legislation ensures access to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for every child in the United States. 
  • Today, more than 7 million children and young adults receive special education services through the IDEA.


  • The AFC will be hosting a variety of webinars on the transition from preschool special education to kindergarten. 
  • The Kindergarten Admissions Process webinars in English will occur on December 15 at 10am, January 4 at 6pm and January 19 at 4pm. It will occur in Spanish on December 2 at 4pm, December 15 at 10am and January 6 at 6pm.
  • Understanding the Kindergarten IEP webinar in English will occur on December 7 at 4pm, January 11 at 10am and January 26 at 4pm. It will occur in Spanish on December 8 at 4pm and December 13 at 10am. 
  • Register at https://www.advocatesforchildren.org/turning5


Additional Virtual Regional Information Meetings to Discuss Review of Graduation Measures in New York State

  • The Board of Regents and the State Education Department are gathering input from partners including parents, educators, administrators, school support staff, representatives of higher education and the public.
  • To find a full schedule of the updated meetings, visit http://www.nysed.gov/grad-measures/regional-meetings


NYC DOE Child Abuse Designated Liaison Training


  • More than 101,000 New York City students were identified as homeless during 2020-21.


  • If you need help applying for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), please register by calling 212-979-8988 or texting 646-630-7385 or emailing [email protected]  


Citywide Parent Platform on Student Transportation


Saving Lives, Reducing Trauma: Removing Police from New York City’s Mental Health Crisis Response

  • NYLPI released a report documenting the results from a survey of New Yorkers who experienced mental health crises.
  • The responses show that when police are sent as the first responders to a mental crisis, individuals experience trauma, fear, and distrust of our mental health system.

Read the full report here https://www.nylpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/FINAL_Mental-Health-Crisis-Response-Report.pdf


New York City Council Requires all School Buses to be Electric by 2035


Important Update as of November 12, 2021

  • Nearly all children in public schools throughout the state and children in charter schools outside of NYC who had their in-person attendance reduced during 2020-2021 school year due to the pandemic have been issued their P-EBT food benefits.
  • OTDA is working to distribute P-EBT food benefits to eligible children who attended New York City charter schools and to students through the state attending private schools during the 2020-21 academic year. 

SNAP COVID 19 Information 

  • P-EBT food benefits will be issued as monthly in-person school attendance information provided by schools and school districts is reviewed and processed.
  • You can check the status of your child(ren)’s school in the NYS P-EBT School Listing at https://pebtschoollist.powerappsportals.us/
  • The Payment Status describes the status of a school’s file of eligible students for payment processing and will be one of the following types:
  • In Review: The school’s student file has been received and is being evaluated.
  • Issuing: The school’s student file has been received and NYS is in the process of distributing benefits to the school’s eligible children. It can take several weeks to distribute P-EBT food benefits to all of the eligible children in a school.
  • Pending: The school’s student file is awaiting review or has not yet been received. Please check back at a later date as the information is updated. For detail information, https://otda.ny.gov/SNAP-COVID-19/Frequently-Asked-Questions-Pandemic-EBT.asp


Social Security Work Incentives

  • The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs offer work incentives.
  • As the work incentive rules are complex, every beneficiary should consult with a certified benefits counselor before entering the work force and whenever an increase in pay is expected.
  • If you have any general questions about the work incentives, contact the Beneficiary Call Center at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967.
  • For more information, visit https://yourtickettowork.ssa.gov/resources/work-incentives.html





U.S. Department of Education Reminds States of Early Intervention Obligations Under IDEA

U.S. Department of Education Released a new resource: Supporting Children and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health

  • The resource guide highlights seven key challenges to provide school or program-based mental health support across schools and provides corresponding recommendations.
  • See more https://www2.ed.gov/documents/students/supporting-child-student-social-emotional-behavioral-mental-health.pdf?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=


  • 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/


Senate Bill S7192-Signed by Governor

Senate Bill S4467B – Signed by Governor


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

Spanish: https://www.nylpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/OPWDD-Eligibility-Spanish-5-25-21.pdf


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.
    • NYSED will use information from the field to inform future guidance and policy, including the development of an additional Questions and Answers document to accompany this guidance. Check full document at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/documents/school-district-responsibilities-for-preschool-inclusion-in-publicly-funded-prekindergarten-.pdf
    • Please submit questions to the Office of Special Education at [email protected]


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



Take a 3-minute survey on your thoughts on back to school


The U.S. Department of Education

With COVID Relief Money, Schools Take on a Bigger Role in Mental Health

  • The pandemic relief to schools has been more than $190 billion. Mental health investments have gone into staff training, wellness screenings and curriculum dedicated to social-emotional learning.

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:

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.  

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

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

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

Special Education Recovery Services

  • The DOE will launch the Sensory Education, Exploration and Discovery (SEED) program in January at ten designated therapeutic spaces in public schools across the city.
  • Beginning this fall, every DOE school will offer an after-school or Saturday program to deliver Special Education Recovery Services.
  • This week, all families of children with disabilities should have received a letter about Special Education Recovery Services. The letter can be found here https://www.schools.nyc.gov/docs/default-source/default-document-library/special-education/letter-to-families-on-special-education-recovery-services
  • Special Education Recovery Services are specialized instructions and services created to each student’s unique needs. 
  • https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/special-education/family-resources/beyond-access-series or visit their website https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/special-education/family-resources

New Legislation Protecting Undocumented Immigrants from Threats to Report Their Immigration Status 

Prepaid transportation available for families who have not received bussing services 

Financial Support for College 

Supporting Students with Incarcerated Parents 

Brewer & CIDNY report finds half of polling places in Manhattan were inaccessible in the last election 



Read the February 2021 report here: https://infohub.nyced.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/special_education_data_report_-_february_2021.pdf



Student-directed IEPs for Families

  • On January 19, 3:30-5:30pm, learn tools and resources to encourage greater student involvement in the IEP development process and meetings.
  • Register at https://includenyc.org/events/student-directed-ieps-for-families-2/


CRSE Guide Launch



  • On January 29th from 9am-1pm, the INCLUDEnyc Fair is a resource fair of educational, recreational and transition program providers for young people with disabilities birth to 26.
  • Register at https://includenyc.org/events/2022-includenyc-fair/


Applications Now Open for Howl High Spring 2022: A Free 10-Week Teen Arts Program for 9-12th Graders


NYIC Member Congress


NY January Regents Exams are Cancelled


Two Predictions Around Special Education for 2022


The DOE’s Kindergarten Application is Open

  • All families with children born in 2017 are encouraged to apply by January 18, 2022.
  • Apply online at [myschools.nyc]MySchools.nyc, by phone at 718-935-2009 or by email or in person at a Family Welcome Center 


Literacy as a Social Justice Issue


Add Your Voice: YA-YA Network’s Metal Detector School Climate Survey


NYS Seeks to Fill Post of Chief Disability Officer 

  • The Chief Disability Officer (CDO) reports to the Deputy Secretary for Human Services and Mental Hygiene and will act as an advocate for the needs of persons with disabilities and ensure the opportunity to exercises all the rights and responsibilities accorded to citizens of the state and accorded to persons with disabilities.


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Allows States to Loosen Financial Eligibility Rules for Medicaid HCBS Sender: Justice in Aging 

  • To make it easier to qualify financially for HCBS, a state Medicaid program may choose to disregard specified amounts of an applicant’s income and/or resources.


Important Information About the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) 

  • If you applied to ERAP before November 14, 2021, you can check the status of your application at the ERAP portal. 
  • State funded rental assistance is still available for certain households (if household income is between 80-120% area median income).
  • If you need assistance, apply for Cash Assistance or One-Shot Deal emergency assistance from the NYC Human Resources Administration.
  • If you are at risk of eviction, you may be eligible for free legal assistance. Call 311 and ask for the “Tenant Helpline.” 


MetroCards and Transportation Reimbursement for Special Education Recovery Services

Chalkbeat Wants to Hear How Your School Year is Going 

Explore NYC DOE High School Options

Years After NY Medicaid Overhaul, Kids’ Access to Mental Health Care Still in Crisis

Important Information About the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) 

  • The New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) application
  • Application portal closed on November 14 and is no longer accepting applications.
  • Any ERAP application submitted prior to the deadline will be reviewed for eligibility by the State and payment will depend on available federal funds. 
  • If you did not apply for ERAP before the deadline and need assistance, you can apply for Cash Assistance through ACCESS HRA at www.nyc.gov/accesshra

NYPD is Sending Youth Coordinator Officers to Schools

  • Youth Coordinator Officers (YCO) focus on crime prevention by tracking teens and connecting them to social and educational services before they break any laws. They were put in each precinct as a first point of contact between students and the police.
  • However, many are still wary about sending more police into schools. Additionally, over 1/3 of the 90 YCOs had at least one complaint against them https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/11/16/22785186/nypd-youth-coordination-officers-in-schools

How NYC Must Fix Pupil Transportation

  • Black and Hispanic children compromise around 80% of the city’s special education population. They are more dependent on buses than any other group, and yet they have longer average bus rides than their peers. 

ReStart Academy 

  • ReStart Academy is an alternative education program that provides transitional services for students 13-21 who live in temporary or involuntary settings. 
  • Learn more about how to enroll at https://www.restartacademy.org/

NYC Asks Teachers to Screen Their Students’ Social-Emotional Health

New York Proposes Fixes to Special Education Complaint Backlog

NYC Reconsiders Eliminating High School Attendance Zones 

NYC Schools Start Vaccinating 5-11 Years Old Students 

  • Officials plan to give the shots at every school with 5–11-year-old students by next week. 
  • The city is offering $100 debit cards to families who get their children vaccinated at schools or other city-run clinics.
  • Read more at https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/11/8/22771065/nyc-schools-covid-vaccines-children 

Getting Academic Services in College

What Happens When Students in College Need Live in Caretakers

New Federal Guidelines on Criteria for Competitive Integrated Employment and Services

  • The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education clarified the definition of “competitive integrated employment.” 

Federal Jobs Program Moves to End Subminimum Wages

National Recruitment and Referral Program for Current College Students and Recenty Graduates with Disabilities

Request for Proposal

  • NYS Transition Partners is awarding three $2,500 grants to local initiatives assisting young people with disabilities navigate transition to adulthood. 
  • The deadline for submission is December 3, 2022. Apply at https://www.nystransitionpartners.org/

InsideSchools Launches Free Classes to Help Families Navigate School Applications

  • The online classes are available in Spanish and English, and they help families find the best pre-K, elementary and high school for their child. 

Learn more at https://plus.insideschools.org/landing

Eric Adams’ Plans for NYC Schools 

  • Adams supports a vaccine mandate for students, plans to transform the gifted and talented program by getting rid of the test, and is in favor of longer school days. 
  • Adams said he would also prioritize tracking to measure which students with disabilities are not receiving all their services and address these concerns promptly.
  • To learn more, visit https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2021/11/2/22760486/eric-adams-nyc-mayor-schools

Enrollment in NYC’s Schools has dropped 1.9% this School Year 

Reconciliation Plan’s Impact on Kids and Schools  

Asian American students are undiagnosed when it comes to learning disabilities  

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/

Fact Sheet on Students’ Mental Health Rights

For Special Education Students with IEP’s (Grades 1-12)

Gifted and Talented Program Update

Harlem School of the Arts: Beginner Jazz Band

Important Update for P-EBT Food Benefits for 2021-2022 School Year 

  • Public school children in New York City who had their in-person attendance reduced in either April, May, or June 2021 due to the pandemic will receive their second round of benefits by the end of October.
  • Eligible public and charter school students in the rest of New York will receive a single payment or benefits for the entire 2020-2021 school year by the end of October.
  • Private schools throughout New York will receive a single payment of benefits for the entire 2020-21 school year beginning in November. 
  • For more information, visit https://otda.ny.gov/snap-covid-19/

Libraries Eliminate Late Fees

  • Brooklyn Public Library, NYPL and QPL have all eliminated late fees for life.  

Medicaid Alert

  • New York State has resumed the transition of Medicaid cases eligible under the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI or MAGI-Like) rules from Welfare Management System (WMS) to the NY State of Health Exchange (NYSOH).
  • For any questions, please contact the New York State Health Customer Service at 855-355-5777.

National Bus Driver Shortage is Impacting Children with Disabilities

New Guidance on IEPs from the U.S. DOE

  • On September 30, 2021, the DOE issued new guidance interpreting the requirements of the IDEA incorporating the challenges of COVID-19.
  • Please see more information here https://sites.ed.gov/idea/idea-files/return-to-school-roadmap-development-and-implementation-of-ieps/

NYC Adding Metal Detectors and Police After Guns Found in Schools

NYC Parents of Medically Fragile Students 

NYC approves $43 million to replace troubled education data system

NYC School Attendance Rates for Students Living in Shelters is Lower than Permanently Housed Peers

  • Advocates for Children of New York released a policy brief demonstrating the pandemic’s negative impact on attendance for students living in homeless shelters. 
  • The policy brief also asks the New York City Department of Education to use federal COVID-19 relief money to overhaul the education system in shelters. 
  • Read the full report at https://www.advocatesforchildren.org/node/1857

NYS Higher Education Services Corporation Financial Aid for College Events

  • NY HESC is hosting a variety of virtual live and on-demand events for students and families about advice for accessing and financing a college education. 
  • For more details on the offered events and registration, visit https://startheregetthere.ny.gov/events

Office of Mental Health ‘Back to School 2021’ Video Series

Pandemic EBT (E-EBT)

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 

Social Security Announces 5.9% Benefit Increase for 2022

  • The 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022. To read more on how COLA is calculated visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola

Unsanitary and Unsafe Conditions Continue at NYCHA Child Care Centers

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

3-K Resources from Advocates for Children




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 childcare.  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.  



  • 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.  




  • The Pfizer vaccine is now approved and available for children 5-11 years old in NYC. 
  • Schools must obtain consent from parents and guardians of school children for in-school COVID-19 testing. All students should have their consent forms submitted by the first day they return to their school building. More information, including the consent form available in ten languages, http://schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting and https://healthscreening.schools.nyc/.   
  • Students attending 3-K, Pre-K, and kindergarten students are excluded from mandatory testing. 
  • Mobile sites are available at locations throughout the City on a weekly basis. Please be sure to check the mobile testing sites here: https://www.nychealthandhospitals.org/covid-19-testing-sites/.
  • DOE students (3K through 12th grade), DOE employees, employees of DOE contracted early childhood programs, and affiliated family child care networks, and employees of DOE- and DYCD-contracted Learning Bridges programs can get priority COVID testing at 22 Health and Hospitals testing sites. These locations are walk-in only. More information can be found here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/get-tested/doe-employee-testing.page
    • must show proof of age and New York residency, such as New York State driver’s license, IDNYC, passport, mail (residency), rent statement (residency) or birth certificate (age). 
  • Find a vaccination site here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/vaccines/covid-19-vaccines.page#walk-up-sites

Vaccination and Testing Apps 

  • New Yorkers can meet vaccine/testing requirements with the following: CDC Vaccination Card, NYC Vaccination Record or other immunization record, NYC COVID Safe App, Clear Health Pass or NYS Excelsior Pass

Vaccine Records 

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/home

COVID-19 Vaccination Booster 

COVID-19 In-home PCR testing

COVID-19 Additional Information

  • As of September 13, 2021, New York is enforcing the vaccine requirement for indoor dining, indoor entertainment and indoor fitness. 
  • New Yorkers can meet vaccine and testing requirements by carrying vaccine card or storing it in Excelsior Pass Wallet or NYC Covid Safe https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-vaccines-keytonyc.page


  • The AHRC NYC Crisis Intervention and Emergency Case Management Program provides crisis intervention and emergency case management services to individuals with intellectual and/or behavioral disabilities and their caregivers to prevent medically unnecessary and extended hospitalizations and to improve the functional status and quality-of-life for all persons and families served.
  • This program is currently available to all residents of Brooklyn and Queens.
  • Call 646-398-2155 or email [email protected] to make a referral. 


  • Access New York City’s fact sheet about COVID-19 vaccines https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/covid/truth-about-covid-19-vaccines.pdf
  • The Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is effective as of December 1, 2021. ESAP eligible clients can download the application form here https://otda.ny.gov/programs/applications/5166.pdf
  • The NYS Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to help New Yorkers pay overdue water and wastewater bills is accepting applications as of December 1, 2021. Applications can be found at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/water-assistance/
  • New York has broadened its vaccine mandate to include all children and early intervention programs citywide.
  • As of Monday, November 15, 2021, an ERAP application and determination is no longer required to apply for a One-Shot Deal.
  • Information sessions about high school enrollment https://www.schools.nyc.gov/enrollment/enroll-grade-by-grade/high-school?emci=45694cff-d338-ec11-9820-c896653b26c8&emdi=ea000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&ceid=
  • NYC DOE is hosting online information sessions covering 3-K, pre-K and kindergarten admissions. Enroll at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/enrollment/enroll-grade-by-grade/kindergarten/elementary-school-events
  • Public Hearing on NYC Tenant Right-to-Counsel Legal Services on November 18, 6:00-9:00pm. Join virtually at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89142666567#success 
  • New York City Common Pantry (NYCP) announced the launch of a new mobile pantry that will distribute food to people across New York City. Learn more at https://nycommonpantry.org/
  • Medicaid easements have been extended through January 2021. 
  • Family Court continues to accept petitions to establish child support orders. To file for support, go to http://ww2.nycourts.gov/forms/familycourt/childsupport.shtml
  • The Department of Sanitation New York has resumed limiting composting. To request curbside composting visit the DSNY website at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/site/services/food-scraps-and-yard-waste-page/overview-residents-organics
  • Flu vaccines are available at City-operated vaccine sites https://vaccinefinder.nyc.gov/
  • To join the weekly standing information calls on Tuesdays at 4:00pm, please reach out to [email protected]


  • 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.


Student-directed IEPs

Federation for Children with Special Needs’ Making a Difference Conference

Transition for Special Education to Service Systems 





Brooklyn Public Library Remote Schooling

Other Support


INCLUDEnyc Help Line

Resources for Advocacy


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.

Accommodations for DHS Shelter Residents


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


ImmSchools Know Your Students Rights Guide

  • ImmSchools created a student resource for undocumented students and students in mixed status families. 

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/



  • 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.
  •  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 provides:
    • 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/ 



Apply for Health Insurance for 2022

  • Visit NY State Health of NY or call 855-355-5777 to get one free, one-on-one help enrolling in health insurance plans including Medicaid, Child Health Plus and more. 

Open enrollment continues through January 31, 2022, https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/

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. 


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.


Student Contact Information

Non-Custodial Parents


  • The NYSED will be hosting virtual special education State Performance Plan Stakeholder Engagement Meetings to discuss New York State’s performance goals and recommendations for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 


  • 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

Advocates for Children Bulletin


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.



The Integration Transition Program

  • The program will focus on development of independent life skills including self-advocacy, independent living, communication skills, and straggles for developing positive relationships.
  • The program will take place virtually Wednesdays 4:00-5:45pm with some community activities on Saturdays from 10:00am-12:00pm. 

Register at https://forms.office.com/r/dxYxJMdCGB

Understanding the Kindergarten IEP

Hudson Valley Autism Conference

  • On December 3, 10:30am-3:30pm, join the virtual conference for people with autism, parents, caregivers, and professionals.
  • Register here https://hvac2021.funraise.org/

Online Social Skills Groups


  • 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 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: January 12, 2021

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