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Coronavirus Updated Information

March 10, 2020

Dear Families,
The health and safety of all NYC Department of Education (DOE) students continues to be our first priority in the wake of the evolving situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York City. We are writing
today with a number of important updates for all students and families, including the latest information about ways to protect your health.
There are a number of actions we have taken and many things you can do to keep our communities safe. The most important action you can take is to stay home if you are sick.

Please read theWhat You Need to Know and Stop the Spread flyer , and read on for additional information.

Our Preparations and Protocols
School Cleaning Hygiene 

We continue to work in close partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) to enhance protocols in schools. These include:
. Ensuring that all DOE school buildings have a nurse; 
. Increasing deep cleanings to two times per week, disinfecting surface areas with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-approved cleaning disinfectant;
. Ensuring that all schools have adequate hygiene and cleaning materials so that bathrooms are continuously stocked with soap and paper towels;
. Supplying all schools with facemasks to be used if a student or staff member exhibits symptoms and requires isolation prior to transport to a doctor and/or testing; and
. Strongly encouraging regular hand washing throughout the day, particularly before meals, and making changes as needed to ensure students have the time to wash hands.

International Travel
. All DOE-sponsored international travel for students and staff for the remainder of the 2019–2020 school year is canceled.
. This includes study abroad programs, where students are scheduled to come from other countries to stay with host families in NYC, and where DOE public school students are hosted abroad.

Attendance
We are committed to easing families’ concerns on attendance and admissions. 
. Student absences in the current school year (2019–2020) will not impact applications of current fifth and eighth-graders applying to middle- or high-schools for the 2020–2021 school year.
. Student absences in the current school year (2019–2020) will not impact applications of current fourth- and seventh-graders applying for middle- or high-school for the 2021–2022 school year.

What if a student feels sick in school? 
. In the event a student is sick, complaining of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, that child should be taken to the school nurse.
. The nurse will ask the student to wear a face mask, call for parental pick up, and recommend calling a medical provider for instructions.
. Any student with respiratory symptoms and fever should wait in a supervised setting with a closed door, away from other students.

What if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in my school? 
. In the event that DOHMH determines that there is a need for investigation, closure, or other action at a school, you will immediately be notified.
. Per New York State, if there is a confirmed case in a school, the school must be closed for at least 24 hours while DOHMH investigates and determines whether additional closure is needed.
. We urge you to ignore rumors you might hear separate and apart from official communication from DOHMH, DOE, and your school.
We are working with the State to provide more information on school closure guidance to share in the near future.

Large Gatherings
Right now, the City has not advised the cancellation of large events or public gatherings, but is monitoring developments and will adjust as needed.
. If you are sick, stay home. 
. If you have chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, a compromised immune system, chronic lung disease, and/or cancer, avoid unnecessary gatherings and events.

What You Can Do 
Reduce Overcrowding 
. Walk or bike to work, if possible. 
. If the train is too packed, wait for the next one. 

If You Feel Sick 
. Stay home and call your doctor if you have symptoms including but not limited to coughing, shortness of breath, fever, or sore throat.
. If you do not feel better in 24–48 hours, seek care from your doctor. 
. Avoid going out in public. Do not go to school or work until you have been fever-free at least 72 hours 
without the use of fever-reducing drugs like Tylenol or ibuprofen. 
. If you need help getting medical care, call 311. 
. NYC will provide care regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

Special Guidance for Vulnerable New Yorkers
. The City is advising those with chronic lung disease, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or a compromised immune system to avoid unnecessary events and gatherings.
. If you have family or friends who have one of these conditions, do not visit them if you feel sick. 

If You Have Traveled Recently
Anyone who has traveled to Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, or China and returned on or after March 4, 2020, must stay home from work or school for 14 days after their last day in that country and minimize contact with other people.
. If returning travelers from affected countries develop fever, cough, or trouble breathing, they should call their medical provider and tell them about their symptoms and history of travel.
. For those self-monitoring at home, DOHMH has developed a supporting doctor’s note and FAQ available at nyc.gov/coronavirus under “Returning Travelers.”
Students and families who returned from the affected countries before March 4, 2020, should monitor their 
health; if they develop any symptoms, they should stay home and call their medical provider. Please monitor 
CDC.gov for updates on affected countries.

Continue to Practice General Viral Infection Prevention Measures Including:
. Wash your hands with soap and water often. 
. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. 
. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands. 
. Do not shake hands. Instead wave or elbow bump. 
. Monitor your health more closely than usual for cold or flu symptoms.

How to Stay Informed and Fight Bias
To get regular updates on the latest developments regarding coronavirus in New York City, text COVID to 692-692. You will receive regular SMS texts with the latest news and developments.

Please read the What You Need to Know
Visit nyc.gov/coronavirus at any time for important updates, including ways to fight stigma and bias around this issue.

It’s important we come together as a city and support one another as neighbors and New Yorkers during this time. COVID-19 is not more likely found in any one race or nationality, and we must each model inclusion and actively work to combat bias in our workplaces and communities.
The health and safety of our students continues to be our chief priority, and we will continue to follow all guidance and take all appropriate measures accordingly, and stay in consistent communication with our 1.1 million families.

Sincerely,

Richard A. Carranza 
Chancellor 
New York City Department of Education 

District 21 Town Hall with Chancellor Carranza- Wednesday, March 25th at Edward R. Murrow High School

Coronavirus Update

March 3, 2020 

Dear Families, 

Over the weekend, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed the first case of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York City. While we all hoped this moment would not come, it was something the City has meticulously prepared for. At this time, it is important to listen to facts and not respond to fear. Despite our first confirmed case, New Yorkers remain at low risk for contracting the virus.

The health and safety of all of our students continues to be our first priority. As we monitor the situation, we are enhancing certain protocols and providing additional resources, including:
. Providing CDC-approved cleaning agents to every school
. Ensuring all bathrooms are continuously stocked with soap and paper towels, and encouraging students and staff to wash hands frequently
. Ensuring principals and school nurses have the resources and guidance needed to detect and report symptoms exhibited at school, and provide help for any affected individuals

Working in close partnership with the Health Department, we will continue to update our protocols as the situation evolves, and communicate about any possible impact to parents and our school communities. We will keep all of our latest information on our website at schools.nyc.gov/coronavirus.

There are no plans to close schools at this time. This is an extreme measure that can be disruptive to day-to-day life, and the decision to implement will only be taken at the direction of public health experts. As a reminder, it is critical that all New Yorkers continue to practice general viral infection prevention measures including:

• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve 
• Wash your hands regularly 
• Avoid touching your face 
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
• Get your flu shot – it’s never too late 
• Stay home if you’re feeling sick. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms and travel history. 

We are in direct and regular communication with principals to ensure they have the latest information and to answer any questions that may arise. Additionally, we remind all families that they can receive regular updates on this topic and many others by signing up for an NYC Schools Account. Please visit https://mystudent.nyc/ to create an account and to update your emergency contact information.

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions sheet attached to this letter for more information, or visit nyc.gov/coronavirus at any time for important updates. The health and safety of our students continues to be our chief
priority, and we will follow all guidance and take all appropriate measures accordingly.

Sincerely, 

Richard A. Carranza 
Chancellor 
New York City Department of Education 

Updated Corona Virus Letter

February 26, 2020 

Dear Families,
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discussed possible options for what could happen if there is local person-to-person transmission of the novel coronavirus in the United States, including recommendations for school systems to consider.
At this time, it is important to listen to facts and not respond to fear. Currently there are no confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in New York City and the risk to New Yorkers remains low.

However, transmission of the virus in other countries has raised our level of concern, and we are preparing for the possibility of person-to-person transmission in New York City. The measures that are put in place should local person-to-person transmissions begin will depend on the number of individuals affected and the general severity of illness we experience in our city. The NYC Health Department is vigilantly preparing for all possible scenarios, and we will continue to monitor and communicate about any possible impact to our school communities.
There are no plans to close schools at this time. This is an extreme measure that can be disruptive to day-to-day life, and the decision to implement will be at the direction of public health experts.

All New Yorkers should continue to practice general flu prevention measures including:
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve 
• Wash your hands regularly 
• Avoid touching your face 
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick 
• Get your flu shot – it’s never too late 
• Stay home if you’re feeling sick. Call your doctor and let them know your symptoms and travel history. 
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions sheet attached to this letter for more information, or visit nyc.gov/health at any time for important updates.
We will continue to clearly communicate with our school communities about our ongoing efforts regarding the coronavirus.

Sincerely, 

Oxiris Barbot, MD 
Commissioner 
New York City Department of 
Health and Mental Hygiene 

Holiday Greetings

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from the John Dewey High School family to your family. May the New Year bring peace, love, happiness, and health.

School will be closed from Monday, December, 23rd through Wednesday, January, 1st. School will resume on Thursday, January, 2nd and it will be a full instructional day. Enjoy your time off and stay safe.

Supporting our Immigrant Students & Families

 

Dear Principals,

I hope you’re enjoying the summer.

You may have heard the reports that the federal government is intending to initiate ICE raids in New York City and nationwide this Sunday, July 14. As the Chancellor has already said in his June 25 letter, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of our immigrant parents and students to be active, valued participants in our school system. In the current federal climate, it is crucial that we reassure parents and students that they are safe in our schools at all times, including over the summer. Please share the current Chancellor’s letter to students and families and one-pagers reminding families of our commitment to them and of the policies that we have put in place to protect immigrant parents and students. We also ask that you review the Protocols for Non-Local Law Enforcement document and familiarize yourself and your team with the protocol for if an ICE agent does attempt to enter a school. We appreciate your commitment to all families, regardless of immigration status.

Thank you.

Best,

Cheryl Watson-Harris

First Deputy Chancellor

Updates to Immunization Requirements, June 2019

Dear Parent/Guardian,

As of June 13, 2019, public, private and parochial schools and childcare programs in New York can no longer accept requests for religious exemptions from school immunization requirements. This law applies to students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and to all childcare settings. Schools and childcare programs will continue to accept medical exemptions.

Children attending summer or year-round programming
Children who had a religious exemption and who will be attending childcare or public, private or parochial school in the summer must now receive the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series by June 28, 2019 to attend or remain in school or childcare. Additionally, by July 14, 2019, parents and guardians of such children must show that they have scheduled appointments for all required follow-up doses.

Children attending until the end of the school year and returning in the 2019-20 school year
Students must meet immunization requirements in order to attend school. Children who have not received all required immunizations must receive the first dose in each immunization series within 14 calendar days after the first day of school or enrollment in childcare. Within 30 calendar days of the first day of school, parents or guardians of such children will also need to show that they have scheduled appointments for all follow-up doses.

A list of the new school immunization requirements for the 2019-20 school year is summarized below.

All students in childcare through grade 12 must meet the requirements for the following vaccines:

  • DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis or whooping cough)
  • Poliovirus
  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis B Children under age 5 who are enrolled in child care and pre-kindergarten must also meet the requirements for these vaccines:

Children under age 5 who are enrolled in child care and pre-kindergarten must also meet the requirements for these vaccines:

  • Hib (Haemophilus influenza type b)
  • PCV (pneumococcal disease)
  • Influenza (flu): Children must receive the flu vaccine by December 31, 2019

Children in grades 6 through 12 must also meet the requirements for these vaccines:

  • Tdap booster (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
  • MenACWY (meningococcal disease)Please review your child’s immunization history with their health care provider. Their provider can tell you whether additional doses of one or more vaccines are required for your child to attend or remain in childcare or school. Visit schools.nyc.gov and search for “immunizations” for a full list of required vaccines. If it is not possible for your child to receive their vaccines from their health care provider, the Department of Health has one walk-in immunization clinic (www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/services/immunization-clinics.page).If you have questions about these requirements, please contact your childcare center or school’s administrative office.

Holiday Greetings

Happy holidays and a Happy New Year from John Dewey High School family to your family. May the New Year bring peace, love, happiness, and health. School will be closed from Monday, December, 24th through Tuesday, January, 1st. School will resume on Wednesday, January, 2nd and it will be a full instructional day. Enjoy your time off and stay safe.

Thanksgiving Feast

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