Spring Recess

Dear Principals:

Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility in our transition to remote learning. As promised, I’m writing to provide an update and guidance regarding Spring Recess, and share a letter for you to deliver to your families as soon as possible with this information. This letter (attached) will be made available on the InfoHub Coronavirus Letters page, along with all translations which will be posted tomorrow. We also continue to post letters like this one on the family site.

As the coronavirus pandemic persists in New York City, and social distancing remains an imperative for all New Yorkers, we must take a new approach to Spring Recess, originally scheduled for Thursday, April 9 through Friday, April 17, 2020. For the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers, schools must continue to offer remote learning, including during days that were previously scheduled as breaks. As a result, our schools will continue with remote learning through the time originally scheduled for Spring Recess. 

Next week, we will release resources to schools that will focus on maintaining education, engagement, and enrichment opportunities for students throughout the time originally scheduled as Spring Recess. Our objective is to maintain the exciting and enriching aspects that Spring Recess provides at a time where we as a City are staying home and our children will continue to remotely learn. We will issue additional guidance and instructional resources in the week to come for Spring Recess, including “theme” days (e.g., wellness, world language, computer science, college and career readiness, etc.) and virtual educational resources (e.g., museums, libraries, and cultural institutions).   

We know that many New Yorkers will observe religious holidays (e.g., Passover, Good Friday) in the weeks ahead. Any students and school staff who individually wish to observe those holidays may do so. Staff may request time off for religious observance and use accrued leave for any time taken. If staff request to take days, these requests should be granted in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation C-606 and applicable collective bargaining agreements/contracts. Please note that April 9-10 will not be considered “days off” for the school system. 

We recognize this may feel like a disappointment to many students and schools as we have all been working tirelessly in our transition to remote learning and very reasonably want a break. Many of our educators are parents themselves, and this has been an especially challenging time for them.  

We hear you and recognize that need. That is why we are looking for ways to offer students and school staff with more opportunities to reset and recharge in the weeks ahead. We have finalized arrangements with our union partners at this time to provide four additional leave days to school-based staff who otherwise would have had Spring Recess. We will have additional details to share about these arrangements in the week ahead. 

While it will be difficult for us now, I know we all can do our part by continuing to provide meaningful opportunities for learning, growth, and engagement with our students throughout the previously scheduled Spring Recess. Our educators and students have shown valiance throughout these unprecedented times. We are asking for even more now. We thank all of our educators for the sacrifices they’re making in advancing the health, safety, and wellbeing of our city.

We are confident that continuing remote learning will help ensure that families adhere to social distancing in the coming weeks, which is imperative to slowing the spread of the virus and keeping ourselves and our neighbors safe. We will have more updates to share soon on the schedule for the rest of School Year 2019-20 as well. I will keep you posted every step of the way.

In unity,