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  • Writer's pictureCommunity School for Social Justice

Family Letter from NYS Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter

September 20, 2021

Dear Families,

It was so exciting to welcome students back in our classrooms last week, seeing the joy on their faces as they all could finally return to learn in-person with their teachers and classmates! This is a very special time, and we are doing everything possible to make sure everyone in our schools remains safe and healthy.

I invite you to share the amazing experience of that first week of school with me through this video ( capturing our homecoming experience across the city.

In addition to the extensive health and safety measures summarized on our school year 2021-22 webpage (, we are making two important adjustments to COVID-19 protocols in our schools:

  • Weekly testing. Starting Monday, September 27, the DOE will increase random COVID-19 testing in all elementary, middle, and high schools for students in grades 1-12 from biweekly to weekly. We can only test students whose parents have provided an updated testing consent form to their school. You are encouraged to provide this consent for your child if you have not done so. If you have already submitted a testing consent form for the 2021-22 school year, that consent form remains in effect. If you have not yet submitted your consent, you can do so one of two ways:

    • Fill out the form using your NYC Schools Account (NYCSA): or

    • Download the form online at and bring the completed form to your child’s school.

  • Updated quarantine policy. Also starting Monday, September 27, in accordance with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we will no longer close an entire classroom when there is a positive case in the classroom. Unvaccinated students who are masked and at least three feet distanced from a student who tests positive are not considered close contacts under CDC guidelines and will not have to quarantine. This new policy applies to all students in any grade.

Vaccination is the most important step that we can take to protect our families and our communities against COVID-19. To protect your children and school communities, we have mandated that all DOE school staff be vaccinated against COVID-19—by September 27, all employees will have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule a vaccination appointment for yourself or your eligible student aged 12 and older, please visit

We will continue to share everything we are doing to keep your children safe. Our school year back together again is already off to a fantastic start, and I look forward to seeing your students thrive and grow this year as they learn alongside their peers.

In partnership, Meisha Porter New York City Schools Chancellor

Family Letter September 20 2021
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