December 22, 2020: Update for Families

Dear Families,

Before we part for Winter Recess, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for all you have done to keep the learning going during this unforgettable year.

Our families and educators are the hearts and souls of our school communities, and everything we have gotten right this year, we owe to you. To the sacrifices you have made to ensure your children thrive in an era of blended and remote learning. To your trust in our public schools. To your personal feedback to me—whether positive or negative, it has helped me and everyone at the DOE better serve you and your children.

Although the holidays will look very different this year, there is still much to celebrate. I hope you take time to rejoice, relax, connect with loved ones near and far—and reflect on the acts of kindness and compassion that have lifted your lives these past 12 months.

As we look ahead to the rest of the school year, we are unwavering in our focus to deliver the highest-quality education possible to each of your children. We do this to prepare them for a successful, productive life, empowered with the skills they need to chase their dreams. To that end, last week we announced changes to the middle and high school admissions process, which will open in January. Beginning next year, our middle schools will not use academic records, auditions, or other screens or assessments to evaluate or admit students, and high schools will phase out geographic priorities. This will result in a fairer process for all New York City public school families. To learn more, please visit or

We know there’s more to do, and we are united in our mission to make sure your child—and every one of their 1.1 million peers—receives the best education possible in the greatest city in the world.

On behalf of all of us at the Department of Education, I wish you and your loved ones a beautiful holiday season and a happy new year. Please stay safe and well, and we look forward to seeing you in 2021!


Richard A. Carranza Chancellor

New York City Department of Education