October 20, 2021: Family Letter from Chancellor Porter

Click here for translations: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/messages-for-families

Dear Families, We are well into the second month of our school homecoming, and I am so pleased that we have been able to get back into full swing while keeping our school communities healthy with minimal disruptions. Thanks to our multilayered health and safety protocols, our schools continue to be among the safest places in New York City.

You, our families, deserve enormous credit as well for doing your part in protecting your school communities: checking your children’s temperatures every morning, encouraging safe practices like physical distancing and handwashing, and making sure they are wearing their masks before they head off to school. Thank you so much for being our partners in prioritizing their health and safety, and keep up the great work!

One very important way we are keeping our schools safe is weekly random testing of unvaccinated students (grades 1 and above) for COVID-19. This kind of regular testing to track community spread is most effective when we can test as many students as possible, but to do that we need you to submit a consent form if you haven’t already done so. Thank you to those families that have already submitted.

You can fill out the testing consent form using your NYC Schools Account (NYCSA): schoolsaccount.nyc or download the form online at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting and bring the completed version to your school. Testing is safe, quick, and easy. We urge you to provide this consent to help keep your child and our school communities safe. You can learn more about the in-school COVID-19 testing program and watch a video showing what your child can expect at schools.nyc.gov/covidtesting.

If you have a child age 12 or over, the other major step you can take for their health is to get them vaccinated if you have not done so already. The vaccines are playing a huge role in reducing infection rates across the city, and are safe, free, and available regardless of immigration status. I strongly urge you to look for a nearby location where your child can receive the approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine by visiting vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or calling 877-VAX-4-NYC (877-829-4692). If your child is already vaccinated, please upload that information to the DOE Covid-19 Vaccination Portal at vaccine.schools.nyc.

Thanks to your partnership, we have fully reopened our schools safely. The more families that provide consent for COVID-19 testing in schools and have their eligible children vaccinated, the greater the progress we can continue to make in protecting everyone across our City and in our schools.

In partnership,

Meisha Porter

New York City Schools Chancellor