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In Our Schools Today

Chancellor Welcomes Families Back to School

November 14, 2012

Dear Families,

I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and secure following the recent storm. As the grandparent of a child attending a New York City public school, I understand how disruptive and trying these past days have been. Some of you may have lost loved ones or know people who have; I offer my condolences to you. Many of you have had to take time off from work to care for your children who have not been at school. I also know that many of you have been without power for days and have experienced severe damage to your homes. The challenges so many have faced are unprecedented.

I know you and your children are eager for life to return to normal and want to reassure you that we are doing our best to ensure our students are back in a safe classroom where they can learn. While the majority of our school buildings are now open, several of our schools sustained severe damage and are operating in temporary locations. You can find information on temporary locations for these school buildings that sustained severe damage, and the schools that will host them, here.

Unfortunately, the storm has also displaced many of our families. We’re making it easier for students to attend a school near their temporary residence:

  • Students who have been displaced from their permanent residence can remain in their school of origin or attend school near their temporary residence. Displaced students are most likely entitled to receive services, including immediate enrollment, transportation to either their own school or to a school near their temporary residence, free meals, and other support for urgent needs, under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Please refer to the Students in Temporary Housing web page for additional information and resources.
  • Elementary and middle school students can enroll at the zoned school for their new temporary residence. To find the zoned school for an address, visit schools.nyc.gov or call 311. If there is no zoned school for an address, you should visit an enrollment office. To find the enrollment office nearest you, visit schools.nyc.gov or call 311.  
  • All displaced high school students should visit an enrollment office if they would like to enroll at a high school that is closer to their new residence. 
  • Displaced students do not need to provide any documents in order to enroll.

I understand the significant impact this storm has had on your lives. We are committed to working around the clock to help your children make a smooth transition back to school. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the thousands of dedicated educators and principals working tirelessly across the City on behalf of our students. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this challenging time. Please stay safe and know that we are here for you.


Dennis M. Walcott

Print this letter in: English
Translations coming soon