Return to School 2020-2021


Transportation Updates for the 2020–21 School Year

School busing will begin on September 21 for students. In addition, MetroCards are available for students in blended or in-person learning. Please review the following transportation updates and take appropriate action:

Students Participating in Remote Learning: Students who have opted for remote learning will not be provided with school bus service. Families who opt back into blended learning for the second quarter will need to contact their school to request transportation.

School Bus Pick-up and Drop-Off Times: Bus pick-up and drop-off times for the 2020–21 school year will be based on approved session times from the 2019–20 school year. Bus pick-up and drop-off times will be adjusted to align to schools’ actual session times over the course of the fall. Please ensure that all students arriving prior to your school’s start time, or after your school’s end time, are appropriately supervised at all times.

Update Student Address Information in ATS: Schools should ensure that all students’ address information are updated in ATS. If a student requires specialized transportation, please reach out to your BCO transportation liaison in order to request transportation.​​​​​​​

Update Transportation Screens in ATS: Students requiring stop-to-school transportation should have an assigned bus stop in the ATS TLST screen, so that students appear on the ridership report and have route assignments. Special education students new to transportation will need a transportation request in the ATS STRE screen. Schools should work with their BCO transportation liaison to update these transportation records.

Removing Transportation Records in ATS: Students who do not require a MetroCard or school bus service should be removed from the ATS TUTD screen or by contacting your BCO transportation liaison. Similarly, for students with an IEP mandating transportation who no longer require and/or opt out of transportation, please contact your BCO transportation liaison to have their transportation request removed.

School Bus Route Information in NYCSA for Families: Families should register for a NYCSA account in order to receive their child’s transportation assignments; schools may also view this information in Student Profile. Please note that route letters will not be mailed this school year; you should ensure that families who opted for blended learning know their child’s specific schedule and programming model.

Schools may export routing details in a bulk file through the Ridership Information System. The Ridership Information System requires a separate log-in username and password which differs from DOE Outlook credentials. If you need your username or password, please contact your BCO transportation liaison.

Coordinate with Assigned Bus Company: Given the complexity of student schedules this year, schools are encouraged to work with their BCO transportation liaison to meet with their assigned bus company to discuss expectations and plan bus drills. This should include providing the bus company with information about which students are expecting transportation on any given day.​​​​​​​

Students Who Ride the School Bus on Non-Scheduled Days: Schools will be required to ensure that busing students are provided with their blended learning schedules and to advise families that students should only board the bus on their scheduled days. Please note that students who show up for the school bus on the wrong day will not be turned away from riding the school bus. Instead, students who arrive to school on non-scheduled days via school bus service should be brought to a designated area in the school. The school should then notify the student’s parent/guardian to pick up their child. If this is not possible, the student must stay at his/her school until the end of the school day for a return trip home on the school bus.

MetroCards Delivery and Eligibility: As noted in the September 3 edition of Principals Digest, all schools should have received shipments of MetroCards to distribute to requesting parents/guardians of students (pre-K through grade 6) participating in blended or in-person learning.

Distribution of MetroCards for Parents/Guardians of Students in Temporary Housing (STH): According to Chancellor’s Regulation A-780, parents/guardians of students in temporary housing (STH) are entitled to free transportation to accompany their child to and from school; in New York City, this transportation is a MetroCard. Parent/guardian MetroCards for STH students in grades 3-K through 12 will be available upon request by the parent/guardian who has a student in grades 3-K through 12, at their child's school. Schools should arrange STH MetroCard pick-up with the requesting parent/guardian and have him/her sign the MetroCard log upon pickup. Please note that parents/guardians of students in remote-only can also request MetroCards provided that their child is participating in the Learning Bridges program; and/or the family needs travel to a DOE meal location to obtain free meals. If your school is in need of additional STH MetroCards, email

For addition information, see this transportation guidance. For questions, contact your BCO transportation liaison.

Update for families

September 14, 2020
Dear Families,
Even in the face of so much change, September is still the most exciting time of year. There’s a back-to-school
energy in the air as all over the city, educators, students, and families are getting ready for the school year to
And all of us at the Department of Education have been busy too. In this Reopening Update for Families, I am
happy to share important information on:
 The 2020–21 School Calendar
 Ensuring your school’s ventilation is in good working order
 How to get tested for COVID-19 before the school year begins
 How to stay informed on confirmed COVID-19 cases in your school community  
As we prepare for the new school year, I want to reassure you that we are leaving no stone unturned to protect
our students, educators, and families. That is why we are doubling down on all our health and safety protocols—
from ventilation to face coverings, physical distancing, nightly cleaning, and frequent hand washing/sanitizing.
It’s why we will make all information available to the public.
As always, all information regarding back to school can be found at If you
have additional questions regarding the information in this letter, please contact your principal. You can find the
page for your child’s school on our website using “Find a School” at Principal
information is on each school’s web page in the “School Contacts and Information” section.
I also want to remind you about an important way you can help protect your school community regarding travel.
Several states are still seeing high transmission rates of COVID-19 - you can find the list at
All New Yorkers are strongly advised to avoid travel to these states, but if you must travel to one of these areas,
you will have to fill out the New York State Traveler Health Form and quarantine for 14 days when you return to
New York City—it’s required by New York State. For more information on COVID-19 testing, tracing, and how
to safely quarantine, visit
These next few days are about getting everything ready for the incredible school year that lies ahead. We look
forward to welcoming your child back for partial-day instructional orientation starting September 16, and for fullday instruction for both blended learning and remote learning on September 21!
Richard A. Carranza
New York City Department of Education
Reopening Update for Families: September 14, 2020
School Calendar
We recently announced that the school year will begin for students on Wednesday, September 16 with a parttime instructional orientation period. Full-time learning will begin on Monday, September 21. I am pleased
today to share with you a calendar for the full 2020-21 school year at
There are some important differences for this school year that we want to highlight: 
 September 16–18 will be remote partial instructional days for students focused on getting your child
ready for learning this year. All students are expected to participate and engage. Your school will
confirm your child’s exact schedule and provide log-in instruction for these three days. 
 September 21 is the first full-time day of teaching and learning for students in both fully remote and
blended learning (in which they are learning in school buildings for part of the week, and remotely for
the rest of the week).
 November 3, Election Day, will be a fully remote learning day for all students. In past years, students did
not attend school on Election Day.
 On “snow days” - or days in which school buildings are closed due to an emergency - all students and
families should plan on participating in remote learning. 
Please reach out to your school with any questions you may have about the school calendar for this year.
Ventilation Inspections
Ensuring proper ventilation is an important part of our health and safety protocols. Proper ventilation can reduce
the level of viruses, including COVID-19, inside buildings. According to our City and federal public health
experts, a room is safe when air is able to flow in and out - whether through an open window or mechanical
means, such as HVAC systems or air handlers. I am pleased to report that we have completed ventilation
inspections in every New York City public school building.
Here are our findings:   
 Of over 64,000 classrooms inspected, 96 percent have been confirmed to have ventilation that meets
City health and safety standards.
 Where a ventilation issue was identified, the DOE is swiftly implementing repairs. Many issues have
already been addressed and fixed.
 Per federal guidance, we are also inspecting and ensuring proper ventilation in restrooms, kitchens,
and other areas used by students and staff.
 Any rooms with ventilation issues that haven’t been repaired before the first full-time day of
teaching and learning on September 21 will not be used by staff or students.
 You can see the inspection results for your child’s school by visiting
How to Get Tested for COVID-19 Before the School Year Begins
It’s up to all of us to keep our school communities and families safe by wearing face coverings, keeping our
distance, washing hands frequently, and getting tested! Help us keep our schools open and school communities
healthy by getting tested for COVID-19 before buildings reopen for learning. It’s safe, free, and easy for
everyone, regardless of immigration or insurance status. To find a testing site near you, visit
How to Stay Informed on Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Your School Community  
It’s important that your school can reach you to share crucial information quickly, including alerts about
confirmed COVID-19 cases in your child’s school. Please sign up for a NYC Schools Account (NYCSA) so
we can contact you via phone, email, or text message. With NYCSA, you can access your child’s grades, test
scores, schedules, transportation information, and more—from anywhere, and in all nine standard DOE
language translations. In order to see your child’s records, request an Account Creation Code from your school.
I encourage you to keep your contact information up to date, so your school can get in touch with you in the
event of an emergency. If you don’t have an account, sign up today at It only takes five