Guidance provided by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED)
TO: School District Superintendents, School Principals, BOCES District Superintendents, School District Business Officers, Special Education Directors, Charter School Leaders
FROM: Shannon L. Tahoe, Interim Commissioner of Education
RE: Required Updates to District Continuity of Learning Plans Due to Extended School Closures Caused by COVID-19
On March 17, 2020, the New York State Education Department (NYSED or “the Department”) issued a guidance memo related to requirements for school districts to establish a COVID-19 closure plan for alternative instructional options (electronic and non-electronic), distribution and availability of meals, and child care, with an emphasis on serving children of parents in the health care profession or first responders who are critical to the response effort, pursuant to Executive Order 202.4.
Since that time, additional Executive Orders have extended the mandated school closures through Friday, May 15, 2020. During this prolonged time away from the classroom, district and school leaders must continue to consider the current and emerging needs of all students and strive to ensure that any plans for continuity of learning are equitable and available to all students.
As such, NYSED is requiring school districts to update the responses previously provided related to planned continuity of learning efforts. The responses to questions in the SED Monitoring and Vendor Performance system are key elements that would be part of your district’s more extensive continuity of learning plan. The responses previously submitted via the online SED Monitoring and Vendor Performance portal will be returned to allow district staff time to provide updated responses. In addition, districts will be required to address newly added prompts within the plan template and either upload their comprehensive continuity of learning plan or provide a district web address where those materials are available online.
Updated plans must be submitted to the Department no later than 5:00 PM on May 4, 2020.
In order to better assist in addressing the statewide concern of digital equity, NYSED will be releasing an additional survey in the coming weeks that will require schools to provide data on student device(s) and broadband access in the students’ locations of residence. Please look for more information soon.
The Department has compiled a digitized catalogue of resources that will assist schools in providing content related learning activities for their students. This resource is available on the Curriculum and Instruction website.