Special Education Remote Learning Information/Contacts/Resources/Links

May 22, 2020


Coronavirus Information and Resources

The switch to remote education because of the coronavirus crisis has created many educational challenges for families. New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) offers the following information, arranged in alphabetical order, to students with disabilities, their caregivers, and other advocates. We will update the information as soon as we learn of changes and additions, particularly information related to COVID-19. Feel contact us if you seek advocacy assistance regarding the education of your child with a disability.




  • Over 400 school locations will be serving Grab and Go meals for ALL New Yorkers (no children required). For general info about meals, visit http://www.schools.nyc.gov/freemeals.
  • Families may also text the word “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877 to find the closest meal hub.
  • No registration, ID, or documentation is required to pick up these meals.
  • Three meals a day will be available per person and may be picked up at the same time.
  • To find the closest location serving meals, visit
  • People who can’t get to a meal hub or unable to collect food at a hub, may be eligible for food delivery services. Visit NYC Food Delivery Assistance to sign up/find out if you qualify. You may also call 311 and say “Get Food” for information.
  • Kosher and Halal meals are available.



    • INCLUDEnyc Help Line
      212-677-4660 (English)
      212-677-4668 (Español)
      Open Mon-Thurs, 9 AM – 4PM
    • Resources for advocacy:
      • Advocating for your child during remote learning
      • Managing a remote IEP meeting
      • Understanding the differences between the IEP and Remote Learning Plan
      • Questions to ask your child’s charter school
      • Keeping a communications log




  • Families who have trouble connecting should reach out to their schools directly. Each school will be troubleshooting its own remote technology issues with support from the New York City Department of Education (DOE). DOE is working to create more supports for parents in this transition.
  • Charter Cable (and possibly other providers) will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription, and installation fees will be waived.  For more information, call 1-844-488-8395. 
  • AT&T is also offering 60 days of free public service. Other providers may also make internet services available for free. For more information, visit this guide on internet providers. Each loaned device will be WIFI-enabled.



  • The DOE delivered 260,000 Ipads by the end of April. DOE is continuing to receive and fulfill requests. Families can request at
  • Deadline to request devices to be delivered by April 30th, 2020 was last week. However, families are able to continue requesting devices at https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices
  • Families with technological needs should contact the school principal or call 311 or fill out the survey: https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices
  • DOE assembled NYCares tech ambassadors’ team, who volunteer to call families and assist with technical issue with priority for families in temporary housing.
  • Families who have already requested their device should have gotten email and text with status of device, including the option to pick up device at a distribution center if necessary, but families would need to respond to the email to get that option.
  • To pick up devices in person, families MUST up an appointment and pickup time with the device distribution center as they cannot just show up due to social distancing rules.
  • Families can contact D’Vonte at DGraham22@schools.nyc.gov to trouble shoot any problems.
  • Students in charter and attending non-public schools (NPS) will receive free devices. They will be delivered after priority populations. There are private grants available for those students in charter schools. For more information, visit the New York City Charter Schools Center’s website.  Also: https://includenyc.org/resources/tip-sheet/questions-to-ask-your-childs-nyc-charter-school-about-remote-learning
  • Each school-aged child should receive their own If your school has only provided one device for multiple children, you should fill out the DOE survey for each student that includes “OSIS number”-a nine-digit number issued to all students who attend a New York City public school.
  • Families will be able to fill out the application with student’s date of birth if they can’t find the student’s OSIS number at https://coronavirus.schools.nyc/RemoteLearningDevices to request additional devices.
  • If families want to check when their devices will be delivered, they can email schooldevices@schools.nyc.gov.
  • If the student has not yet filled out the survey or received timely notifications, they can contact Erin Lester at elester3@schools.nyc.gov



  • Empire Justice Center is assisting families with issues with unemployment and PAID leave-800-724-0490 x 5827.


  • For the most updated information about remote learning, visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/coronavirus-update.
  • To obtain general information, visit http://www.schools.nyc.gov/, call 311, or email the school principal.
  • DOE has posted instructional resources in English for students in grades Pre-K through twelve online at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home. Some translations in at least the nine covered languages have been developed, and more are in the works, including webinars for teachers, parents, and caregivers.
  • Teachers are available via remote learning for potential extra support.  For details, visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home.
  • DOE is also building out additional resources and tutorials, and consulting with curriculum experts on how best to assist. They will keep updating these resources on an ongoing basis at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learn-at-home
  • DOE understands that there will be a lag time as people get access to technology/WIFI and/or adjust to online learning. As of April 10th, packets are still being made available, though there may be a lag time due to the mail system if packets need to be mailed. Contact Principals directly if your child needs printouts and is not receiving them.
  • Students “will not be penalized” for any gaps during this time of transition.
  • Prior to receiving their technology, schools should be providing packets and printed materials via mail, which are also available at Regional Enrichment Centers (REC).
  • Schools may also be providing delivery if students are unable to pick up materials. First, reach out to your school’s principal or superintendent. If this does not work, contact Michele Martinez Gugerli directly with the school name and situation if packets are not being made available to families without devices.
  • Instructional teams are working on the translation of packets as a priority. While it is not in the first round of instructional activities, but it will be priority.
  • For specific questions, you can contact the following DOE representatives:


  • The Division of Multilingual Learners is developing guidance to support Multilingual Learners in any language, to maintain continuity of learning, including how co-teaching can work remotely.
  • For information, visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/multilingual-learners.
  • Parents can request assistance to fill out the survey by calling 718-935-5100, Option 5.
  • Doe is also looking into accommodating “low incident languages.” Families in need of translation services should reach out to DOE.



  • DOE will be providing 1:1 nursing service in the home for students who have a 1:1 nurse during the school day and who wish to have such a nurse in the home.



  • Parent Coordinators will still be supporting families, principals will still be supervising the parent coordinators, but all will be shifting to remote-only work.
  • The DOE has set up a Parent Empowerment Hub for Parent Coordinators: https://parentcoordinatornyc.connectwithkids.com. Here school Parent Coordinators will find information and guidance to help them support families.




  • Related Services such as Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT) will be conducted remotely.
  • For independent providers, in-person Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) is no longer authorized, but students should receive SETSS remotely (through a remote learning platform or phone if no such platform is available), to the extent feasible.
  • For contract services, DOE also expects providers to provide remote services for which they will be paid.
  • To make a referral for initial evaluation, reevaluation, and to ask assistance with records, you can email your principal or specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov or call 311.


  • DOE is still working on how and who will be able to participate in summer school. In addition to academic instruction, students will also have opportunities to go on virtual field trips and engage in social-emotional learning activities.
  • Calendar
    • For elementary and middle school students who are required or recommended to attend summer school, the program will run from Monday, July 6 – Tuesday, August 11.
    • For high school students: from Monday, July 6 – Friday, August 14.
    • For students with 12-month Individualized Education Plan (IEPs) no changes to the calendar.
  • Families can find more information at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/enrollment/summer-school-2020


  • DOE’s School Response Clinicians (SRCs) underwent trainings at the beginning of the year on a wide range of issues, including how to deal with high level of suicide ideation, “immigrant community.”
  • SRCs have also worked with immigrant serving organizations to do immigration and post-secondary supports including DACA/citizenship applications, helped with undocumented scholarships, etc


  • Attendance will be required for all students. DOE is working on a consistent policy for attendance and grading.
  • For students attending District 75 (D75)-Packets with materials are been sent home.


3K & Pre-K No change – students in 3K and Pre-K do not receive report cards or grades.
K – 5th Students receive final grades of either “Meets Standards” (MT) or “Needs Improvement” (N).
6th – 8th Students receive final grades of “Meets Standards” (MT), “Needs Improvement” (N), or “Course in Progress” (NX), if additional time is needed to complete the course.
9th – 12th Your school’s existing grading scale applies, but no failing grades will be issued. A “Course in Progress” (NX) will be issued instead, providing students with additional time to complete the requirements for the course. After final grades have been issued, students and families have the option to convert any or all passing Spring Semester 2020 final grades to ‘CR’ which indicates the course was passed and credit was earned but does not have a value in the student’s GPA.


  • Social workers will be providing supports online. Students who are receiving mental health services at school will continue to receive the service remotely.


  • For details about state assessments, see this update from the New York State Education Department.
  • NYSDOE has applied for federal waivers for testing, accountability, and reporting requirements. Students who passed the Regent’s course, will be granted credit. For more information, see this Fact Sheet on the impact of COVID-19 on assessments.


  • To access or update your child’s school records, sign up for a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/in-our-classrooms/nyc-schools-account or email specialeducation@schools.nyc.gov.
  • DOE is working on a mechanism by which parents can obtain their children’s records without an “OSIS number” — a nine-digit number issued to all students who attend a New York City public school. In the meantime, parents should contact their school’s principal.
  • Families may also contact the Committee on Special Education.


  • DOE decided to take a restorative practice approach and not a punitive one. DOE is working on specific guidance regarding promotion, grading, and attendance.









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