Special Education Remote Learning Information/Contacts/Resources/Links

October 22, 2020

Coronavirus, Education

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.


Upcoming Event
Queens Family Support a FREE Virtual Conference workshops from October 26-30th. Check list of workshops at https://www.qcddny.org/

New York City Independent Budget Office

Behavioral Expectations and Guidance-NYCDOE

Issues with finding DOE’s Special Education Page?

Lost Wages Assistance Program

Applying for Cash Assistance through ACCESS HRA

Social Security 1.3 Percent Benefit Increase for 2021

  • The 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021.Please check SSA website for more information https://www.ssa.gov/cola/

Department of Education COVID-19 Testing

New York State Department of Education
Transition Planning During COVID-19

  • New York State Education Department has developed the attached policy brief, Transition Planning and Services for Students with Disabilities.
  • Reminding Committees on Special Education and school districts of their specific responsibilities under federal and State law and regulations to provide appropriate transition planning and services for students with disabilities.
  • This guidance also identifies technical assistance resources available to assist school districts, students, and families in the transition planning process. For more information http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/documents/transition-planning-and-services-for-students-with-disabilities.pdf

Remote Learning Agreement-DOE/UFT
Providing flexibility to teachers seeking to work remotely

Family Welcome Centers

Free and Low-Cost Internet Options Free or low-cost internet options available to New York City students and families for more information: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/learning/learn-at-home/technical-tools-and-support/free-and-low-cost-internet-options

Meal Service

  • Beginning on Tuesday, September 29, students learning in-person will receive both breakfast and lunch in school.
  • For students who are learning remotely full-time or students who are at home during their remote days in blended learning, families can pick up free grab-and-go meals from whatever school is most convenient to them from 9am to Noon, Monday through Friday.
  • No signup or registration is necessary, and meals will be set up near entry points for easy access and pickup by students and families.
  • Grab & Go meals for NYC adults will also continue at approx. 200 sites across the city- including some dedicated kosher locations and those serving the halal protein options – and the info is available at nyc.gov/getfood or the DOE website. Meals will be available from 3pm to 5pm, Monday through Friday.

NYCDOE Support for Families
Form- https://www.nycenet.edu/technicalsupportforfamily instead of calling. Topics (transportation, device delivery, device request status, student account access, and report cards).


  • Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) to continue finalizing busing logistics. Contracts were cancelled during school closure.
  • OPT started to renegotiate contracts. Pre-K contracts are not finalized as per 9-3-20.
  • Drivers are being re-hired (each person must pass a thorough background check) and busses are being inspected by the DOE and the State.
  • If families do not have a full NYCSA account (look at NYCSA section to learn how to create a full account), they should reach out to schools to have busing info.
  • OPT will also be improving their call center with capacity to offer information to families who are not able to contact their schools.

Students with disabilities

  • OPT is working case by case including bus paraprofessionals and other staff. OPT is making available bus alternatives.
  • Metro cards: OPT has shipped FREE MetroCards to all schools for students and parents.
  • Reimbursement process: OPT is also offering to reimburse families who use other methods of transportation (car services, taxis, Ubers, etc.). Reimbursement process will be expedited and simpler.

Are you Having Busing Issues? Includenyc Survey

  • If your child is entitled to busing to and from school and has already attended school in-person this September or will soon, includenyc would love to hear from you- https://www.tfaforms.com/4854232


  • Families can contact D’Vonte at DGraham22@schools.nyc.gov to trouble shoot any problems regarding devices not related to IT issues.
  • Students who still need an internet-enabled device, or internet access for a different device, may submit a requests through the NYC Department of Education’s Remote Learning Device form: coronavirus.schools.nyc/remotelearningdevices.
  • Should you need assistance in filling out the form, parents can call the DIIT help desk at 718-935-5100.
  • Students who reside in homeless shelters or domestic violence shelters, will receive devices as needed through coordination between the DOE and staff at the shelter. For questions, email schooldevices@schools.nyc.gov

Buying your student device
Families will be able to purchase devices for your students and staff using:

  • Fair Student Funding (FSF); Smart Schools Bond Act (SBBA) funding (net new dollars rolling out to high needs schools); Resolution A allocations; other eligible funding sources.

Advocates for Children (AFC)-NYSTEACHS Resource sheet to help families with students in temporary housing.
English https://nysteachs.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/NEWS_TEACHS_STHBacktoSchoolResources_ENGLISH_092220.pdf
Spanish https://nysteachs.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/NEWS_TEACHS_STHBacktoSchoolResources_SPANISH_092220.pdf

Integrated Co-Teaching in Blended and Remote Settings

Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS)

School Calendar (2020-2021SY)

Learning Bridges

Remote Instruction

Having an Issue contacting your student’s school?

Post-Secondary Education

The New York State Education Department (NYSED)

DOE Student Accounts

NYC Schools Account (NYCSA)

  • There are 2 types of NYCSA accounts. NYCSA full and NYCSA light.
  • To have NYCSA full, you must get a code from your student’s school. You can create an account at www.mystudent.nyc
  • NYCSA full will provide all access to student information including eventually IEPs, track transportation info, and access other information including a student’s guardian, school, and test scores, as well as change basic contact information.
  • A NYCSA “light” account, which does not require an authorization code, will not allow full access to protected information but will allow parents to change their contact information. You can login at https://mystudent.nyc/

The New York State Education Department (NYSED)

Back to School-Programming Models

Please Note that there are different types of Plans divided by:




Education Councils are part of New York City’s school governance structure. There is a Community Education Council (CEC) for every community school district. There are also four Citywide Councils:

  • the Citywide Council on High Schools (CCHS)
  • the Citywide Council on Special Education (CCSE)
  • the Citywide Council on English Language Learners (CCELL), and
  • the Citywide Council for D75 (CCD75).

To learn more about Citywide councils https://www.schools.nyc.gov/get-involved/families/education-councils




  • Over 400 school locations will be serving Grab and Go meals for ALL New Yorkers (no children required). For general info about meals, visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/food/free-meals
  • 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 https://www.opt-osfns.org/schoolfoodny/meals/default.aspx
    • 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



Section 8 Vouchers

  • HPD Section 8 team is still available to the public. Voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax at 212-863-5299.
  • During this time, any HPD Section 8 voucher set to expire will be automatically renewed. Clients do not need to reach out to HPD for an extension.
  • All subsidy terminations in process are suspended until further notice. All tenant conferences and briefings are postponed and will be rescheduled.
  • All hearings for appeal are cancelled until further notice.
  • HPD will continue to pay subsidies until final determinations are made. All non-emergency Section 8 Housing Quality Standard inspections are suspended until further notice.



  • 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.



  • 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.
  • 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




  • The New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agency has made funds available to provide rental assistance to individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This State program will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the pandemic. For more information please check: https://hcr.ny.gov/RRP
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)
  • Medicaid
    • In New York City Medicaid cases due to renew in March, April, May, June, July, August, and September will be extended for 12 months. No Medicaid case will be closed for failure to renew or failure to provide documentation
  • Empire Justice Center is assisting families with issues with unemployment and PAID leave-800-724-0490 x 5827.


  • 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.
  • 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.



  • Benefit cards for each eligible child to families in this cohort. Benefits are expected to be distributed by the State in July and August 2020.
  • There is no application process for receipt of these funds. Information for distribution of funds will be provided to State OTDA by local school districts (for NYC, the NYC Department of Education).
  • OTDA will be using the March 2020 school enrollment data to determine eligibility by age and enrollment status.
    **** NOTE: This will be eligible regardless of immigration status and will not affect the public charge rule.






  • 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.





  • 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.



  • 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.


LAST UPDATED:  October 22, 2020







Take Action

Here’s what you can do right now for justice in New York…

Stay up to date

Get updates on our cases and campaigns, and join us in taking action for justice…

Stay Connected

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and opportunities to take action from our team.

Thanks! We’ll be in touch soon!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!