Arise Coalition Literacy Info

Back to School Basics
This page is a one-stop, back-to-school shop with important information to get ready for the first day of school and a fantastic school year 


The NEW 2016-2017 Achieve NYC Guide to New York City Public Schools will be available to read online This Guide was created for parents like you who are seeking the most current information to enable you to best advocate for your child. Whether you have a child in Pre-K or preparing for college, you can find information on deadlines and requirements at every level. Find out who’s who at your child’s school, how to talk to your child’s teachers, what student achievement looks like, policies that impact you and your child, the school calendar and information about enrollment, transportation and programs across all grades. Read the NEW guide available September 1st  at 

School Day Schedules

An easy-to-use search tool is now available so families can find their school and confirm their child's school-day start and end times

NYC Schools Account
With a NYC Schools account you will be able to access key information about your child's progress in school, including attendance, report card grades, general student information, and test scores (new) in one of ten languages on a computer, phone or tablet. 

Beginning August 12, you can view your child's New York State math and English Language Arts (ELA) test scores from the 2014-15 school year. If your child is in high school, you can view his or her Regents exam scores. For questions, please contact your child's school. 

United Federation of Teachers Dial A Teacher Homework

Help Information for Parents and Guardians, Tel: 212-777-3380

DOE: Office of Early Childhood Education A Parent's Guide To Univesal Pre Kindergarten  (March 2016)

Pre K Behavior Guidance (Nov 2015) 
There is a new Pre K behavior policy. 
Children in Pre K for All and EarlyLearn NYC programs may NOT be suspended or expelled 
Pre K for All and EarlyLearn NYC programs may not shorten the school day of a child as an alternative to suspension Programs cannot shorten a child's day unless the program receives approval from the DOE's Division of Early Childhood Education and voluntary written consent from the child's parent or guardian
For more info, see

Welcome Centers
Family Welcome Center staff members are available to assist New York City families with enrollment in pre-Kindergarten through high school.
Family Welcome Centers are open 8am to 3pm, Monday through Friday. 

415 89th Street, 5th Floor Brooklyn, NY 11209 Districts Served: 20, 21    

1780 Ocean Avenue, 3rd Floor Districts Served: 17, 18, 22           

1665 St. Marks Avenue, Room 116 Districts Served: 19, 23, 32    

29 Fort Greene Place (BS12) Districts Served: 13, 14, 15, 16    

Borough Field Support Centers (July 2015)

BFSCs are Providing Schools With a Wide Range of Supports in Areas Including Budgeting, Instructional Needs and Student Service Needs
There is one BFSC in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and two each in Brooklyn and Queens:

* 2017

Mauricière de Govia – Brooklyn (Districts 17, 18, 20, 21, 22) 415 89th St., Brooklyn, 11209 and 5613 Flatlands Ave., Brooklyn, 11234 
Mauricière de Govia possesses more than 20 years of experience in the New York City Department of Education. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, de Govia is a graduate of New York City public schools and CUNY Brooklyn College for her undergraduate as well as graduate work. In her most recent role as Superintendent of District 23, she fostered change via empowerment, instructional leadership, and culture and community building in Oceanhill-Brownsville.  She has also held roles as principal, executive director of academics and instruction and deputy CEO for the Office of School Support. De Govia has embarked upon a doctoral studies program with Sage College-Esteves School of Education. 

Cheryl Watson-Harris currently serves as the Senior Executive Director for the Office of Field Support. She rejoined the DOE in 2015 serving as the Director of the Brooklyn South Field Support Center. She returned from her position as a Network Superintendent for Boston Public Schools. She has served in that role since February 2013, helping to develop a new district structure and supervising and evaluating 16 principals. Watson-Harris previously served as a principal in Boston for 15 years, where she implemented a Community Schools model to significantly improve a struggling, high-poverty school and mentored new and aspiring principals. Watson-Harris started her teaching career in 1993 at Brooklyn’s PS 81.

Executive Directors of the eight Field Support CentersAlexandra Anormaliza – Affinity (Districts Citywide)
Alexandra Anormaliza started her career in public education as a high school teacher in 1992. She served as founding principal of The International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn from 2004 to 2010. Most recently, she was the Executive
Directorfor the Office of Instructional Support, where she oversaw the development of yearly citywide instructional expectations and the implementation of aligned citywide professional learning experiences, and the inaugural leader for the Progressive Redesign Opportunity for Schools of Excellence (PROSE) program. Anormaliza is a graduate of New York City public schools and the City University of New York. She was a member of the first cohort of the New York City Leadership Academy. 

• Brooklyn (Districts 17, 18, 20, 21, 22)  
Director: Cheryl Watson-Harris 
rejoins the DOE from her position as a Network Superintendent for Boston Public Schools. She has served in that role since February 2013, helping to develop a new district structure and supervising and evaluating 16 principals. Watson-Harris previously served as a principal in Boston for 15 years. She started her teaching career in 1993 at Brooklyn’s PS 81. 

• Bronx (Districts 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) - 1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx, 10458 and 1230 Zerega Ave., Bronx, 10462 Director: Jose Ruiz 
Jose Ruiz served as Cluster Leader since January 2010. Ruiz began his teaching career at Taft High School in October 1991. He has been a Deputy Regional Superintendent, principal, and assistant principal in the Bronx, and also the CEO and Deputy CEO of the DOE’s Leadership Learning Support Organization.

• Brooklyn (Districts 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 23, 32) - 131 Livingston St., Brooklyn, 11201 Director: Bernadette Fitzgerald 
Bernadette Fitzgerald was the principal at PS 503 in Sunset Park since September 2008. Fitzgerald was previously the assistant principal at PS 503, and taught elementary grades at PS 372 in Brooklyn for ten years. 

• Manhattan (Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) - 333 7th Avenue, Manhattan, 10001 Director: Yuet Chu 
Yuet Chu led Children’s First Network 103 since September 2007. Chu started her DOE career at Manhattan’s School of the Future in 1996, and spent ten years there as a teacher and Middle School Director.

• Queens (Districts 24, 25, 26, 30) - 28-11 Queens Plaza North, Queens, 11101 Director: Lawrence Pendergast 
Lawrence Pendergast was the Network Leader for Children’s First Network 603 since 2011, most recently supporting 33 schools. He previously served as Executive Principal at Leadership and Public Service High School, as well as founding principal at Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction. A former Social Studies teacher and instructional specialist, Pendergast also promoted professional development and collaboration as a peer coach early in his career.

• Queens (Districts 27, 28, 29) - 8201 Rockaway Blvd., Queens, 11416 Director: Marlene Wilks 
Marlene Wilks served schools in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx as the leader of Children’s First Network 209 since 2007. In her 38 years in education, including 26 in service to the New York City public school community, Wilks has served as Local Instructional Superintendent in Districts 28 and 29 in Queens, principal in the South Bronx, assistant principal in District 2 in Manhattan, and as a middle school math teacher in District 32 in Brooklyn. 

• Staten Island (District 31) - Petrides Complex, 715 Ocean Terrace, Staten Island, 10301 Director: Kevin Moran 
A longtime Staten Island resident, Kevin Moran brings nearly two decades of experience in DOE instructional and operational support to his new position. Since March 2014, he has served as the Executive Director of Field Support for the DOE’s Division of Operations. He has also served the City’s students and families as an Executive Director in the Office of School Support, a Deputy Cluster Leader, a Regional Safety Administrator, and in the District 31 Superintendent’s Office. Moran started his educational career as a teacher at Staten Island’s IS 2.

Free Lunch for Students in 6th–8th Grade Middle Schools 
As part of the City’s effort to improve the experience of students in our cafeterias and to reduce the stigma of qualifying for free meals, lunch will continue to be free for all students in grades 6–8 middle schools this year. Please note that, while lunch is served at no charge to students in these schools, Schools may collect School Meals Applications from families as Title I eligibility and funding for the 2016–17 school year is dependent on this information. Parents can also visit   to complete an application online. Please note that, although lunch is free for students in grades 6 –8 grade middle schools, not all schools that serve middle school grades will have students that qualify for free meals (for example, students in K-8 schools, K-12 schools, and 6-12 schools will not automatically qualify for free meals). For further information, please contact your child’s school.

Changes to the School Quality Reports (May 2016)

School Quality ReportsUpdate (June 21,2016) 

The 2015 School Performance Dashboard is available here.

This new dashboard combines multiple years of data from School Quality Reports into one tool that displays schools’ results and key comparisons, and utilizes data visualization to facilitate analysis. The dashboard also allows users to customize the reports by selecting different metrics and comparisons, and can be printed out as a 2-page report. The dashboard can be used to identify trends, patterns, strengths, areas for improvement, and areas for further investigation.

New AFC Fact Sheet on Bullying & Harassment in NYC Schools (Jan 2017)
Advocates for Children has a new fact sheet on bullying, harassment, and discrimination based on race, national origin, immigration status, or religion. The fact sheet, which explains NYC Department of Education policy and what parents can do if their children experience bullying or discrimination.

A Parents' Guide to Cybersecurity                                                                     

A Parents' Guide to Cyberbullying

A Parents' Guide to Instagram

A Parents' Guide to Snapchat

Facebook for Educators & Community Leaders

The Teacher's Guide to Twitter

Dipping Into Social Media in the Classroom

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom

Educators Guide to the use of Pinterest in Education

How to Create Social Media Guidelines for your School

2014 Elementary School Academic Policy Guide

Parent Guide To Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conference Worksheet

Advocates For Children 2016 LGBTQ Education Guide for Students in NYC Public Schools

Promotion Process and Timeline
Updated May 13, 2014. This document summarizes proposed changes to Chancellor’s Regulation A-501. 
For June 2014, the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is planning to adjust the way we make decisions about

promoting students in grades 3 through 8 to the next grade.
The proposed changes will ensure that students’ scores on New York State English and math tests are no longer a primary factor in promotion decisions.

Instead, schools will base promotion decisions on a variety of measures of student progress, which may include report cards, samples of student writing,

projects, assessments, assignments, and other student work alongside State tests.

Know Your Rights: English Language Learner Resource Requirements (June 2014)
Under New York State law, all English language learners (ELLs) have a right to the
resources, services, and supports they need to be able to achieve the same educational goals and meet the same standards as the general student population.
We are pleased to announce the release of Know Your Rights: English Language Learner Resource Requirements, a user friendly handout describing the rights of ELLs and the specific services and supports that all NY schools must be able to provide for these students.

Programs for English Language Learners (ELLs)
Did you know that students learning English are entitled to special instruction in New York State public schools? Read on to learn about the three types of programs available for ELLs: Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE); English as a Second Language (ESL) and Dual Language (DL) Programs.

(1)  Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE): Instruction is given in both English and the student’s native language. The amount of English used increases as the student becomes more proficient.

(2)  English as a Second Language (ESL): Students are taught entirely in English and learn to speak, read, and write English from a trained teacher.

(3)  Dual language (DL) programs: Are available in some schools. ELLs and native English speakers learn together in one classroom so that the two groups of students will become proficient in both English and the second language. Each school has its own unique admissions process to its programs.

Parents have the right to choose between TBE and ESL and may also apply for a dual language program, although children are not guaranteed admission. While most schools have ESL classes, TBE is less common. If another school in your child’s district offers the TBE class you want, you have the right to request a transfer for your child to that school. Your child is also entitled to free transportation to attend that school.

When ELL students enter a NYC public school, they must complete a Home Language Identification Survey (HLIS) which asks them to identify the languages spoken at home and used by the student.  The ELL student is then given a test in English to find out the level of the student’s English language abilities.  This test, known as the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL), should be given to the student within two weeks of enrolling in school.  ELL students must also take the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) once every year in the spring in order to assess their progress. Once a student scores a certain level on the NYSESLAT, the student will no longer be considered an ELL and will no longer receive ESL or TBE instruction.

For more information on the rights of ELLs, check out AFC’s guides and factsheets.

List of TBE and DL programs near you.

Parent’s Guide to Language Access
The Parent's Guide to Language Access is also a resource for parents.

This is a multilingual brochure that:

Informs parents of their right to free translation and interpretation services.
Includes a cut out "I Speak" card.
Directs parents to translated content on the NYCDOE website.
Reminds parents to email or call us to provide feedback on language services.

NYSED Common Core (July 2014) 
The P-12: Office of Special Education has developed resources to assist parents of children with disabilities to have a better understanding of the Common Core Learning Standards.  These resources include a set of questions that parents can bring to theCommittee on Special Education and to their child's teachers as well as definitions of common terms used.
In an effort to assist districts to better serve parents, translations of these resources are now available inSpanish, Korean, Russian, Chinese, and Haitian Creole at

A Guide to NYC Public Schools Budget (June 2013)
The NYC Community members’ guide to understanding how New York City public schools are funded.

"Planning For Success: Supporting Transitions Through High School to College and Career" July 2012
A guide created by parents on helpful hints for NYC parents.

Common Core Info:
Common Core State Standards Toolkit by National Education Association 

Common Core Library

Common Core For Elementary Students Feb 2013

Comon Core For Middle School Students Feb 2013

Common Core Standards Frequently Asked Questions DOE

Common Core Standards June 2012
New York State has adopted a new set of standards known as the Common Core Standards that will begin full implementation in the 2012-2013 school year. These standards require a shift in how we approach teaching and learning and require that the curriculum contain more rigor and raises the bar as far as the expectations of the students. The state has posted the document below that gives a good overview of the expectations and guidance for what should be done at home to support the students.