As this unprecedented school year comes to a close, I want to thank you and your children for your patience, resilience, and perseverance in adapting to the closing of school buildings and the implementation of remote learning. I recognize that the situation imposed hardships on you and brought new complications in the education of our students—especially those with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). We are extremely grateful for everything you have done to partner with us in supporting your child and helping us adapt to these challenging times. As we have engaged in virtual instructional and teletherapy programs, you have risen to the occasion and been your child’s greatest source of support. In continuing to explore options to best address your child’s needs, we will rely heavily on the strong bonds we have forged with you along our collaborative journey to help us make decisions that truly make a difference. Your child’s teacher should have contacted you for an end-of-year wrap-up conversation to support the transition to summer. Should you seek additional information, please reach out to your child’s principal directly. We encourage you to ask questions about progress made on your child’s IEP goals, to make recommendations and offer feedback about what has and hasn’t worked for your child during the remote learning period, and to request information to support the transition to summer. We also encourage you to talk to your child’s teacher and school administrators about any recommendations regarding summer school for additional academic support. During these past three months, we have broadened our vision of what family engagement and empowerment can truly mean. We have heard the voices of parents and families like you during various workshops and forums, offering questions, concerns, and recommendations about your child’s learning process. We have heard from many of you that the Beyond Access series of online learning workshops for families of children with disabilities, as well as family office hours, provided valuable information that can be put to immediate use. We will continue to provide resources, workshops, and family sessions in order to support you as we prepare for September and beyond. As we look toward the fall and make key decisions regarding re-opening school buildings in the safest way possible, we will continue to rely on you to offer input about what would work best for you and your child.
If you have not already done so, please help us guide that process by completing our Return to School survey at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020 by June 30. We at the DOE are deeply committed to serving all of our students with IEPs and providing them with an excellent education.
I am grateful for your partnership in educating your child and hope you enjoy your summer!
Richard A. Carranza
New York City Department of Education