DOE hosting series of virtual back-to-school forums next month

More than 800 students and staff in New York City’s public school system tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the closure of hundreds of classrooms, according to city Department of Education data.
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The New York City Department of Education will host a series of borough-based back-to-school forums over the next two weeks ahead of public school students’ first day of classes on Sept. 13.

At the forums, students and parents will get the chance to ask New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter along with other executive superintendents, borough office staff and department of health experts general questions about the upcoming school year or specific questions about their neighborhood or school.

“These local forums will build on the critical progress made by schools this summer to reconnect with families and prepare them for a full return to in-person learning through Summer Rising, open houses, homecoming events, and more,”  a DOE spokesperson said. Each forum will last for an hour and a half and will kick off with comments from Porter followed by an audience Q-and-A.

Public school families can register for the virtual forum on the DOE’s website. During registration, guests need to specify if they would like to ask a question or share comments during the forum and indicate if their question pertains to a certain category such as health and safety, academics, special education, stimulus funding or mental health.

After each session, DOE staff will post a recording of the event onto the department’s website and onto Parent University— an online platform where parents can access dozens of free classes—so that families unable to join the virtual event can watch it at their convenience.

Forums will be held in each borough on the following dates and will include interpretation for the following languages:

  • Brooklyn | Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 – Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic (6-7:30 p.m.)
  • Queens | Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 – Spanish, Mandarin, Bengali (8-9:30 p.m.)
  • Bronx | Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 – Spanish, French, Bengali  (6-7:30 p.m.)
  • Staten Island | Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021 – Spanish, Mandarin, Russian (8-9:30 p.m.)
  • Manhattan | Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 – Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese (8-9:30 p.m.)

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