Hello TRIO participants, parents and family members,
I hope that everyone is safe and following the safety precautions issued by New York City, State and the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC). As a result of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) Pandemic, the City University of New York has issued a cancellation of all planned activities on all campuses and recommended that staff, faculty and other personnel to work remotely from home. As a result of this mandate, the TRIO programs are actively expanding our services to include remote services for all of our participants and their families.
In order for these efforts to be successful, TRIO staff will be reaching out to you to discover the remote capabilities that exist and your access to the internet, cell service, and the device that these platforms operate on. Please respond to all questions as soon as possible so that we can begin to implement planned services to the best of our capabilities.
We will continue to provide services as scheduled but remotely and will make ourselves available to you for specific hours during the work day. It is extremely important that if you are scheduled for a phone date and time, that you adhere to that specific schedule. Staff will only be available from 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. and will be adhering to this time-frame.
Currently we are uploading many resources and updated information on a daily basis so that you can remain aware of planned weekly TRIO program services/activities; receive updated information on the COVID-19 virus and steps you need to take to remain safe via specific links; educational resources you can use while at home; and the availability of TRIO teachers and staff to assist you with tutorials and help to understand and complete information on the Google platform, which will be used by the Department of Education in their remote education.
Continue to remain positive, wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds under warm water, stay inside and practice social distancing. Our combined efforts will help to get us over this epidemic. We need to follow these rules to prevent the spread of the virus in our communities. Please call staff cell phones and not the office because no one will be there. Continually check your e-mail and respond. We will get through this!
Michelle A. Danvers Foust
Bronx Community College
TRIO, Pre-collegiate Programs
To stay up-to-date on the latest news impacting the 79th, follow Assembly Member Jackson on social media:
Next week, join me and fellow community leaders in a clean-up event being held in recognition of Earth Day and the importance of keeping our borough a sanitary place to live.
The first event will take place on April 22nd, at Concourse Village East & 156th St from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
The second event will take place on April 24th, at St. Pauls’s Pl & Park Ave from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
As of this Tuesday, April 13th, my office has been open for in-person constituent service meetings. In these meetings, you will be able to voice your concerns or requests directly to my staff rather than over the phone/through email.
These meetings are appointment-only, and drop-in visits are not be accepted. The hours appointments are available are from 11:00 A.M. until 3:00 P.M., Tuesday through Thursday.
Registration for appointments are currently being accepted, and you can use this link to register for an appointment via Calendly, the web-based application we will be using to organize our office’s appointment schedule.
As of Tuesday, April 6th, all New Yorkers 16 years of age and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and my office strongly urges all Bronx residents to receive their vaccine.
New Vaccination Sites in the Bronx:
Al Masjidu Adam Community Life Center for Human Excellence – 2263 Crotona Avenue
Start Date: week of 4/12
Days/Hours: 7 days 10:00am-6:00pm
Vaccination Site Location Changes in the Bronx:
On 4/15: Bronx HS of Science moved to Edenwald YMCA 1250 East 229th Street, 10466
On 4/1: Morris Academy moved to Recreation Center
Walk-up vaccinations for New Yorkers Age 75+ and Up:
Bronx residents aged 75 years or more are eligible for walk-in vaccinations without appointments. In addition, one person aged below 75 may accompany this individual to the vaccination site and receive the vaccine as well. The following sites are now vaccinating New Yorkers 75+ and a companion without an appointment:
Bathgate Contract Postal Station: 4006 3rd Avenue, Bronx, NY 10457 (24/7)
Co-op City: 177 Dresier Loop, Bronx, NY 10475 (Monday-Saturday, 9 AM to 5PM)
Bronx High School of Science, 75 West 205th Street, Bronx, NY 10468 (Saturday and Sunday, 12 PM to 4 PM)
South Bronx Educational Campus, 701 St. Ann’s Ave., Bronx, NY 10455 (Saturday and Sunday, 12 PM to 4 PM)
West Bronx Gymnasium, 1527 Jesup Ave., Bronx, NY 10452 (Thursday-Sunday, 12 PM to 4 PM)
New York City vaccination sites
For Bronx residents under 75, the list directly-below includes vaccination sites being run by the city government. To view this list in a separate tab, click here.
Bronx residents under 75 can also opt to receive a vaccine through the State government and can visit am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.govor call 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829) to book a vaccine appointment at vaccination sites run by the state, including a site at Bay Eden Senior Center in The Bronx.
Overnight hours: The state has launched a pilot program to administer vaccines in overnight hours at the Javits Center. Eligible New Yorkers seeking appointments should visit am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ or call 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829) to book.
For NYCHA residents only, the vaccine is being administered at various locations in the Bronx, including:
Parkside Senior Center, until 04/11
Forest Community Center, Thursday-Sunday through 05/16
(limited to residents of: Forest, 1162-1176 Washington Ave, Adams, College Avenue-East 165th Street, Davidson, Eagle Avenue-East 163rd Street, East 165th Street-Bryant Avenue, Longfellow Avenue, Mckinley, Saint Mary’s Park, South Bronx Area (Site 402), Stebbins Avenue-Hewitt Place, Teller Avenue-East 166th Street, Union Avenue – East 163rd Street, Union Avenue – East 166th Street, West Farms Road Rehab, West Farms Square Conventional)
Yankee Stadium and Somos sites
The Yankee Stadium mega vaccination is open and administering vaccines to eligible Bronx residents. Bronx residents under 75 should visit somosvaccinations.com or call 1-833-SOMOSNY to book an appointment. Somos is also running a variety of other vaccination sites, and available appointments can be accessed via the same website and phone number.
Overnight hours: The state has launched a pilot program to administer vaccines in overnight hours at Yankee Stadium. Appointments go live at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3. Eligible Bronx Residents seeking appointments should visit somosvaccinations.com or call 1-833-SOMOSNY.
The Armory in Washington Heights
Online appointments can be made using the Connect portal. If you live in an eligible zip code, you can also call 646-838-0319 (hotline is open from 9 AM to 4:45 PM Monday through Friday). Eligible zip codes: 10026, 10027, 10029, 10030, 10031, 10032, 10033, 10034, 10035, 10037, 10039, 10040, 10451, 10452, 10453, 10454, 10455, 10456, 10459, 10460, 10461, 10462, 10463, 10464, 10465, 10472, 10473, and 10474.
Montefiore offers the COVID vaccine at multiple locations in The Bronx. Visit their website or call 844-444-2819 to check for availability and schedule an appointment.
Accessible Transportation for People with Disabilities to Vaccine Appointments
If you are 65 and older or have an ambulatory, vision, intellectual or developmental disability and need an ambulette, you can schedule free transport with Hunter ambulettes (516) 812-9827.
If you are 65 and older or have an ambulatory, vision, intellectual or developmental disability you can schedule a free ride with Curb at 646-349-0289. If you are a minor under the age of 18, you must have your parent/guardian call to book the trip on your behalf.
This is regardless of if you already have access to Access-A-Ride or Medicaid Transportation.
Information on Accessible Transportation Options for People with Disabilities to Vaccine Appointments – on.nyc.gov/2Oe5avB
For daily updates on the progression of New York’s Vaccine Program, visit this ‘Vaccine Tracker’.
*this information is provided courtesy of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
On Saturday, April 17, the NYCDOT Division of Bridges will begin installing construction equipment near the Madison Avenue Bridge. As a result, all vehicular and pedestrian lanes will be closed to facilitate the operation. This will also occur the following Saturday, April 24th.
Eastbound and westbound traffic will be detoured to the 145th Street Bridge. VMS boards and Traffic Control Agents will be in place to inform the community.
Weekend Night Work will be scheduled as follows:
Saturday, April 17, 2021 12:01 a.m. – 7:00 a.m.
Saturday, April 24, 2021 12:01 a.m. – 7: 00 a.m
Manhattan Bridge Inspections to Cause Subway Service Changes Two Weekends in April
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that inspection of the Manhattan Bridge by the NYC Department of Transportation, as well as track maintenance work by NYC Transit personnel, will require the complete closure of the tracks used by the B and D trains between Brooklyn and Manhattan, and changes to subway service for two weekends in April.
On the weekends of April 16-19 and April 23-26 beginning at 11:30 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Monday, D trains will run in Brooklyn only, between Coney Island-Stillwell Av and Atlantic Av-Barclays Center. D trains will not run in the Bronx and Manhattan. C trains will replace D trains in the Bronx and Manhattan between 205 St and 59 St-Columbus Circle. Late evenings and early mornings when the C does not operate, D Shuttle trains will operate between 205 St in the Bronx and 145 St in Manhattan. Additionally, free shuttle buses will make all stops between W 4 St and Grand St in Manhattan.
Between the Bronx and Manhattan, D riders can take the C train days and evenings, and D Shuttle trains late nights and early mornings to connect with 4 trains at Yankee Stadium and a trains at 145 St
Alternatively, between the Bronx and Manhattan, D riders can take the 4 train along Jerome Avenue
For stations along 6 Av, riders can take the C train to/from nearby stations along 8 Av
In Manhattan, riders can take the A or C train between 59 St and 145 St
For stations along 6 Av and Broadway-Lafayette St, riders can take the F train
For the 7 Av station, riders can take the E train, or use the nearby 50 St C train or 57 St-7 Av N,Q,R
For the Grand St station, riders can take a free shuttle bus or use the nearby Canal St N,Q,R
In Brooklyn, D trains will run express between 36 St and Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr, riders can take the local N,R train for stops along 4 Av
Between Brooklyn and Manhattan, D riders can transfer at Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr to/from the 2,3, N,R, and Q trains
The MTA will use the outage to perform track inspections and repairs along the B,D lines.
EVENTS IN THE COMMUNITY:
This Saturday, April 17th, join the Southern Boulevard Business Improvement in a morning of cleaning and painting throughout the Southern Boulevard.
On Thursday, April 22nd, join NYC Department for the Aging and others at its virtual summit on ‘Solutions to Combat Ageism’.
This event will begin at 3:00 P.M. via Zoom.
To register, use this link.
On April 22nd, join conEdison, an energy provider operating within the Bronx, in a ‘Community Resources Conference’ to discuss important topics impacting energy consumers in New York City. Topics being addressed will include:
Help for customers impacted by COVID-19
Con Edison’s redesigned bill
Why updating contact information is important
Our clean energy commitment
What is Home Share
This event is taking place at 10:00 A.M. and will be held virtually.
Register using this link.
On Monday, April 19th, join the 41st precinct in its 5th annual Autism Awareness Walk. This event is being held to bring awareness and fundraise for families affecting by autism, and all are welcome to take part.
This event will begin at 11:00 A.M., at the NYPD 41st Precinct, 1035 Longwood Ave, Bronx, NY 10458.
The NYC Department fo Youth & Community Development is offering its Summer Youth Employment Program to young adults aged 16-21 in the Bronx. This program will help participating individuals gain the skills, credentials, and experiences they need to survive in the professional world.
To apply, use this link and select ‘Phipps Neighborhoods’, or call: 1-800-246-4646.
Eckerd Connects is offering services to unemployed individuals in the Bronx looking to start a career. Among the services offered is job placement assistance, paid internships, and bank account assistance.
For more information, call (718)-682-4655
Check out what we’ve been up to and sign up to volunteer!
Are you good with people? Spreadsheets? Social media? Policy?
We are recruiting neighbors, activists and organizers to join our campaign to bring more progressive energy to the Bronx. Click below to join us!
We gathered as a community to highlight an injustice that is occurring to our families, seniors and neighbors on Burnside and throughout the Bronx – the abandonment of our local financial institutions. With Chase Bank and Amalgamated Bank threatening to leave Burnside, we are fighting against a history of disinvestment to ensure our equitable access to financial services. Check out the coverage: Bronx Free Press, News 12, Norwood News and Bronx Times! Since the event, both Amalgamated and Chase have agreed to meet with community leaders regarding the path forward. Let’s keep the pressure!
Getting Counted in the 2020 Census
The current occupant of the White House does not want communities like ours counted in the Census, yet our schools, hospitals and homes depend on it. We will continue to be out on the streets every week ensuring that more neighbors get counted by the Sept. 30th deadline. Respond to the census here and join us!
Did you know there are grant opportunities for small businesses to access economic relief? We’ve been out in the community informing our small business owners of opportunities as they arise arise: see here, here, here and here for the latest.
Nearly 60% of our neighbors worried about running out of food at some point during 2019, and the economic fallout of the pandemic has only made our situation worse. That’s why I’m personally out each week, setting up food distribution events for our neighbors with local organizations. Join us!
The work we are doing has been covered in local news outlets and OVER 35 local and Latin American publications! Thank you for all of your ongoing support!
Follow us on social media to stay up to date with our campaign!
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources Available
The Health Information Tool for Empowerment (HITE) is an online directory offering information on more than 5000 health & social services available to low-income, uninsured & underinsured individuals in New York City, Long Island & Westchester.
Free & Open to the public, HITE helps connect users to vital community services quickly and easily.
Every day at Bronx Community College, we celebrate the richness of American diversity and BCC’s founding principle of the potential and the right of every individual to achieve greatness. We therefore join those of all backgrounds and beliefs across the country in our grief and outrage over the death of George Floyd and demand that justice for him and his family be swift and certain.
We stand in solidarity with those who are raising their voices in protest and calling on those in power to end the scourge of bigotry and prejudice, which is no less virulent and deadly than the current pandemic.
To our students, I have faith that the same inner strength that brought you to the College and that is now sustaining you through these months away from our campus will give you the power to endure and prevail during this national heartbreak. By pursuing an education and preparing for your role in transforming the world as you are transforming yourselves, each of you is fighting for the day when tragedies like the cold-blooded killing of George Floyd are not just unacceptable but unthinkable.
Until we can all meet again face-to-face on the campus that we love, be safe, be strong and know that my best wishes for you and those you love are always in my thoughts.
Thomas A. Isekenegbe, Ph. D.
Bronx Community College
If your housing situation is uncertain, you can find help throughout NYC. Check out the resources below to find a safe place to stay, get free and confidential support for your health and well-being, and access what you need to help reach your goals.
Find a place to stay
If you need a safe place to stay, resources are available. Youth ages 16 – 20 may be able to find emergency shelter at Crisis Services Programs throughout NYC. To get connected:
Call or stop by one of the drop-in centers below
Call 311 and ask for shelter for youth
If you’re over 20, you can go to a drop-in center below to get a referral. Anyone over 18 in NYC can also go to adult shelters.
Youth drop-in centers
Drop-in centers in all five boroughs offer a safe place for youth ages 14 – 24 to hang out, charge your phone, find clothing and food, and take care of other needs. You can also get a range of services, from health care to job support (most drop-in centers offer these after an intake conversation with staff). Find out how to access centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.
Youth ages 16 – 20 who need a safe place to stay may find shelter and support services at Crisis Services Programs for up to 120 days. To get connected, most youth visit a drop-in center and ask for a referral or call 311.
Youth 16 – 20 who don’t have stable housing may find a supportive place to stay for up to 24 months at Transitional Independent Living (TIL) programs. TIL programs also offer services including education programs, job help, counseling, and life skills. To get a referral, youth usually go to a Crisis Services Program first. To start the process, you should visit a drop-in center and ask about residential programs.
Though housing in NYC is expensive, you may be able to get help finding a stable place to live. Most drop-in centers can assist with supportive housing applications and other permanent housing options, and you can enter an affordable housing lottery.
COVID-19 Resources for Workers, Small Businesses, and Families
May 4, 2020
As we face COVID-19 and the devastating impact it is having in our community, I want to share some resources available to families and local businesses facing layoffs, loss of income, lack of access to health care, or the death of a loved one.
The Bronx has been one of the hardest-hit areas in New York City during this crisis, but we are here to help. The city, state, and federal government have made available many resources and launched several initiatives to help you during this difficult time.
HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
As part of the CARES Act, Congress approved $349 billion in funding to help businesses and nonprofits that employ less than 500 people through the Small Business Administration Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Two weeks ago, Congress approved $310 Billion more in funding for the program, which is designed to incentivize small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll. The funding is awarded through forgivable loans to cover payroll (up to $100,000/employee), interest on mortgages, rent, and utility payments. For more information about the program, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program
FINANCIAL HELP FOR INDIVIDUALS – ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS
As part of the CARES Act, Congress also approved financial help for individuals in response to the crisis. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has already started sending Economic Impact Payments to taxpayers; most people do not have to take any action to receive the payment by direct deposit or paper check. To check the status of your check visit: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments .
Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will automatically receive Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 no later than early May with no further action required on their part. However, for Social Security and SSI recipients with dependents, you may have to take extra steps to claim the additional $500 for qualifying children. For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the child payments will be automatic. Many benefit recipients, however, aren’t required to file tax returns. Social Security and SSI recipients who have dependents and who have not filed taxes can quickly register by visiting the special tool available only on IRS.gov providing information about themselves and their dependents in the Non-Filers section.
Social Security and SSI recipients will generally receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their usual benefits. For individuals with dependents who use Direct Express debit cards, additional information will be available soon on the IRS web site regarding the necessary steps they should take when claiming children under 17.
For those who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, the New York State Department of Labor has created a chart to guide individuals seeking unemployment benefits after the passage of the federal CARES Act. The CARES Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers, and the State Department of Labor has created a chart to guide individuals seeking unemployment benefits after its passage. To file for unemployment insurance in New York, please visit https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm . If you have any issues filing for unemployment insurance, please contact my district office for help at 718-620-0084.
RENT, MORTGAGE & OTHER HOUSING ASSISTANCE
If you are having trouble paying your rent or mortgage, there are various City programs and initiatives that help reduce the burden on tenants and homeowners during this time.
If your work hours have been reduced and you are unable to pay your rent, you can apply for a Cash Assistance special grant request (Emergency One Time Assistance) to get benefits for emergencies through Access HRA .
NYCHA residents that experience a loss of income may qualify for a rent reduction. Households that have experienced a complete income loss may be elegible for the Zero Income Policy .
Property Taxes Relief
If you are a homeowner having challenges paying their property taxes, the Department of Finance offers several programs to assist with financial hardship, including exemption programs as well as a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program for those who qualify. More information here .
ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE
If you do not have health insurance or have lost insurance as a result of this crisis, the NY State of Health Department recently announced a Special Enrollment Period under the Affordable Care Act through May 15 in response to Coronavirus. Visit their website or call 1-855-355-5777 to check eligibility.
Resources are also available for mental health. Please contact 1-888-NYC-WELL, text “WELL” to 65173 or visit: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us . The City is also connecting older New Yorkers who are feeling isolated with friendly volunteers to talk with over the phone through the Friendly Visiting Program . For more information, please call 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469).
Grab and Go Meals for All New Yorkers
With historic high unemployment, more New Yorkers are experiencing food insecurity for the first time. To help all ensure everyone has food on their table, the City is providing grab and go meals for all New Yorkers. No one is turned away, and participants can pick up to three meals. To find a location, text “NYCFOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 or visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/food/free-meals .
For residents observing Ramadan, the city is increasing supply of halal meals at 32 DOE Grab & Go sites across all five boroughs. In addition to the 32 receiving this increase, all 400+ sites will continue to have halal meals available.
Bronx sites with increased halal meals are:
PS/IS 194 – 2365 Waterbury Ave, Bronx, NY 10462
Fannie Lou Hamer Middle School – 1021 Jennings Street, Bronx, NY 10460
PS 47 – 1794 E 172nd St, Bronx, NY 10472
PS 106 Parkchester – 1514 Olmstead Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462
MS 127 (JHS 127) – 1560 Purdy St, Bronx, NY 10462
“Feeding New York,” details the New York City’s plan to help food insecure New Yorkers throughout this crisis and protect the security of the City’s food supply chain. From Meal Hubs at public schools to home deliveries to seniors and other vulnerable populations, the City has served millions of meals to hungry New Yorkers during the crisis. Additional information on COVID-19 food assistance resources is available online at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/contact/services/COVID-19FoodAssistance .
My office has heard of many cases of families that are having trouble burying a loved one. If you or someone you know has lost a loved one and is having issues with the burial, please feel free to contact my office for help. My staff is ready to assist with complex cases involving federal agencies.
Please visit the link below, to explore free exhibitions and activities throughout the Museum of Natural History:
The New York City Department of Education is committed to making three free meals available daily for any New Yorker. Any New Yorker who wants one can get three free meals a day at more than 400 Meal Hubs across the city.
Meals can be picked up at all Meal Hubs 7:30 am to 1:30 pm, Monday through Friday
Meals Hubs will operate for children and families from 7:30 am to 11:30 am, and for adults from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
No one will be turned away at any time
All adults and children can pick up three meals at one time
Vegetarian and halal options available at all sites
No dining space is available, so meals must be eaten off premises
Parents and guardians may pick up meals for their children
No registration or ID required
Use our Meal Hub lookup tool to find a location near you!
Dates, locations, and menus are subject to change.
Subject: Help from Internet and Smart Phone Providers – Advancement, Communications and External Relations
Thank you for your patience and perseverance as your classes switch to online “distance learning” for the duration of the COVID-19 epidemic. To make that experience as easy and worry-free as possible, internet and smart phone providers have instituted the following changes for the next 60 days:
1. All limits on data, talk and text use on your smart phone have been lifted.
2. All public hotspots will be free and accessible.
3. You may use your smart phone as a hot spot at no extra charge. 4. There will be no late fees or disconnections for home and mobile devices. 5. Spectrum has announced that low income individuals or families can have free installation and broadband access for the next 60 days. Internet and data accessibility and usage is handled on an individual basis. Please contact the provider in your area at the numbers below to access these services:
What Is SYEP?
Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) is the nation’s largest youth employment program, connecting NYC youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer.
Participants have the opportunity to explore their interests and career pathways, develop workplace skills and engage in learning experiences that help in developing their social, civic and leadership skills.
By participating in structured project and work-based opportunities, NYC youth are better prepared for careers of the future.
Thank you for your interest in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Unfortunately, the uncertainty over how COVID-19 will continue to affect social distancing guidelines, worksite availability, and provider and site staffing as we head into late spring and summer makes it difficult to ensure that SYEP can be operated safely and efficiently. Effective immediately SYEP has been suspended for Summer 2020.
Special programming available for NYC youth through various service options:
NYC Teens ages 14—15 can participate in paid project-based activities which will help them explore different career opportunities
Young people ages 16—24 can apply for paid summer jobs in a variety of industries throughout NYC
What the Program Offers?
Who Can Apply?
SYEP is open to NYC youth who meet the following requirements*:
Must reside within the five boroughs of New York City
Be legally allowed to work in the United States
* Some service options have additional eligibility requirements.
Only go outside for essential tasks. Those tasks include working for an essential business, getting groceries and supplies or securing necessary medical care. If you must go outside, keep at least six feet of distance between yourself and others and wear a face covering.
Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds every time, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
COVID-19 is a disease that can affect your lungs and airways.
Fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees F or 38.0 degrees C or greater)
Shortness of breath (trouble breathing)
Some patients also report:
Loss of a sense of taste or smell
If you have any of these symptoms, and they are not due to a preexisting health condition such as asthma or emphysema, you may have COVID-19 and you must stay home.
If you have mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself at home immediately. After three to four days, if you still feel sick, contact your health care provider. If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 911.
Get Information and Help the City Learn More About the Spread of COVID-19
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in self-isolation, sign up for the NYC COVID-19 Engagement Portal to provide valuable, confidential information to the City and to allow the City to share important information with you directly.
People who do not show symptoms may still be able to spread COVID-19. A face covering can help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to other people, so you should wear one whenever you leave the home.
A face covering can include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves and bandanas. Do not use health care worker masks, as those must be preserved for people in the health care system.
Even if you have a face covering, continue to stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with other people.
with problems like stress, depression, anxiety, or drug and alcohol use. For you or someone you care for.
Text “WELL” to 65173*
*message & data rates may apply when using the SMS service
In danger or need immediate medical attention? Call 911 Now.
Helping New Yorkers in Crisis
NYC Well is your connection to free, confidential mental health support. Speak to a counselor via phone, text, or chat and get access to mental health and substance use services, in more than 200 languages, 24/7/365.
For Relay Service for Deaf/Hard of Hearing: Call 711
Español: Press 3
中文: Press 4
Interpreters are available for 200+ languages. Stay on the line, and you will be connected with a counselor who can connect you to translator services. NYC Well Counselors are trained to accept calls from deaf and hard of hearing individuals using video relay services.
At any hour of any day, in almost any language, from phone, tablet or computer, NYC Well is your connection to get the help you need:
Suicide prevention and crisis counseling
Peer support and short-term counseling via telephone, text and web
Referrals and warm transfer to other services
Follow-up to check that you have connected to care and it is working for you
Free Groceries at the Kingsbridge Armory
By Síle Moloney
THE KINGSBRIDGE ARMORY (pictured) has been approved for temporary use as an emergency food hub amid the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo
Bronx Community Board 7 confirmed on Saturday, April 4 that NYCEDC have authorized the use of the Kingsbridge Armory by NYC Emergency Management in collaboration with the National Guard and NYC TLC for food packaging and delivery.
Families that sign up through this portal can register for a box with 2 days’ worth of food and have them delivered by TLC-registered taxi drivers. Criteria for families are below and TLC-licensed drivers can sign-up here to work on this campaign. They are compensated at $15/hour plus $5/hour for expenses.
Please see below for details on each of these programs.
The GetFoodNYC program is available to you if you:
Are unable to go out and get food for yourself, AND
Do not have someone else in your household who can get food for you, AND
Do not have a family member, friend, or neighbor who lives nearby who can get food for you, AND
Do not receive food from Meals on Wheels, God’s Love We Deliver or a similar service, AND • Are not able to afford food delivery from a restaurant or grocery store.
If you qualify, you should note that:
Each household can only make 1 order every two days.
Currently, orders are not recurring. If you need additional food, you should submit a new order. • Orders placed before 11 AM will be delivered within 2 days of the order date. Orders placed after 11AM will be delivered within 3 days of the order date.
Each person who needs food will be given one box, which is designed to last 2 days.
GetFoodNYC will deliver to a maximum of 2 people in each household.
The amount of food delivered is based on the number of people in your household who need food from this service.
GetFoodNYC will collect information about any dietary restrictions but cannot guarantee those requests can be met, based on food supply
TLC Driver Food Delivery
The City has created the GetFoodNYC Food Delivery Program to provide food for coronavirus (COVID-19)-vulnerable and food-insecure New Yorkers not currently served through existing food delivery programs.
We are asking TLC-licensed drivers to participate in this important work by assisting in delivering food to New Yorkers who must stay home.
Register by providing your name, phone number, email, TLC license number, and details on getting paid
Sign up for your first shift in the app
All drivers who have completed food deliveries will be paid $15/hour, plus a $5/hour mileage reimbursement. No routes will involve tolls.
Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are not initially selected, we hope to reach you in the days ahead as demand for meals increases. If you have any issues signing up, contact email@example.com
Next Generation Learning Standards-Aligned ELA & Math Assessments Delayed to Begin in Spring 2022
Elementary-and Intermediate-Level State Assessment Contract Extended
The State Education Department announced the cancellation of the June 2020 administration of Regents Exams and today released guidance on modifications to requirements for students to graduate and earn their high school diplomas, credentials and endorsements.
In addition, due to the school closures related to COVID-19, the Department delayed the rollout of state assessments aligned to the grades 3-8 Next Generation Learning Standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics for one year, to spring 2022. Similarly, the alignment of state assessments to the New York P-12 Science Learning Standards will begin in spring 2023. Further, the state extended its current Grades 3-8 ELA and Math Testing contract by one year.
“In times of crisis difficult decisions must be made and the Board of Regents knows these are ultimately the right ones for New York’s students,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “We are putting the safety of children, families and educators first, while ensuring that the hard work done by our students and teachers is honored. These are extraordinary decisions for an unprecedented time, and we thank our school communities for their support and continuing dedication during the statewide school closure.”
“Every day we see more and more examples of the tireless dedication of educators, administrators and parents to support their students as they continue to learn and work toward a meaningful diploma during the state of emergency and we are grateful to them for their efforts,” Interim Commissioner Tahoe said. “During this time of great uncertainty, the Department has developed this guidance to ensure that students who were on track to graduate this year will have that opportunity.”
Regents Exams and Diploma Requirements
The COVID-19 emergency has evolved rapidly, leading to uncertainty as to when regular in-school classroom instruction will be able to resume throughout the state and whether students will be adequately prepared to take the Regents examinations. As a result, the Board of Regents and Department have cancelled the June 2020 administration of the NYS High School Regents Examination Program.
Because of this, the Department has modified the requirements that students must meet in order to earn high school diplomas, credentials, and endorsements. These modifications apply to all students enrolled in grades 7-12 during the 2019-20 school year who were intending to participate in one or more of the June 2020 Regents Examinations.
Students who, during the June 2020 examination period would have taken one or more Regents examinations, will be exempted from passing the assessments in order to be issued a diploma. To qualify for the exemption, students must meet one of the following eligibility requirements:
The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have earned credit in such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or
The student is in grade 7, is enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and will have passed such course of study by the end of the 2019-20 school year; or
The student is currently enrolled in a course of study culminating in a Regents examination and has failed to earn credit by the end of the school year. Such student returns for summer instruction to make up the failed course and earn the course credit and is subsequently granted diploma credit in August 2020; or
The student was previously enrolled in the course of study leading to an applicable Regents examination, has achieved course credit, and has not yet passed the associated Regents examination but intended to take the test in June 2020 to achieve a passing score.
Languages Other Than English (LOTE) locally developed Checkpoint B examinations;
Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential and +1 Pathway;
use of safety nets;
diploma endorsements including Honors, Mastery and CTE Technical Endorsement; and
NYSED will develop guidance on how schools and districts should record the exemptions from examination requirements. Student transcripts should not reflect an examination score for any examination for which the student is exempted.
Therefore, the Next Generation ELA and Mathematics Implementation Timeline has been updated to reflect that state assessments will be aligned to the new learning standards in Spring 2022 to allow districts to make up the professional learning time lost by the school closures related to COVID-19. The overall timeline for the implementation of the Next Generation ELA and Mathematics Standards is now as follows:
September 2017: Adoption of NYS Next Generation Learning Standards.
Phase I: Raise Awareness (Winter 2018-Winter/Spring 2019): Professional development on NYS Next Generation Learning Standards; two-day assessments measuring the 2011 P-12 Learning Standards.
Phase II: Build Capacity (2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21)*: Professional development continuing on NYS Next Generation Learning Standards; two-day assessments measuring the 2011 P-12 Learning Standards.
Phase III Full Implementation (September 2021 – ongoing): Full implementation of the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards.
Spring 2022: New grade 3-8 tests measuring the NYS Next Generation Learning Standards.
*The 2019-20 assessments were not given due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This delay affords NYSED the opportunity to better align this transition with the implementation of the New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards as well.
The transition to new exams measuring the new New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards in Grades 5 and 8 will begin in spring 2023. This will allow districts to make up the professional learning time lost by the school closures related to COVID-19. Detailed information and a revised timeline on the activities to engage and assist districts with their local implementation over this multi-year phase-in are available on our Curriculum and Instruction website.
Elementary-and Intermediate-Level State Assessment Contract Extended
In March, the Department made the unprecedented decision to suspend administration of the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math assessments for the remainder of this school year, due to the statewide closure of schools related to COVID-19. At the time of this decision, the state assessments were prepared and ready to be administered. To make use of these assessments that were developed by New York State educators and due to the delay in the timeline for assessments based on NGLS, the Department has extended the state’s current contract with Questar Assessment, Inc.
The Office of the State Comptroller approved an extension of the Questar contract to administer both the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math operational tests and the spring standalone field tests (SAFT), based on these extraordinary circumstances. NYSED has cancelled the current Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new assessment vendor contract and will reissue it at a later date.
NYSED and the Board of Regents remain in continued contact with the Department of Health, the Division of Homeland Security, the Office of Children and Family Services and the Governor’s Office. As the situation has evolved, so have our guidance and resources, which are continually being updated and added to the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 website.
New York cancels June Regents exams due to coronavirus
Teacher Marisa Laks, center, works with students in 2014 ahead of a Regents exam the following week.
PHOTO CREDIT: Patrick Wall
The Ready or Not Newsletter: Join the conversation about college preparation and completion.
New York’s high school Regents exams scheduled for June will be canceled, Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa announced Monday.
Students in New York must take five Regents exams to graduate from high school. Exams are also scheduled for August, but it’s not yet known whether those will be canceled.
Districts will receive more guidance Tuesday on graduation standards, Rosa said during a virtual April Board of Regents meeting. That will include more clarity on August tests, according to the state education department.
The decision is not surprising. The state had previously canceled all standardized exams, including reading and math exams for students in grades 3-8, after receiving assurance that such a move would be approved by the federal government. Educators and elected officials have increasingly called for the exams to be canceled as districts remain closed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. They worry that students learning remotely will be ill-prepared for the tests.
But canceling the exams also raises big questions about how students would be determined eligible to graduate from high school.
Map of free food resources across the city, including food pantries and Grab & Go meals at NYC Schools, available for all children or adults in need
To sign up for SNAP benefits or cash assistance from home
NYC Food Delivery Assistance
If you cannot go out to get food, no one can bring you food, and you are not able to use private delivery options, New York City will deliver emergency meals to you in the coming days. Check your eligibility and sign up
● Text ‘COVID’ to 692-692 to get important COVID-19 related updates sent straight to your phone. You can text ‘COVIDESP’ to get updates in Spanish.
Specifically, City and State officials have released information on additional unemployment resources as a result of the CARE Act that was passed on 3/27/20. Specifically there are new and additional unemployment benefits called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that is available to those who are not typically eligible for unemployment insurance including self-employed/1099 workers, part time workers, and those who were not working for an extended period of time. Impacted students can apply by phone or online. We encourage all campuses to share this information with all students broadly via digital, faculty, student affairs and general college communications. More information can be found at: https://labor.ny.gov/ui/pdfs/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.pdfand https://www.labor.ny.gov/ui/cares-act.shtm.There is also a hotline NYC WELL staffed 24/7 with counselors, described as follows:An infectious illness outbreak such as this one can be stressful to you, your loved ones, and your friends. It is natural to feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious, and afraid, or to experience other symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping. To reduce your stress and to manage the situation more resiliently, try to remain positive, remind yourself of your strengths, connect with friends and loved ones and use healthy coping skills. NYC Well’s website offers a number of well-being and emotional support applications (apps) that can help you cope.If your symptoms of stress become overwhelming, reach out for support and help. You can contact NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline, staffed by trained counselors. They can provide brief counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages.
When Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that public schools are shutting down from Monday, March 16 until Monday, April 20, to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many people felt relieved as well as uncertainty about what it’ll mean for students who still have a few months left of the school year.
Chancellor Richard Carranza said that while the city didn’t have an immediate plan for what the rest of the school year will look like during the pandemic’s containment period, they would have more answers about remote (or online) learning as they train teachers from Tuesday, March 17, to Thursday, March 19.
“We’re transitioning to remote learning so our students can stay on track while remaining safe and healthy,” a Department of Education (DOE) spokesperson told QNS. “This is an ever-changing situation, but we are committed to providing our students and educators the opportunity to remain connected and engaged with their course content.”
The most pressing issue is to get students electronic devices to use at home as well as internet access, as public services like the Queens Public Library will be closed until further notice to slow the spread of the virus.
Carranza said that out of 1.1 million students in the New York City public school system, roughly 300,000 don’t have electronic devices.
The DOE is partnering with companies like Apple to get students electronic devices such as iPads. The first batch of 25,000 iPads will be delivered to students some time next week, according to a DOE spokesperson.
But the DOE is also working with internet providers like Spectrum to guarantee internet access for students.
As of Monday, March 16, Spectrum is offering households with K-12 and college students free WiFi access and broadband (high-speed internet) for the next 60 days. But this only applies to households who do not already have a Spectrum WiFi and broadband subscription.
To enroll, or to ask for more information, call 1-844-488-8395 or go to spectrum.com.
Installation fees will be waived for new student households. For most new customers, self-installation is an option and free professional installation is also available.
For customers where self-installation is available, equipment and instructions can be shipped directly to the customer at no charge. For customers who have never had Spectrum services at their address, professional installation is required.
For those struggling to pay their Wi-Fi bills as a result of COVID-19, a Spectrum agent told QNS that the billing department is willing to make accommodations.
Spectrum will also open its Wi-Fi hotspots across their footprint for public use. They said they don’t have data caps or hidden fees.
Some of these offerings also apply to businesses.
Other internet providers are also offering free Wi-Fi and hotspots in public spaces include Comcast via their Xfinity brand and AT&T.
Although public schools are closed, they will remain open for grab-and-go lunches from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Any and all students, whether they’re in pre-K or 21 years old, can go to any school in order to pick up their breakfast and lunch — they do not need to be enrolled in the school where they pick up their meals. Meals will be available outside of the main entrance of every school.
Altice USA Brings Free Broadband to K-12 and College Students During Coronavirus Pandemic
Mar 13, 2020
In response to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, Altice USA has taken several steps to ensure that Americans within the communities we serve have reliable access to high-speed broadband connectivity to keep them connected to the people, information, and resources they rely on.
Altice USA is committed to helping schools and students stay connected during this unprecedented time. For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, we are offering our Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within our footprint.
Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, eligible households interested in this solution can call:
866-200-9522 to enroll in Optimum region
888-633-0030 to enroll in Suddenlink region
In addition, Altice USA is proud to have joined the Keep Americans Connected Pledge recently announced by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. As part of the pledge, Altice USA has committed for the next 60 days to:
not terminate broadband and voice service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
open our WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Altice USA is also taking various measures to keep our communities safe, healthy and connected; more information can be found at www.alticeusa.com/coronavirus.
“We know that our connectivity services, especially broadband and voice, are essential for fostering learning for students, powering our local businesses, and keeping our communities connected,” said Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei. “Altice USA is proud to do its part in ensuring that customers and businesses in our service areas have reliable access to the connectivity services that are critically important during this rapidly evolving public health situation.”
Delivering on President Trump’s Promise, Secretary DeVos Suspends Federal Student Loan Payments, Waives Interest During National Emergency
Secretary DeVos announced that the office of Federal Student Aid is executing on President Donald J. Trump’s promise to provide student loan relief to tens of millions of borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.
All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.
“These are anxious times, particularly for students and families whose educations, careers, and lives have been disrupted,” said Secretary DeVos. “Right now, everyone should be focused on staying safe and healthy, not worrying about their student loan balance growing. I commend President Trump for his quick action on this issue, and I hope it provides meaningful help and peace of mind to those in need.”
Helping Students Adversely Affected by School Closures, Secretary DeVos Announces Broad Flexibilities for States to Cancel Testing During National Emergency
Secretary DeVos announced students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. Upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students due to the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year.
“Students need to be focused on staying healthy and continuing to learn. Teachers need to be able to focus on remote learning and other adaptations,” the Secretary commented. “Neither students nor teachers need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time. Students are simply too unlikely to be able to perform their best in this environment. Our actions today provide turnkey flexibilities for state and local leaders to focus on the immediate needs of their students and educators without worrying about federal repercussions.”
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources Available
Over the last few weeks, the White House, the Department of Education, and other federal agencies have released a significant amount of guidance to support schools, educators, and families regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). For updated information, please visit Coronavirus.gov, CDC.gov/coronavirus, and USA.gov/coronavirus.
For education-related information, the Department has established a dedicated Coronavirus webpage (ed.gov/coronavirus), which includes resources for institutions of higher education and for K-12.
The website includes guidance for students at institutions of higher education, and covers Coronavirus-related scenarios that could impact students who are enrolled in study abroad programs, students who meet full-time requirements but fall below 12 credit hours, students who are quarantined and miss class, campuses that have temporarily stopped offering ground-based classes to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, and foreign schools that serve Americans who receive Federal financial aid.
The Department has provided additional information for families and communities including:
Information regarding certain flexibilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act, or “ESSA;”
Information regarding services to children with disabilities;
A fact sheet from our Office for Civil Rights on the risk of Coronavirus in schools while protecting the civil rights of students; and a short webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility.
Information on the Family Education Records Privacy Act, or “FERPA,” as it pertains to K-12 and higher education students.
Information for Accrediting Agencies Regarding Temporary Flexibilities Provided to Coronavirus Impacted Institutions or Accrediting Agencies.
The Department will continue to update its website, ed.gov/coronavirus. Please direct education related questions to COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Secretary DeVos Launches Innovative Pilot at Four Universities for Students to Access Financial Aid Refunds
Federal Student Aid (FSA) has launched the myFSApay program pilot for students at Jackson State University, Purdue University, the University of California-Riverside, and the University of Georgia. This innovative pilot will allow students at the participating schools to choose to receive their financial aid refunds—after expenses such as tuition, fees, and room and board are paid—on a prepaid card with a linked online account accessible through the myStudentAid mobile app. Traditionally, when students receive more federal student aid than is billed by their institution, they have been able to receive their remaining financial aid refund via direct deposit, check, or on a prepaid debit card.
Federal Student Aid Features New Customer Experience
Secretary DeVos has delivered on a promise to modernize and personalize the customer experience with federal student aid. On February 24, 2020, the Department announced upgraded changes to StudentAid.gov. The website features new tools that provide borrowers with detailed, personal, and actionable information to make informed decisions about funding their education. FSA is piloting Make A Payment, which allows about 7 million borrowers to schedule monthly payments directly to StudentAid.gov. Other enhanced features include the Aid Summary and Loan Simulator. “We’re delivering on the promise of access to higher education to our nation’s students and their families,” said Mark A. Brown, FSA chief operating officer.
New Civil Rights Initiative to Combat Sexual Assault in K–12 Public Schools
Last month, the Department announced a new Title IX effort to combat the troubling rise of sexual assault in K–12 public schools. It builds on the Department’s work to implement the “Pass the Trash” provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which prohibits schools from simply moving employees who have committed acts of sexual misconduct. Office of Civil Rightswill start nationwide compliance reviews to examine how schools address misconduct complaints under Title IX and will more closely review data on sexual misconduct submitted to the federal government by the nation’s school systems. This new initiative will also include public awareness campaigns, quality reviews of data submitted by school districts on sexual assault offenses, and a nationwide proposal to collect more detailed data on sexual assault and incidents perpetrated by school staff or personnel.
Registration Open for Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) Reunion
Since 1946, educators have travelled to various overseas locations to provide education for the children of U.S. military families stationed there. The July 2020 reunion in Omaha, Nebraska will include those who have retired from or are still working in the Department of Defense Education Activity system, formerly known as DoDDS.
Parent to Parent Program Empowers Parents
The Military Child Education Coalition Parent to Parent program empowers parents to be their child’s strongest advocate on social and educational issues through their Parent Workshops. More than 260,000 parents have attended these workshops since the program’s beginning in 2006. Parent to Parent community-based teams offer workshops with practical ideas, proven techniques, and resources to support military families. This program is staffed with military-connected parents who are professionally trained and sourced with materials based on the latest research on a wide range of topics of interest to military families.
Observance of Disabilities Awareness Month
March is Disabilities Awareness month! DoDEA is committed to increasing awareness and promoting independence, integration, and inclusion of all students with disabilities. DoDEA also proudly recognizes the special education teachers who work hard to make a difference for students with disabilities.
Annual Overseas Health Nurses Association Nursing Scholarship
The Overseas School Health Nurses Association annually awards a scholarship to a high school senior attending an international or DoDEA high school. A deserving student pursuing a degree in nursing will receive this $1,000 scholarship.
Relationships Key to Student Success
Through a series of questions and answers, Antoine Sharpe, DoDEA’s 2020 Teacher of the Year, shares his passion, enthusiasm, and commitment to teaching and making a positive and lasting difference in young lives. Read more about Sharpe’s story of being a military-connected child and a former DoDEA student as well as his love of teaching.
Digital Resources Available for Military Families
The Military Child Education Coalition website has essential digital resources for students, parents, and education professionals that are available in multiple formats, including videos, webinars, and downloadable documents.
Highlighting local efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic: In times of crisis, individuals, businesses, organizations, government entities and others are pulling together to help each other out and Touching Base will be featuring these efforts.
Schools Respond to Students in Time of Need
Montgomery County Schools in Maryland extended meal services amid the coronavirus pandemic immediately after ending classes on Friday, March 13, following Governor Larry Hogan’s announcement of school closures. Officials in the school district worked to ensure continued meal services of lunch and breakfast for all of their students, directing them to specific school meal sites and including a grab-and-go service for convenience and safety amid coronavirus concerns. Further, the school system began operating dinner service to students later in the week. Three days in, Montgomery County had provided more than 18,000 meals and is expanding school site coverage to provide nutritious meals to as many children as possible. By week’s end, three meals per day were offered to any student or any child under 18. Get more information.
Discovery Education Launches New Website to Support Continuity of Learning
Discovery Education has created a comprehensive response to the coronavirus outbreak. The three-pronged approach includes the launch of “Discovery Education Experience—the Viruses and Outbreak Channel” to help teachers communicate to students and parents during this crisis. Discovery is also offering free access to the Discovery Education Experience for school systems that are not currently subscribed, through the end of the year.
Activities for Students and Families Stuck at Home due to Coronavirus
Balancing work and family is challenging enough in today’s active society, but doing so in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic can be overwhelming. Erin Higgins, a Department of Education staff member at the National Center for Education Research, shares her experiences working from home, addressing her child’s learning needs, and other responsibilities in a blog post. She includes a list of activities to keep children happy, healthy, and engaged — from monitoring screen time via apps to sorting, matching, and identifying colors by helping with the laundry.
REMOTE LEARNING DEVICES ON LOAN AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS
BREAKING NEWS: TESTING WAIVERS AND STUDENT LOAN RELIEF
Today, in his daily press conference with members of the Coronavirus Task Force, President Trump announced that Secretary DeVos was taking some additional actions to support students, educators, and schools impacted by COVID-19.
First, the Secretary announced that students impacted by school closures due to the pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-20 school year. Upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students because of the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year. Many states have closed some or all schools. Therefore, any state unable to assess its students may seek a waiver from federal testing requirements by completing a form. At the Secretary’s direction, the Department has dramatically streamlined the application process to make it as simple as possible for state leaders who are grappling with many complex issues.
Since student performance, as measured by assessments, is required to be used in statewide accountability systems, any state that receives a one-year waiver may also receive a waiver from the requirement that testing data be used in the statewide accountability system because of the ongoing national emergency.
Second, the Secretary announced that Federal Student Aid (FSA) is executing on the President’s promise to provide student loan relief to tens of millions of borrowers during the national emergency. All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.
The Secretary has also directed all federal student loan servicers to grant an administrative forbearance to any borrower with a federally held loan who requests one. The forbearance will be in effect for a period of at least 60 days, beginning on March 13, 2020. To request this forbearance, borrowers should contact their loan servicer online or by phone.
And, the Secretary has authorized an automatic suspension of payments for any borrower more than 31 days delinquent as of March 13, 2020, or who becomes more than 31 days delinquent, essentially giving borrowers a safety net during the national emergency.
Some borrowers may want to continue making payments, like those seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or those enrolled in a repayment plan with a manageable monthly payment. For borrowers continuing to make payments, the full amount of their payment will be applied to the principal amount of their loan once all interest accrued prior to March 13, 2020, is paid. The Department is working closely with Congress to ensure all student borrowers, including those in income-driven repayment plans, receive needed support at this time.
A borrower who has experienced a change in income can always contact their loan servicer to discuss lowering their monthly payment.