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
Corona Virus Update
With coronavirus now prevalent in the New York City area, here are some things to know about the illness, and ways to avoid becoming sick.
- The risk of contracting coronavirus is low, but it can spread from person to person.
- There are no specific vaccines or treatments for coronavirus.
- Medication is available for treatment of symptoms; a vaccine is in development.
- Most people infected may experience mild symptoms; seniors, people with compromised immune systems and patients with pre-existing medical conditions are at higher risk of more serious complications.
- Symptoms are similar to the flu, and include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent possible infection.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- Only use a face mask if you are sick, are a health care professional, or have a compromised immune system that makes you more susceptible to infection.
- Do not touch your face or head with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
- Clean and disinfect any frequently touched objects or surfaces in your home or office.
- Stay home if you aren’t feeling well, but seek medical care immediately if you experience symptoms of coronavirus.
- For questions about coronavirus, call the New York State Health Department hotline at 888-364-3065, or visit the city Department of Health’s website, nyc.gov/coronavirus.
Sources: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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.
WAIVER OF STANDARDIZED TESTS
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March 20, 2020
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.