KIPP Family Resources

We are overjoyed to welcome close to 7,000 students and 1,000 staff back into our school buildings for the 2021-22 school year!

The safety of our students, families, and staff is paramount and guides our schools’ operations. We recognize that we live in an ever-changing environment and that we may need to adjust our plans should important health and safety indicators change. KIPP NYC and its schools will continue to provide you with timely information via our website, and by email, text, and social media. Please check this page for the most up-to-date information about our health and safety protocols and resources for your family.

2021-22 School Year FAQ

How does social distancing work in the school buildings? 

While in the classroom, to the best extent possible, students will endeavor to maintain a  social distance of three feet from each other. 

We will mark hallways and common spaces with stickers or floor tape that will denote appropriate distancing between students, and between students and staff. 

For activities such as meals, music, sports, recess, indoor gym, students will endeavor to maintain a distance of at least six feet from each other.

What are the healthy hand hygiene procedures for students?

Students and staff must wash or sanitize their hands:

  • Upon entrance to the school building
  • Before and after eating or handling food
  • After coming in contact with bodily fluids
  • After handling garbage
  • Before and after using shared equipment or supplies
  • After restroom use
  • When hands are visibly soiled

Do you require students, staff, and visitors to wear masks in school buildings?

All staff, students & visitors must wear face masks at all times while in KIPP NYC school buildings and on school grounds. We are requiring all staff to wear KN95 (or N95 or KF 94) masks while in school buildings until further notice given their increased efficacy. This requirement includes small group and one-on-one meetings. This also includes all outdoor school activities, including recess and field trips.

To learn more about acceptable masks, please visit the CDCs Mask Guidance Page

Masks can be any color or design, as long as it is appropriate for school. The mask cannot have any profanity or other objectively offensive markings, words, symbols, etc. displayed or written on it.

Students may remove masks while eating or drinking, or during mask breaks as determined by the teacher.

Do you require students, staff, and visitors to complete a daily health survey?

Yes, all students and staff will submit a daily health survey prior to the start of each school day. Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and see a healthcare provider for testing and care.

Daily temperature checks will only be conducted for staff, students, and visitors that have not completed a daily health screen prior to arriving on campus. If a temperature check is required, anyone who has a temperature that falls below 100.4 will be able to enter the school building.

How do you support the mental health of students and staff in your schools?

We are prioritizing the emotional health needs of our students and staff with the same level of attention and concern with which we are prioritizing physical health. 

We are creating a restorative model in all schools, increasing student opportunities to develop and strengthen social-emotional learning skills, and including circle time or advisory to enhance a sense of student belonging.

We have trained staff members in developing a trauma-conscious lens to enable us to be more attuned to student and family needs as well as building opportunities for resiliency in students. We are committed to being a protective factor for students as well as our families whether we are working with them remotely or in person.

Our social workers and counselors have participated in additional professional development to enter the school year well prepared to respond to the needs of students and families given the challenges arising from the pandemic. 

Social workers and counselors will continue to work with families directly to support them in connecting with resources. 

What other mental health resources are available to KIPP NYC families during this time?

Students and families will have access to KIPP NYC’s Social Work and Counseling team to address social-emotional needs as well as case management and access to resources.

KIPP NYC has partnerships with Northside and Interborough, providing on-site, school-based mental health services to KIPP schools located in Brooklyn, Harlem, and the South Bronx. 

KIPP NYC has a professional partnership with Headway and Ayana Therapy, providing both in-person and teletherapy services. Headway and Ayana each offer accessible, diverse, and culturally competent therapy services for our students and families. We also have a relationship with the Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services for its loss and bereavement programs. 

Our Community Resources page has the most up-to-date programs and services for students and families.

What is the student attendance policy?

Daily student attendance will resume as normal, with students being marked as absent if they are not physically present in school, with the following exception:

If students are required to quarantine due to exposure and/or a positive COVID-19 test, they will have the opportunity to participate in asynchronous learning and will be marked as Remote Attendance Present (REP). This will be determined by students’ daily login to Canvas.

What is the visitor policy?

In order to protect staff and students in our buildings, all visitors wishing to enter KIPP NYC (or DOE) school buildings must show proof of having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, any visitor to the building must show identification, complete the daily health screening, and wear a face-covering at all times while on school property.

Exceptions to the visitor vaccine mandate:

  • Visitors do not include students attending school in a DOE building, including adult students participating in D79, YABC, or DYCD programs.
  • Any guardian needing to register their student for school may enter the building without showing proof of vaccination.
  • Any individual seeking to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at a DOE vaccine site.
  • The delivery personnel may enter the building to place items in a designated area without showing proof of vaccination.
  • A guardian responding to a student’s medical emergency or crisis.
  • Individuals responding to an emergency, including police, fire, emergency medical services personnel, and others who need to enter the building to respond to or pick up a student experiencing an emergency.

Are you holding family meetings and events in the schools?

We are recommending no large gatherings, meetings, events, school assemblies/performances, etc. until further notice.

How do you keep the buildings clean?

KIPP NYC will work with the NYC Department of Education to ensure daily cleaning and sanitizing of all used spaces.

At night, our buildings will be disinfected using electrostatic machines. 

Classrooms will be stocked with spray cleaner and paper towels.

How are you keeping the buildings well ventilated?

KIPP NYC Facilities team will continue to work in partnership with the NYC Department of School Facilities in our co-located buildings to ensure proper air ventilation. Schools use a layered approach to room air ventilation (taking into account the room size, outside temperatures, etc) that can include one or more techniques such as opening windows, adding HEPA filters (there is at least one in each classroom), opening doors, and turning on the fan setting in in-class AC units.

Will there be a school nurse in each building?

Yes, each school building will have a nurse onsite throughout the school day.

Do you test students or staff for COVID-19 in the school buildings?

We test 25% of students and 100% of school-based staff each week.

Outside of school, testing sites in your zip code (including Mobile testing sites) for children can be found here

Additionally, NYC Health and Hospitals offer walk-in testing at a number of locations. Your local City MD offers rapid tests and PCR tests. 

What is the definition of a close contact?

A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet for 10 or more minutes over a 24-hour period of someone who has COVID-19 during their infectious period, regardless of face mask use or the presence of plexiglass or other barriers.

  • Exception: Per NYS guidance, in the classroom setting, students sitting 3 to 6 feet from a student with COVID-19 will not be considered close contacts as long as the student with COVID-19 wore masks correctly and consistently. This exception applies only to students and not to staff. Principals/DOOs will consult with teachers about cases in their classrooms when they are unaware of seating arrangements or mask compliance.
  • Adult to Student Close Contacts: Any student or adult who was within six feet of an adult with COVID-19 for more than ten minutes regardless of wearing a face covering is considered a close contact.
  • Large Spaces: In a large space, people who are within six feet of the positive case are close contacts, regardless of masking, even when the case is a student. Only people who meet this definition should be placed on the close contact list. If it cannot be determined who was within six feet, include the smallest group of students which is likely to have been within six feet on the close contact list.
  • School Buses: When there is a confirmed positive case on a school bus, the entire bus ridership, driver, and attendant will no longer automatically be considered close contacts. If it is possible to identify people who are within six (6) feet of a positive case for at least 10 minutes. When it is not possible to determine close contacts on the bus, all unvaccinated students will be considered close contacts.

Note:  Students or staff identified as close contacts do not have to quarantine provided regardless of vaccination status as long as they participate in the test to stay policy (detailed below).

What are the student and staff quarantine requirements?

Student & Staff – Close Contact Quarantine: Regardless of vaccination status, students and staff will no longer quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case – as long as they do not experience symptoms and participate in the following “test-to-stay” strategy.

Following CDC guidance, KIPP NYC will follow a “test-to-stay” strategy. In practice, this means that if there is a positive case in a classroom, students who were in close proximity to a positive student will no longer have to quarantine and will continue attending school as long as they do not have symptoms and continue to receive negative results from an at-home rapid test.

So how would this work? 

    • Day 1: All students and staff who share a classroom with someone who tests positive will be notified and instructed to use the rapid test kit they were given to keep at home.
    • Day 1: Student takes rapid test #1 at home once notified of a classroom exposure.
      • Negative result: Student continues coming to school as long as the rapid test is negative and as long as  they don’t start having any symptoms
      • Positive result: If the test is positive, you should notify the school immediately and stay home from school until the school gives you instructions on when your student can return (typically, 10 days later).
    • Days 2-4*: Student continues coming to school (if they have no symptoms and if the first rapid test is negative).
    • Day 5: Student takes rapid test #2.
      • Negative result: Student continues coming to school as long as the rapid test is negative and as long as  they don’t start having any symptoms
      • Positive result: If the test is positive, you should notify the school immediately and stay home from school until the school gives you instructions on when your student can return (typically, 10 days later).

*If a student starts having symptoms anytime in Days 2-4, student immediately takes Test #2. 

Students who don’t exhibit symptoms and don’t test positive will continue to attend school. Close contacts need to provide proof of their negative rapid test in order to return to in person learning (we will provide you with instructions on how to submit your results). 

If symptoms develop at any time, students should take a test immediately and quarantine. Any positive test result should be reported to the school immediately.

Students  Isolation Period for Positive Test: Isolation periods for students who test positive are unchanged and are still 10 days long (return on day 11). No negative test is required to return to school after a 10 day isolation.

COVID Exposure outside of KIPP NYC: Students who are not fully vaccinated and experience an exposure outside of the classroom must still quarantine at home for 10 days. If those individuals obtain a COVID-19 test result (a rapid home test is acceptable) on or after Day 5 from exposure, they can return to school from quarantine on Day 8. This requirement applies to siblings quarantining in the same household.

Fully Vaccinated School-Based Staff Isolation Period for Positive Test: the isolation period has changed from 10 days to 5 days. Teachers and school-based staff may now return to work on Day 6 after testing positive for COVID-19 under the following conditions.   

Per State guidance, the positive teacher/school-based staff member must be asymptomatic OR have mild symptoms only:  

  • They must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication;
  • They must not have a runny nose; and/or, 
  • They must have a minimal cough only; cannot be coughing up phlegm.   
  • Symptoms must be improving or mild. 

Quarantine is not required following domestic or international travel. All travelers, domestic and international, should follow all CDC travel recommendations, which include a recommendation to be fully vaccinated prior to travel and, if not fully vaccinated, to quarantine following travel.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine required for students and staff?

Yes, we are requiring all KIPP NYC staff to receive the COVID vaccine. Many of our partners, from afterschool providers to related service providers, have similar vaccine requirements. The vaccine is not required for students to attend school; however, we strongly encourage all students who are eligible to receive the vaccine.

All students ages 5 through 11 who wish to participate in high-risk sports must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Winter and spring participants have until the beginning of their season to be fully vaccinated. High risk sports are football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, lacrosse, stunt, and rugby. 

A COVID-19 vaccination requirement also applies to students participating in high-risk after school extracurricular activities like chorus, musical theater, dance/dance team, band/orchestra (with concern for woodwinds), marching band, cheerleading/step teams/flag team. Students ages five and up must be vaccinated in order to participate in these extracurricular activities. This will affect all DYCD funded programs, sports teams, and general after school activities held by the day schools.

If you are eligible to receive the vaccine, use NYC Health’s Vaccine Finder to search for a location near you.

How do you track student COVID-19 vaccination status?

For those students who are vaccinated, KIPP NYC has developed a system where families can voluntarily upload student vaccination records. Currently, this collection tool has only been made to students 12 years or older. We will provide additional information on the voluntary collection of vaccination records for students ages 5-11.

Are students able to utilize school playground equipment?

Students will be able to use playground equipment. Students and staff should sanitize their hands before and after the use of shared equipment 

How do you conduct music class?

Individuals participating in activities that require projecting the voice (e.g., singing) or playing a wind instrument must be six feet apart. Students/staff will wear masks while singing.

Music that does not require voice/breathing projection can be done with three feet of distance (with masks on), such as playing string or percussion instruments.

Do you offer after-school programming in person?

Yes, schools will offer after-school programming in person. Programs will follow the schools’ health and safety guidelines and protocols, including social distancing and mask-wearing.

Do students have field trips?

Indoor field trips are prohibited until further notice, while outdoor trips are permitted. Students and staff are required to maintain social distancing requirements, and wear a mask throughout the entirety of the field trip indoors or outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Are students able to participate in team sports?

All K-12 levels of sport (low/moderate/high risk) are permitted. All level of play (practice, drills, games, tournaments, etc) are permitted, however, schools must adhere to the following:

  • For all outdoor sports:
    • Staff and students must be fully masked if the core activity requires a distance less than 6 feet. 
    • If distanced 6 ft or more during the sports activity, then masks may be removed
    • For all times when the core activity is not occurring, masks must be worn by all staff/students.
  • For all indoor sports: all staff and students must be fully masked at all times 
  • Capacity Limit: External event attendees/spectators are not permitted until further notice.
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting: At a minimum, schools must rigorously clean and disinfect any shared equipment between games.

Will students continue to receive free meals this year?

All KIPP NYC students receive free meals either as part of the New York City Department of Education’s School Foods program or through KIPP’s own school food program. 

Do you offer transportation to and from school?

KIPP NYC will continue to collaborate with the NYC Department of Education to ensure that all eligible students who ride the bus/train have access to a MetroCard and/or busing services, if eligible. If you have transportation concerns please contact our regional operations team (sstoperations@kippnyc.org) for assistance.

How do you maintain safety standards around transportation to and from school?

KIPP NYC will continue to collaborate with the NYC Department of Education to ensure that all eligible students who ride the bus abide by New York State public transit guidance and health protocols, including wearing a mask or face covering while riding the bus. We expect all bus riders to comply with social distancing measures when entering the building. Many KIPP NYC students, families, and staff use public transportation to travel to and from school each day. We expect those who take public transportation to wear a mask or face covering. Regardless of the means of transportation, we will require any staff member or student with any COVID-19 symptoms to remain home.