2021-22 School Year FAQ

We recognize that we live in an ever-changing environment and that we may need to adjust our in-person instruction plans should important health and safety indicators change. KIPP NYC and its schools will continue to provide all families and staff with timely information by email, text, and social media.

How will social distancing work in the school buildings?

While in the classroom, to the best extent possible, students will 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 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

Will 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. This requirement includes small group and one-on-one meetings (even among staff who are all vaccinated). This also includes all outdoor school activities, including recess and field trips.

Acceptable mask use includes a two layer cloth mask, a surgical mask, or a KN95 mask (or its equivalent). To learn more about acceptable masks, please visit the CDCs Mask Guidance Page

Surgical masks will be made available to all schools.

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.

Will a daily health survey be required this year?

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.

How will 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.

How will you conduct arrival and dismissal?

Upon arriving at school, in accordance with the DOE and NYC DOHMH, school staff will conduct temperature checks for students/staff that have not completed a daily health screen prior to arriving on campus. Students who have a temperature that falls below 100.4 will be able to attend school.

At dismissal time, families are required to remain 3 feet apart in a designated area outside of the building. As much as possible, student dismissal will occur outside. 

What is the visitor policy?

All visitors must complete a health screening upon entry to the school building. Visitor interactions with students and staff will be limited to the purpose of the visit.

In order to reduce the population in the building and assist with social distancing, parents/guardians, child care providers, or other family members must receive prior approval to enter the school building. 

Will you hold family meetings and events in the schools?

We will permit onsite meetings and events for families; however, schools must adhere to all safety requirements and procedures, including health screening, social distancing, and mask wearing.

How will 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?

The 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 will continue to use portable HEPA filters in each room and utilize best practices for increased ventilation (open windows, doors, etc).

Will there be a school nurse in each building?

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

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

We will test all students during their first week onsite. After this initial round of testing, we will test 10% of students onsite each week.

We will test unvaccinated 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 (15 min results) and PCR tests (3-5 day results). 

What conditions will cause you to close a portion of the school or the entire school?

KIPP NYC will continue to work in coordination with the NYC DOE and NYC DOHMH to identify, isolate, and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Given the low positivity rates and lack of COVD-19 spread over the last year, the NYC DOHMH has revised closure triggers to be the following:

Classroom Closures: In the event that there is a confirmed case in a school, all students and teachers in that class are assumed close contacts and will be instructed to self-quarantine for 10 days since their last exposure to that case. Additional staff members and students outside of this classroom may be required to quarantine based on details gathered through contact tracing.

School Closures: A school closure could occur if there are four across four classrooms AND after the DOHMH conducts an investigation they find that all of the cases can be attributed to exposure/transmission in school.

How will you track student COVID-19 vaccination status?

For those students who are vaccinated, KIPP NYC is developing a system where families can voluntarily upload student vaccination records. 

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

At this time, the COVID vaccine is not required; however, we strongly encourage all students who are eligible and staff to receive the vaccine.

If you are eligible to receive the vaccine, use NYC Health’s Vaccine Finder to search for a location near you. You can also check out New York City’s FAQ on the vaccine and access a list of vaccination sites near you.

Will students be 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 will 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.

Will 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.

Will students have field trips?

Yes, schools will offer field trips this year. 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.

Will students be able to participate in team sports?

All K-12 levels of sport are permitted. For outdoor sports, staff and students must be fully masked if the core activity requires a distance less than six feet. When the core activity is not occurring, masks must be worn by all staff/students. For indoor sports, staff and students must be fully masked at all times.

Indoor sporting events are limited to no more than 50% capacity in a given indoor space, and no more than 200 people total in an outdoor venue. These capacity restrictions are inclusive of staff, participants, and spectators. 

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. 

Will 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 will 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. 

Family Communications

Links to recent family emails for 2021-22 will go here.