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Now that September is here, we’re all left pondering that timeless question:

Where did our summer go?

This month, it’s GO time for NYC’s public schools, as schools across the five boroughs will be opening their doors to all students for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been a long road to get to this point, but thanks to the hard work of DOE staff members and our partners at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), we’re ready to get the nation’s largest school system back into the classroom for in-person learning on Monday, September 13.

Beyond the first day of school, City families can look forward to schools being closed for Yom Kippur later that week on September 16. There are also a couple of COVID-related deadlines this month for DOE employees and families that should be noted.

So without further ado, here’s a look at what’s happening in NYC public schools this month, courtesy of our official NYC Public Schools Calendar.

NYC Schools Calendar — September 2021

Monday, September 13

First Day of School

For all NYC public school students (Grades K–12)

Thursday, September 16

Yom Kippur

Schools Closed

Mon., Sept. 20—Fri., Sept. 24
Back 2 School CommUNITY Pledge Week
Monday, September 27
Last Day for DOE Staff Members to Obtain Their First Dose of a COVID-19 Vaccine
Thursday, September 30
Last Day for NYC Families to Submit Their Consent Forms for COVID-19 Testing

Some notes about this month’s schedule:

In-Person Learning Returns for All Students on 9/13

The first day of the 2021–2022 school year is Monday, September 13. Learn more about what to expect in City schools this year by checking out our feature, “What Will Schools Be Like in 2021–22?

Still need to register your child for a seat in an NYC public school? Check out the DOE’s “New Students” web page to learn how to register for a seat this fall!

Back 2 School CommUNITY Pledge Week (Sept. 20–24)

The DOE, in partnership with the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, the City Commission on Human Rights, and the Department of Youth and Community Development, is promoting respect, kindness, and civility throughout this week to send a clear message:

Hate has no home in NYC, and our kids are going to lead a future of love, friendship, and respect.

All week long, the DOE is asking students, teachers, and families to take the Pledge to Celebrate Community and participate in suggested activities. Learn more by visiting the Back 2 School CommUNITY Pledge Week web page.

Vaccination Mandate for DOE Staff Members

Per Executive Order, all DOE employees, including school-based staff members, will be required to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. DOE employees will be required to provide proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 27, 2021. To learn more, visit the DOE’s Health and Safety in Our Schools web page.

Submit Your Consent Form for COVID-19 Testing in NYC Schools

As part of the City’s efforts to maintain safe and healthy school environments for all students and staff members, the DOE will conduct random COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated students in every school across the City. Students whose parents have submitted their consent for COVID-19 testing for the 2021–22 school year will be eligible for random testing at a threshold of 10 percent of unvaccinated students per school population (excluding pre-K and kindergarten).

If you have not already done so, we strongly recommend you submit your consent for COVID-19 testing by Thursday, September 30. You can either fill out the consent form online through your New York City Schools Account (NYCSA), or you can print and sign a PDF of the Fall 2021 Student Consent Form and bring it to your child’s school. (For languages other than English, check out the PDFs at the bottom of the “COVID-19 Testing for Students” web page.)


And that’s all for the month of September! On behalf of the NYC Department of Education, we hope everyone has an outstanding start to the 2021–2022 school year!

GIF of anthropomorphic pencils walking in single-file behind a teacher pencil.


Banner photo by Pixabay. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

Official blog for the NYC Department of Education, home of a million students across 1,800+ schools

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