NYC to host virtual Back-to-School forums for 2021-2022 school year –

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New York City will host a series of virtual Back-to-School Family Forums in each borough to help students and families prepare for the first day of school on Monday, Sept. 13.

According to the city Department of Education (DOE), local forums will build on the critical progress made by schools this summer to reconnect with families and prepare them for a full return to in-person learning through Summer Rising, open houses, homecoming events and more.

The forums will be led by community leaders, executive superintendents, borough office staff and experts from the New York City Department of Health. Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter will also make brief remarks at every forum.

Each will be 90 minutes in length, and will include audience question and answer.

Families can register for the forums online at

At the time of registration, participants will be asked if they want to ask a question or provide a comment during the event about a number of categories, including health and safety, academics, special education, mental health, stimulus funding and more.

Each forum will be recorded and posted at and on Parent University so that families may access them at any time.

Interpretation services will be available at every forum, in addition to American Sign Language services.

The Staten Island forum will be held on Thursday from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Translation services available in Spanish, Mandarin, Russian. You can register for the Staten Island forum here.

Forums will be held in each borough on the following dates and will include interpretation for the following languages:

  • Brooklyn | Wednesday, September 1, 2021, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic
  • Queens | Wednesday, September 1, 2021, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. – Spanish, Mandarin, Bengali
  • Bronx | Thursday, September 2, 2021, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. – Spanish, French, Bengali
  • Staten Island | Thursday, September 2, 2021, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. – Spanish, Mandarin, Russian
  • Manhattan | Thursday, September 9, 2021, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. – Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Porter unveiled a 13-page handbook outlining the policies and procedures that families can expect to see this year as all students prepare to return to their classrooms for in-person instruction.

“Today we’re publishing a guide which is going to help parents, help families all over the city, know how this new school year is going to go,” de Blasio said. “All of these things together, layer upon layer upon layer, are going to keep school communities safe and keep our kids safe.”

The handbook was developed using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).

It contains information on things like vaccination and mask requirements, testing, and closures related to the virus. It also outlines certain medical conditions that qualify for remote learning for students.

Officials don’t expect frequent building closures this year, but classroom closures requiring remote learning remain a possibility.

The mayor cautioned that the guidance in the handbook is not yet final and could change in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year on Monday, Sept. 13.