Important Information from the Chancellor

Dear Parents and Families,

On Thursday, a physician residing in Manhattan who had recently worked with patients in Guinea developed a fever. EMS was contacted and the doctor was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where a diagnosis of Ebola was confirmed. This is the first case of Ebola in New York City.

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH) are working together to ensure that families have the most up-to-date guidance about Ebola.

Please click on the link below to read the complete letter and further information from Chancellor Farina:

School Community Ebola

Translations of this letter are available here:

Please visit the or talk to your school nurse for accurate updates about Ebola.

Message From The Chancellor

February 20, 2013

Dear Parents,

I’m writing to inform you that school bus service resumed today, Wednesday, February 20. I am pleased to welcome drivers and matrons, who provide critical transportation services for our students, back to work. Last week, the City accepted a significant number of bids on school-age bus contracts for the first time in more than 30 years, with the potential to secure better bus service for our students, contain soaring costs, and transfer the savings to our classrooms.

I know that the challenges of the past month have been difficult for many families and I am tremendously grateful for everything you have done to support your child’s transportation and learning needs. Please be aware that just like the first day of school, there may be delays and disruptions as buses return to their routes. Please carefully review the following information as bus service resumes:

If you or your child received a MetroCard from your child’s school for use while bus service was interrupted, please note that the card will expire today, Wednesday, February 20. The Department of Education will receive a credit for the pro-rated dollar amount for any cards that are returned. Please help the DOE limit costs by returning these MetroCards to your child’s school.

If your family worked with private transportation providers to transport your child to school, or incurred transportation costs due to the strike (whether by taxi, car service, or use of your personal vehicle), please note that reimbursements and assignment-of-payment accommodations are no longer in effect. Please submit any reimbursement requests by Friday, March 22. Reimbursement forms will remain available on our web site at for the next 30 days.

If your child has an IEP and missed instruction or related services because of the strike, your child’s school or Committee on Special Education (CSE) will reach out to you in the coming days to discuss possibilities for additional supports.

If you have any outstanding issues or questions, you can continue to access up-to-date information by calling our Office of Pupil Transportation hotline (718) 392-8855 and by visiting the route finder online at

Thank you again for your patience and understanding throughout this process. We look forward to welcoming our students back with a reliable and high-quality transportation routine.


Dennis M. Walcott Chancellor

Download the original letter by clicking below:


Update on Possible Bus Strike

 Screen Shot 2013-01-07 at 9.19.13 AM

Update from Chancello Dennis M. Walcott:

January 4, 2013
Dear Parents and Guardians,

I want to update you on the possibility of disruption in yellow bus service, which may impact your child. I am deeply concerned about the impact of a strike on our students and families and want to make sure you are prepared in the event one occurs.

As I mentioned in my letter before the holiday break, we have issued a bid to secure new yellow bus contracts to transport children with disabilities for the 2013-2014 school year. Our current contracts for these bus services will expire at the end of June and competitive bidding will result in the best service at the best price for the City. Please be assured that the bid also will include the same safety provisions that are in place today. Safety is our top priority and will continue to be so under new contracts.

The bus drivers’ and escorts’ union has told us that if the bid does not include an Employee Protection Provision, which the court ruled is illegal to include in our bus bid, then they may strike. A service disruption or strike would affect our most vulnerable children with disabilities the hardest and their families. It also would affect all families and their children who rely on yellow bus service and especially those children whose education was interrupted due to Hurricane Sandy. If there is a strike or service disruption, the following protocols will take effect for families of students who currently receive yellow bus service:

  • All students who currently receive yellow bus service may receive a MetroCard. MetroCards are being made available at the schools and should be requested through your school’s general office. We have already informed the Metropolitan Transit Authority that it may need to accommodate additional riders.
  • Parents of pre-school and school-age children with IEP’s requiring transportation from their home directly to their school as well as parents of general education children in grades K-2 may also request a MetroCard for the parent or guardian to act as the child’s escort to school.
  • As an alternative to MetroCards for parents whose children receive busing from their home, or students in grades K-6 receiving yellow bus service from a school bus stop who live in areas where public transportation between home and school is not readily available, we are offering reimbursement for actual transportation costs. Parents who drive their children to school will be reimbursed are a rate of 55 cents per mile. Parents who use a taxi or car service to transport their child to school will be reimbursed for the trip upon completion of reimbursement forms that includes a receipt for provided services. Requests for reimbursements should be made weekly on forms that will be available on the DOE web site and in your school’s general office. We encourage families driving or using car service to carpool with their neighbors whenever possible.

In the event of a strike, we will let families know as quickly as possible. This would include automatic calls to homes. Any information about disruptions to bus service will be posted on our web site at I urge parents and guardians whose children rely on yellow bus service to regularly check the website for updates. The information will also be provided to the media and to 311.


Dennis M. Walcott Chancellor