KIPP Family Resources

Updated November 5, 2021

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 will 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

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. 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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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

We will test all students during their first week on site. After this initial round of testing, we will test 10% of students on-site 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 are the student and staff quarantine requirements?

As you will note below, after a positive diagnosis a positive individual must always quarantine; however, whether a close contact needs to quarantine and the length of quarantine depends on their vaccination status, whether they recently had COVID-19 (positive diagnostic test) and recovered, whether they have symptoms of COVID-19 (and if so, the type of symptoms) and COVID-19 testing.

  The close contact has
COVID-19 symptoms
The close contact does not have COVID-19 symptoms After Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis
The Individual is fully vaccinated or recovered from confirmed COVID-19 in the past three months The close contact must quarantine for 10 days and is encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. In some cases, the close contact may be given the option by NYC Health Department or NYC Test & Trace staff to quarantine for only seven days (returning on day 8) if the close contact gets tested for COVID-19 on Day 5 or later and receives a negative test result, depending on their symptoms. The close contact does not need to be quarantined and can attend school. They are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. The positive individual must quarantine for 10 days and cannot test out of quarantine.
The individual is not vaccinated The close contact must quarantine for 10 days and should get tested for COVID-19. The close contact must quarantine for 10 days and is encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. If they have no symptoms, they can get tested for COVID-19 on Day 5 or later and if they receive a negative test result, they may return on day 8. The positive individual must quarantine for 10 days and cannot test out of quarantine.

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.

When may a student or staff member return to school buildings after they have COVID-19 symptoms?

Should a student or staff member call out sick because they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, the person should remain at home until they fulfill the criteria below for returning to school:

If the individual receives a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test They can return to school when:
At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms started;
They have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine; and
Overall symptoms are improving
If the individual received a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test They can return to school when:
They have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine; and
Overall symptoms are improving
If the individual was not tested for COVID-19 They can return to school when:
At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms started
They have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine; and
Overall symptoms are improving

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.

In accordance with PSAL, CSAA, and citywide policy, student-athletes and afterschool sports participants need to show proof of vaccination to play sports. Participants must get their first dose by the first day of competitive play, which varies by sport. Winter and spring participants have until the beginning of their season to be fully vaccinated. This applies to: Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Wrestling, Lacrosse, Stunt, Rugby, Bowling, and Cheerleading.

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.


How will you track student COVID-19 vaccination status?

We are collecting student vaccination data for Middle School students (and we are already collecting for High School students), regardless of whether they participate in sports or afterschool programming. Vaccination is optional (with the exceptions of the sport’s participants above). This information is kept confidential, and we will only use vaccination status when verifying if students can participate in sports or for contact tracing.

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.

At this time, out-of-tristate area school trips and all overnight trips (local/domestic/international) are not permitted. Trip policies are subject to COVID-19 positivity rates, variants, and continued CDC guidelines.

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. 

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