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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

NYC Public School Students Switch From Zoom To Google For Education Applications

After the New York City Department of Education set up Zoom as the platform for remote learning while all of NYC is on PAUSE, suddenly we heard about "Zoombombing".

Now the NYC DOE, always in control of precarious events (NOT), has re-directed all students and educators to Google applications.

It's always something.

Betsy Combier,
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials 

From: ChiefOperatingOfficer <>
Sent: Monday, April 6, 2020 9:01:51 PM
Subject: Updates on Zoom + Google


The past few weeks have created a unique set of challenges for all New Yorkers--parents, students, educators, and everyone who supports learning across our 1.1 million students. We are in unprecedented times, and yet every stakeholder in the New York City school system has done an incredible job pivoting how, when, and where they work to support our children. 

We know how hard all our DOE staff are working to make working remotely a reality, and we also know you share our concern for safety. We want to make our guidance and expectations clear over the coming days, so you can use various online platforms safely to ensure privacy for all users—yourselves included. 

Last Friday, we shared guidance on videoconferencing. We are happy to report that, following testing and discussion with Google over the weekend, we have determined that Google for Education applications—including Google Hangouts Meet—are safe to use for this purpose. If your school is currently using Google, you should continue to do that. We will soon be sharing guidance that will help you and your staff maximize Google's security features to help protect your school community. 

If you are currently using Zoom for videoconferencing, we are ready to support you in a transition as quickly as possible. We know that for many of you, that won’t mean overnight, but we’ll be supporting you with numerous trainings and guidance to help this process start quickly. Look for the “Make the Move from Zoom to Meet” classes on the Remote Learning Tech Professional Development calendar.  

Please also note we continue to support the use of Microsoft Teams across the DOE. Many of you are already using it. Our classes on "Make the Move from Zoom to Teams" will help you make the transition.

Additionally, we are in continued conversations with Zoom on potential future use of the platform with the DOE. However, until then, our guidance from Friday remains in place: while we recognize the transition won’t happen overnight for many of you, we are asking schools to transition away from Zoom and to other platforms (like Google and Microsoft). We will keep you up-to-date as we continue to review and monitor developments with Zoom. 

Some of this might feel like a sudden transition, but we are here to support you. We know how hard you and your colleagues worked to quickly acclimate to video conferencing tools, and we urgently worked over the weekend to preserve some widely used options while establishing clarity on those that pose a risk to privacy or security.  

In the coming days, we’ll share additional detailed how-to information for staff and families to support the transition to Google Meet and/or Microsoft Teams.  We’ll be adding this information to the pages we link to below. 

We’re so proud of and grateful for your efforts. We will continue to provide guidance on videoconferencing platforms in the days and weeks ahead. 

Thank you again, 

Ursulina Ramirez 
Chief Operating Officer 

Helpful Links 

For Staff 
Calendar of Remote Learning Tech Professional Development Classes: 

How to Create Student Accounts (also helpful for families): 

For Students and Families 

Graduation Rules For NY State After Regents Exams Are Cancelled

New York state announces new graduation rules after cancelling Regents exams due to coronavirus

Albany, N.Y. — High school students in New York state who would have taken the June Regents exam — now canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic — will not need those exams to graduate, the state announced today.

The New York State Education Department announced new guidance for schools and students this morning.

To qualify for the exemptions from the Regents exams, students must meet one of these requirements:
A student must be enrolled in a course that would have ended in a Regents exam, and have earned a passing grade and credit for that class.
If the student is in a Regents class but failed to earn the credit by the end of the year, the student must return for summer instruction to make up the failed course and earn the course credit. That student would get his or her diploma in August.
The student was previously enrolled in the class, achieved course credit but needed to take the test for a passing score.

Student transcripts are not to reflect an exam score for any examination for which the student is exempted, NYSED said.

The 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics are rescheduled to 2022, the state said.

“In times of crisis difficult decisions must be made and the Board of Regents knows these are ultimately the right ones for New York’s students,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “We are putting the safety of children, families and educators first, while ensuring that the hard work done by our students and teachers is honored.

"These are extraordinary decisions for an unprecedented time, and we thank our school communities for their support and continuing dedication during the statewide school closure.”

In addition, if a district can’t provide the full study unit for some reason — whether in school or online — the student would get diploma credit as long as the standards have been met for the work that has been provided, the state aid.

The state also said missing hands-on lab work because of extended school closure or student absence due to COVID-19 won’t stand in the way of a student being exempt from the Science Regents.

Students also can still earn a Regents diploma with Advanced Designation.

Question and answer issued by the state today.


Coronavirus in NY: Cases, maps, charts and resources

Coronavirus in NY: Cuomo extends school, business closures until April 29

Betsy Combier,
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials 

NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza Cancels Spring Break, Infuriating Teachers and Parents

NYC Chancellor Richard Carranza
Below is the e-letter sent out by Chancellor Carranza and the Office of Personnel Investigations (OPI) on April 4, 2020. 

What parents and teachers want to know is:

How are homeless kids getting instruction, if they do not have computers and/or they don't have wireless access to the internet at their shelter?

How is the Department of Education measuring actual learning, achievement and student outcomes?

My experience has shown that the NYC Department of Education is not proactive. The Mayor and Chancellor are reactive, meaning they lack the strategic planning to handle the future, whatever that brings.

And we may never know the exact facts of the success or failure of the remote learning set up and currently mandated by the Mayor and Chancellor. The Mayor and Chancellor buy into the theory that hiding unfavorable information is a good thing. In fact, for almost 10 years I saw charges on the Specifications in 3020-a disciplinary hearings where an educator was charged with making "the NYC Department of Education look bad". If an arbitrator found the person so charged guilty, then he/she could be terminated.

More on this in a future post. 

Stay safe everyone, stay home and wash your hands, protect your loved ones and everyone else in your community. We are in this together. If anyone wants to contact me, I am available here:

Betsy Combier,
Editor, NYC Rubber Room Reporter
Editor, New York Court Corruption
Editor, National Public Voice
Editor, NYC Public Voice
Editor, Inside 3020-a Teacher Trials 

Message from the NYC Department of Education: 

From: Chancellor Richard Carranza <>
To: Chancellor Richard Carranza <>
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2020 00:56:32 +0000
Subject: Spring Recess

Dear Colleagues: 

These are unprecedented times. And throughout, all of you—and especially our dedicated school-based staff—have demonstrated incredible determination and resilience in the face of our ongoing work to transform our school system.   


Throughout this process, we have approached all decisions on the status of our schools with utmost care. That means leading with the health, safety, and continuous learning of our students and staff at the forefront of our minds, while also operating with flexibility and patience.   

As you know, our system has already transitioned to remote learning. As the coronavirus pandemic persists in New York City, and social distancing remains an imperative for all New Yorkers, we must take a new approach to Spring Recess, originally scheduled for Thursday, April 9 through Friday, April 17, 2020. 


For the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers, the City and the State are in agreement that schools must continue to offer remote learning, including during days that were previously scheduled as breaks. As a result, our schools will continue with remote learning through the time originally scheduled for Spring Recess. 

We know that dynamic educators across the City and throughout the school year already bring creativity and flexibility to their instructional programs. Next week, we will release resources to schools that will focus on maintaining education, engagement, and enrichment opportunities for students throughout the time originally scheduled as Spring Recess. 

As with all weeks of remote learning, we will continue to act throughout this time with a clear commitment to community support, educational development, and learning wherever it happens—which right now is in hundreds of thousands of homes all over the City. As we know, staying home also helps keep all of us safe as the presence of coronavirus persists. 


Our objective is to maintain the exciting and enriching aspects that Spring Recess provides at a time where we as a City are staying home and our children will continue to remotely learn.  


DOE will issue additional guidance in the week to come for Spring Recess, including “theme” days (e.g., wellness, world language, computer science, college and career readiness, etc.) and virtual educational resources (e.g., museums, libraries, and cultural institutions).   

We know that many New Yorkers will observe religious holidays (e.g., Passover, Good Friday) in the weeks ahead. Any students and school staff who individually wish to observe those holidays may do so. Staff may request time off for religious observance and use accrued leave for any time taken. If staff request to take days, these requests should be granted in accordance with Chancellor's Regulation C-606 and applicable collective bargaining agreements/contracts. Please note that April 9-10 will not be considered “days off” for the school system. 


We recognize this may feel like a disappointment to many students and schools as we have all been working tirelessly in our transition to remote learning and very reasonably want a break. Many of our educators are parents themselves, and this has been an especially challenging time for them.  


We hear you and recognize that need. That is why we are looking for ways to offer students and school staff with more opportunities to reset and recharge in the weeks ahead. We have finalized arrangements with our union partners at this time to provide four additional leave days to school-based staff who otherwise would have had Spring Recess. We will have additional details to share about these arrangements in the week ahead. 

While it will be difficult for us now, I know we all can do our part by continuing to provide meaningful opportunities for learning, growth, and engagement with our students throughout the previously scheduled Spring Recess. 


Our educators and students have shown valiance throughout these unprecedented times. We are asking for even more now. We thank all of our educators for the sacrifices they’re making in advancing the health, safety, and wellbeing of our city.

Please also see this letter from myself and Dr. Oxiris Barbot, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with important updates, health guidance, and information. 

We are confident that continuing remote learning will help ensure that families adhere to social distancing in the coming weeks, which is imperative to slowing the spread of the virus and keeping ourselves and our neighbors safe. We will have more updates to share soon on the schedule for the rest of School Year 2019-20 as well. We will keep you posted every step of the way. 

In unity,


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