New York City Public Schools

1. Parents’ Rights and Responsibilities

The Parents’ Bill of Rights, published by New York City’s Department of Education, explains the rights and responsibilities of parents and families of New York City public schools to help ensure that all students get a quality education.

The Right to a Free Public School Education

Parents have the right to a free public school education in a safe and supportive learning environment.

Parents have the right to:

  1. have their child receive a free public school education from kindergarten until age 21, or receipt of a high school diploma, whichever comes first, as provided by law.
  2. have a child with a disability evaluated and, if found to be in need of special education, receive a free, appropriate education from age 3 through age 21, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
  3. have a child who is an English Language Learner receive bilingual education or English as a Second Language, as required by law and regulations.
  4. have their child receive his or her full instructional schedule in accordance with the Department of Education school year calendar.
  5. have their child learn in a safe and supportive learning environment, free of harassment, bigotry and discrimination based on actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, gender, gender identify, gender expression, religion, national origin, citizenship/immigration status, sexual orientation, physical and/or emotional condition, disability, marital status, and political beliefs.
The Right to Be Given Access to Information

The Department of Education and its schools are responsible for providing parents with access to their child’s education records and any available information on educational programs and opportunities.

Parents have the right to:

  1. be provided with translation and interpretation services if the parent requires or requests language assistance in order to communicate effectively with the Department, in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-663.
  2. be provided with information regarding all policies, plans and regulations which require parent consultation at the school, district and/or borough level.
  3. be given access to current information regarding services which are provided by the school system, eligibility requirements for these services, and how to apply for them (i.e., transportation, food services, health services, English Language Learner (ELL) instruction, remediation, special education services, etc.).
The Right to Be Actively Involved and Engaged in the Education of Their Children

Parents have the right to be given every available opportunity for meaningful participation in their child’s education.

Parents have the right to:

  1. feel welcome, respected, and supported in their school communities.
  2. be treated with courtesy and respect by all school personnel, and to be accorded all rights without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, gender, age, ethnicity, immigration/citizenship status, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or economic status.
  3. participate in regular written or verbal communication with teachers and other school staff and share concerns regarding their child’s academic, social and behavioral progress.
The Right to File Complaints and/or Appeals Regarding Matters Affecting Their Child’s Education

Parents have the right to file complaints and/or appeals regarding matters that affect their child’s education.

Parents have the right to:

  1. appeal a transfer to another school based on residency in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-101.
  2. file a complaint regarding corporal punishment in accordance with Chancellor’s Regulation A-420.
Parents Responsibilities

All Parents Are Responsible for:

  1. sending their child to school ready to learn.
  2. ensuring that their child attends school regularly and arrives on time.
  3. being aware of their child’s work, progress, and problems by reading school notices, talking to their child about school, looking at their child’s work and progress reports, and meeting with school staff.
  4. maintaining verbal and/or written contact with their child’s teachers and principal about the progress of their child’s education.
  5. adhering to all school policies and applicable Chancellor’s Regulations that pertain to their children’s education.
  6. responding in a timely manner to communications from their child’s school.
  7. attending all meetings and conferences requested by the school that pertain to their child.
Parents Should Also:
  1. provide a supportive home setting for learning where their child learns that doing his/her best in school is important.
  2. reinforce at home the importance of acquiring the knowledge, skills and values needed to function effectively in society.
  3. volunteer time, skills or resources in the school when needed and where possible.
  4. take part in school and community programs that empower parents to participate in making educational decisions.
  5. become active members of the school’s Parent Association or Parent-Teacher Association

Click here and scroll to the bottom to view the entire Parents Bill of Rights in your preferred language.
Click here to view the Bill of Rights for Parents of English Language/Multilingual Learners.

Test yourself on how much you know about your rights as a parent of New York City public schools.
Maria is 20 years old and does not have a high school diploma. She can go to a New York public school.

  1. Fatima does not have immigration papers but her child can go to a New York public school.
  2. No one in the school may ask about the child’s or family’s immigration status.
  3. Although some school forms ask for a social security number, parents and students do not  need to give this information.
  4. Parents have the right to decide whether they want their child to take bilingual education or ESL.
  5. Parents have the right to have interpreters at meetings
  6. Parents and guardians have the right to receive school related information in their native languages.
  7. Students are entitled to receive all school services, including free lunch, free breakfast, transportation, and educational services, even if they or their family are undocumented and don’t have a social security number.
  8. The parent coordinator is responsible for helping to address parent concerns and supporting parent involvement in the schools.
  9. Students generally are expected to attend school for at least 90% of the school year.

All the statements above are true! To learn more about your rights, read “ Know Your Rights ” by Advocates for Children. Translated versions are available.

2. School Rules

Click here for the Discipline Code, also known as Citywide Behavioral Expectations to Support Student Learning, and for the Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities K-12 to learn what your child’s rights and responsibilities are as well as standards of behavior expected and the responses if these standards are not met. Translations are available on the Discipline Code web page.

The “Respect for All” web page, published by New York City Department of Education, describes what happens to a student who discriminates against or harasses another student and what you should do if you believe another student has harassed or discriminated against you.

Visit Respect for All page. You can view the page translated by clicking on your preferred language at the top of the page.

3. School Options and Enrollment

If a child who is 21 or under, is a New York City resident, and is behind in credits or has dropped out of high school, visit

  • Young Adult Borough Centers (YABCs)
  • Transfer Schools
  • TASC programs

Charter schools are independent public schools, governed by their own not-for-profit boards of trustees. All students eligible for admission to a traditional public school can apply to a charter school. Students are admitted through a lottery, but charter schools do give preference to siblings of students already enrolled in the school and students living in the charter school’s district.

To learn more about charter schools, click and read Facts, Q & A.

OSE is in charge of student enrollment from pre-kindergarten to high school. This office also oversees admission to gifted and talented programs, special education placement, and school transfers.


Address & Telephone



1 Fordham Plaza, 7th Floor, Bronx, NY 10458
Phone: 718-741-8495

7, 9, 10


1230 Zerega Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462
Phone: 718-828-2975

8, 11, 12


1780 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230
Phone: 718-758-7687

17, 18, 22


415 89th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11209
Phone: 718-759-4914

20, 21


1665 St. Mark’s Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11233 
Phone: 718-240-3600

19, 23, 32


29 Fort Greene Place, Room BE12
Phone: 646-285-8152 *general education only

13, 14, 15, 16


131 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-935-4908 Staten Island
**special education only

13, 14, 15, 16


333 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212-356-3700

1, 2, 4


388 West 125th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10027
Phone: 212-342-8300

3, 5, 6


28-11 Queens Plaza North, Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 718-391-8386

24, 30


30-48 Linden Place, Flushing, NY 11354
Phone: 718-281-3791

25, 26


82-01 Rockaway Boulevard, Ozone Park, NY 11416
Phone: 718-348-2929



90-27 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11435
Phone: 718-557-2774

28, 29

Staten Island

715 Ocean Terrace, Building A, Staten Island, NY 10301 
Phone: 718-420-5629


4. Standardized Tests

How can I prepare my child for the tests? Here are some tips from New York City Department of Education:
  • Make sure your child is completing and understanding schoolwork and homework.
  • Have regular conversations with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and the ways you can reinforce learning at home.
  • Here are more ideas from the parents who are enrolled in the English and Family Literacy program in the Center for Immigrant Education and Training at LaGuardia Community College.
What Can You Do the Night Before the Test?
  1. Study math questions with my child.
  2. Prepare all tools my child needs for the test such as a calculator, pencils and an eraser.
  3. Say to my child:
    • Read questions very carefully.” (Sometimes children just want to finish the test fast)
    • Relax.”
    • Concentrate on the test.”
    • Don’t leave the questions blank” (Answer every question because a child does not lose points for incorrect answers.)
    • “Don’t forget to write your name.”
    • “Go to bed early.”
    • “The test is important for your future.”
What Can You Do the Morning of the Test?
  1. Cook a good breakfast. For example, egg, cereal, milk, toast etc…
  2. Have your child, wear layers of clothes. (In case the room is too cold or too hot)
  3. Say to your child:
    • “Don’t go too fast.”
    • “Don’t panic.”
    • “Don’t cheat.” (The test will be invalidated and there will be a consequence)
    • “Go to the restroom before the test.”
    • “Good luck.”
  4. Give your child a big hug and kiss.

5. English Language Learners

The Department of Education of New York City offers bilingual programs to serve the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs)—students who speak a language other than English at home and score below proficient on English assessments when they enter our school system.
Transitional Bilingual Education and Dual Language programs strengthen students’ native language development and content knowledge while they build their social and academic English skills. English as a Second Language (ESL) programs use strategies for English language development with native language support so that students develop language and content knowledge in English.

  1. Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) programs
    These programs include language arts and subject matter instruction in the students’ native language and English as well as intensive instruction in English as a Second Language. As the student develops English proficiency using the strengthened knowledge and academic skills acquired in the native language, instruction in English increases and native language instruction decreases.
  2. Dual Language programs
    These program provide half of the instruction in English and half in the native language of the ELLs in the program (e.g., Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole). Students of the native language are taught alongside English-speaking students so that all students become bicultural and fluent in both languages.
  3. ESL (English as a Second Language) programs
    These programs provide all language arts and subject matter instruction in English through the use of specific instructional strategies. Support in the native language may be available.

6. FAQs for Parents of English Language Learners (ELLs)

  • Step 1. Parents complete a Home Language Identification Survey (HLIS). This survey shows to school staff what language you use in your home.
  • Step 2. Your child takes an English proficiency test (LAB-R) if she/he uses a language other than English.
  • Step 3. Your child’s school sends you the test result. The test result determines if your child needs English language development support services.

Schools are responsible for identifying, notifying, and placing students in ELL instructional programs.

Orientations for parents of ELLs at your child’s school.

In the orientations, you can:

  • Get materials about ELL programs in your home language
  • Ask questions about ELL services (with assistance from a translator, if necessary).

At the end of each orientation, school staff collect the Parent Survey and Program Selection Form, which indicates the program that you are requesting for your child.

When your child passes the NYSESLAT (New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test), he or she can enter a monolingual instructional program.
(It is recommended that Dual Language students remain in the program for the length of their tenure.) If your child transitions to all-English monolingual classes after becoming proficient in English, he or she can receive bilingual or ESL support, as needed.
For more information visit

7. Special Education


New York City Department of Education

New York City Department of Education offers special education services for children with disabilities. If you receive a letter about your child being recommended for evaluation for special education, contact the principal or teacher. Each student who is recommended for special education is evaluated at their school by an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, which is comprised of school staff and a student’s parents.

Click to find the answers to the following questions:

  • What kinds of services are available?
  • Who is entitled to special education?
  • How can I get services?
  • What are parent’s right?

Special Education District 75

District 75 offers citywide educational, vocational, and behavior support programs for students who are on the autism spectrum, severely emotionally challenged, and/or multiply disabled. District 75 consists of 56 school organizations, home and hospital instruction, and vision and hearing services. The schools and programs are located at more than 350 sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and Syosset, New York.

Schools are responsible for identifying, notifying, and placing students in ELL instructional programs.

  1. The Basic List of Students’ Rights in New York City Public Schools & Rights of Students with Disabilities
  2. “Who Does What” for a child with special needs in the New York City Department of Education
  3. Visit Advocates for Children of New York for information.

8. Gifted and Talented Programs

  • The New York City Department of Education offers learning opportunities to children with exceptional capacity or creative talent.
  • Gifted and talented programs are district-based and begin in kindergarten.
  • Gifted and talented students are identified after a testing process and are placed in gifted and talented programs located in various schools throughout New York City.
  • While gifted and talented programs in elementary schools offer academic advancement, programs for middle school students can also offer services to students with artistic talent (visual arts, dance, music, etc.)

For more information visit the New York City Department of Education’s Gifted & Talented web page.

Schools are responsible for identifying, notifying, and placing students in ELL instructional programs.

  1. The Basic List of Students’ Rights in New York City Public Schools & Rights of Students with Disabilities
  2. “Who Does What” for a child with special needs in the New York City Department of Education
  3. Visit Advocates for Children of New York for information.

9. Promotion and Graduation

The New York City Department of Education established Chancellor’s Regulation A-501 to end social promotion and ensure that students who are promoted are prepared academically for the next grade level. The promotion policy is as follows for each grade:

Kindergarten and Grades 1 and 2

Students have to show progress towards meeting the Primary Literacy Standards and the New York State Learning Standards for Mathematics.

Grades 4 and 6 students must:
  • Meet New York State standards for Language Arts and Mathematics
  • Achieve at or above Proficiency Level 2 on the State Language Arts and State Mathematics assessments.
  • Have 90% attendance
Grades 3, 5, and 7 students must:
  • Achieve at or above Proficiency Level 2 on the State Language Arts and State Mathematics assessments.
Grade 8 students must:
  • Achieve at or above Proficiency Level 2 on the State Language Arts and State Mathematics assessments.
  • Pass all core academic subjects (Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies)


Grades 9-12 students must:
  • Accumulate a minimum number of credits:
  • Grade 9: 8 credits
  • Grade 10: 20 credits
  • Grade 11: 30 credits
  • Grade 12: 44 credits in specified areas
  • Have at least 90% attendance
  • Successfully complete standards in academic subject areas
English Language Learners

For all grades except grade 8: English Language Learners (ELLs) enrolled for fewer than two years are exempt from the promotion standards.

ELLs enrolled for two to three years will be evaluated based on a comprehensive assessment of students’ class work, test results, and attendance.

ELLs enrolled for four or more years who do not have an approved extension of services will be evaluated based on standard promotion criteria.

For grade 8: ELLs enrolled for fewer than two years must pass core academic subjects. ELLs enrolled for two and three years must pass core academic subjects, achieve a Level 2 or above on the State Mathematics assessment, and demonstrate gains in English Language Arts State assessments (State ELA assessment or NYSESLAT). All ELLs enrolled for four or more years will be evaluated based on standard promotion criteria.

Special Education Students

Students in all grades with “standard promotion criteria” listed on page 9 of their IEP are subject to the promotion criteria listed above. Students with “modified promotion criteria” on page 9 of their IEP will be evaluated based on these stated criteria.

For all grade 3, 5, 7, and 8 students who score Level 1 on either the State English Language Arts (ELA) or Mathematics assessments, there is an appeal process that provides for an automatic, mandatory review of student work.

Teachers will create a portfolio for each student, which may include standard math work, leveled books from the classroom library or a standard reading passage, writing sample(s), and standards-based class work.

Using standard criteria, teachers will indicate whether the student’s work is comparable to Level 2 and submit the portfolio to the principal for review. The portfolio is then reviewed by the principal to confirm that the student’s portfolio shows evidence of comparable Level 2 work. If that criterion is met, the principal forwards the portfolio to the Community Superintendent for consideration. The Community Superintendent makes the final promotion decision.

Additionally, students may take the summer citywide test in the required subject(s) in August and may be promoted if they achieve Level 2 or higher on the required test(s).

For grade 8 students who fail a core course, there is no automatic appeal. However, students are given the opportunity to attend summer school to pass the required course(s) for promotion to the next grade.

Parents also may submit an appeal in writing to their principal at any time after they are notified in June that their child does not yet meet promotion standards. However, a parent appeal will be considered by the principal and Community Superintendent after summer school has been completed and students have had an additional opportunity to meet the required promotion criteria.

A parent appeal will be granted if the Community Superintendent determines, based on a review of a complete student portfolio, summer test score(s), summer school work, and any summer school teacher observations that the student has met the required criteria and is prepared for the next grade level.

As part of the Parent Appeal process in August, parents may review their child’s portfolio with the principal or the Community Superintendent in order to understand better how their child’s work was assessed.

New York State High School Graduation Requirements differ depending on the year a student first enters 9th grade.

Students can get a Graduation Requirements card from his or her Guidance Counselor. The cards include the credits, Regents exams, and scores required for high school graduation. The cards areintended to help students and parents, in consultation with the school counselor, determine how many credits, the distribution of credits by subject area, and the scores required on the Regents Exams to receive a local, Regents, or Advanced Regents diploma.

For more information visit the New York City Department of Education’s web page on Graduation Requirements.

10. Tutoring Services

For current information on Supplemental Educational Services (SES) visit the New York City Department of Education .

11. Getting Involved in Schools

Children do better in school when their parents are actively involved. Parent involvement is more than just receiving information about what is happening in the schools. Parents have many opportunities to take on leadership roles and to have influence in school communities. Here are just a few of the ways that family members can get involved in schools:

“Getting involved” can mean different things for different people. For parents, getting involved can mean helping out at school, getting involved in a parent association or parent-teacher association, or getting involved on a district or citywide level. For others, getting involved could mean volunteering or donating money.

Following are opportunities for parents to get involved in New York City public schools:

  • speak about their children’s progress with the teacher
  • see their children’s portfolios
  • ask questions about their children’s report cards
  • learn about tests their children need to take
  • learn about the school operation
  • share ideas with other parents about the school
  • organize fundraisers to support children’s learning
  • work with other parents and the school staff.
  • participate in making educational decisions about their schools
  • look at the school budget
  • advise Principal for making important decisions
  • approve school zoning lines
  • evaluate community superintendents
  • express their opinions about the school policies in the school district

If you are interested in volunteering at schools, please contact the Parent Coordinator at your child’s school. You can also visit the PA/PTA web page.

For more information visit the New York City Department of Education’s Family Empowerment web page.