Mayor And Chancellor Celebrate First Day Of School With 3K Now In All 5 Boroughs

September 5, 2019

Mayor Bill de Blasio (right) and Schools Chancellor Carranza will visit schools in all five boroughs today to celebrate academic excellence in New York City on the first day of the 2019-20 school year.

The Mayor and Chancellor kicked off their tour of New York City public schools at the brand-new Richmond Pre-K Center on Staten Island, where 3-K for All is now available borough-wide—making the program available to families in all five boroughs for the first time ever. As of September 5, approximately 17,700 students were enrolled in 3-K with total enrollment projected to reach 20,000 this fall. This year’s enrollment will be four times the 5,000 enrolled last year.

“There is nothing like the promise of the first day of school. With four-times more kids getting 3K, more AP classes than ever before, and dedicated teachers in districts facing some of the greatest challenges, this year is guaranteed to be transformative,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Our Equity and Excellence agenda is working. Pre-K is helping to close the achievement gap, graduation rates are up, and more students are college ready. I am so proud of our students and educators. I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish this year.”

“Today, 1 of every 300 Americans sits in a New York City public school – each with a different story behind them and a different dream ahead of them,” said Schools Chancellor Carranza. “As educators, it is our great responsibility to give each student the instruction and support they need to meet the high bar we’ve set. On this first day of the 2019-20 school year, we’re focused on meeting each student where they are, knowing they are capable of reaching any goal they can imagine, and helping them achieve excellence. Let’s get to work!”

Now in its fourth year, the Equity and Excellence for All agenda continues to lead students to historic academic success: the graduation rate is higher than ever, the dropout rate is lower than ever, and more students are college-ready and going to college each year. Test scores continue to rise, and Pre-K for All is showing promising signs of closing the achievement gap on 3rd-grade test scores. The Equity and Excellence for All agenda is expanding to include unprecedented work to address systemic obstacles faced by historically underserved students, schools and communities— including innovative school governance models to promote teacher recruitment and retention, improvements to instruction and school support, diversity grants to school districts to foster integration, and more.

Initiatives that the Mayor and Chancellor are highlighting as part of the City’s academic excellence efforts include:

3-K and Pre-K for All

3-K is the nation’s most ambitious effort to provide universal free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old. In its third year, 3-K for All expansion is far outpacing its planned rollout, now in twelve districts across all five boroughs – double the number of districts serving three-year-olds last year, and reaching 12 districts two years ahead of schedule. Approximately 20,000 children across the city will attend 3-K this year.

Pre-K for All continues to offer a free, full-day, high-quality pre-K seat for every four-year-old who wants one. In 2018-19, 67,886 students participated in Pre-K For All, up from approximately 19,000 prior to this administration.

This school year, over 1,800 DOE district schools, NYC Early Education Centers, EarlyLearn programs, and Pre-K Centers are offering free, full-day, high-quality pre-K. Families can continue to find pre-K seats by calling 311 or visiting

Bronx Plan

Approximately 24,000 students in the Bronx, Central Brooklyn, and the Rockaways are attending the 60 schools benefiting from the Bronx Plan, a collaborative effort between the DOE and UFT. The Bronx Plan is adding resources at these schools to increase teacher retention, reduce teacher vacancies and teacher turnover, and create the conditions for collaborative, empowered school communities. There are 356 approximately 360 staff in “hard-to-staff” licenses at these schools, and schools are entering the year fully staffed with 99 percent of positions filled. Staff in “hard-to-staff” licenses will receive a $7,200 salary differential during the 2019-20 school year.

All Bronx Plan schools also had at least one completed summer renovation project, and 213 total projects have been completed. 57 out of the 60 Bronx Plan schools received interior renovations, and 39 schools had classroom enhancements, as part of the continued effort to make improvements that will most impact students and improve school environments. Other work completed at the first cohort of Bronx Plan includes upgrades to bathrooms, gyms, hallways, libraries, stairwells, and building exteriors. There are 79 facilities projects in progress that will be completed throughout the fall.

At all Bronx Plan “Collaborative Schools,” teachers and principals are working together with other community stakeholders, creating specific solutions tailored to the needs of their school communities to increase student achievement. Projects and initiatives vary for each of the 50 Collaborative Schools, and are being developed by school-based teams starting this fall; schools will be eligible for a grant to complete their project in addition to a differential for teachers in “hard-to-staff” license areas and facilities improvements.

AP for All

Approximately 226,000 students attended high schools with at least five Advanced Placement classes in 2018-19, up from 160,000 students before AP for All started; the number is expected to increase further this year. The AP for All initiative is expanding to 279 high schools this year, including 99 that offered no AP courses before the initiative. In the first two years of the initiative, the number of students at an AP for All school taking at least one AP exam increased 92.1 percent, and the number of students passing at least one AP exam increased 64.9 percent.

AP for All already met its initial benchmark of 75 percent of high school students having access to at least five AP classes in fall 2018, and is on track to meet its goal of ensuring that all NYC high school students have access to at least five AP classes by fall 2021.

In 2018-19, high schools participating in the initiative offered a total of 2,674 AP courses, with about 25 percent of those courses (625) open for the first time last year.

Computer Science for All

Approximately 160,000 students received Computer Science (CS) education in 2018-19, a 72 percent increase since the 2016-17 school year; the number is expected to increase further this year.

To date, CS4All has trained approximately 1,900 teachers across 800 schools in all five boroughs. In the first two years of the initiative, the number of NYC students who took an AP Computer Science exam has quadrupled – 5,190 students compared to only 1,137 students in 2016. NYC had a higher percentage of female, black, and Latino students take an AP Computer Science exam in 2018 than nationwide figures.

Bilingual Education

This fall, approximately 44,000 students will attend approximately 670 bilingual programs in 13 languages across every borough in grades Pre-K-12, including 101 Pre-K Dual Language programs. This administration has added or grown approximately 390 bilingual programs, which prepare students citywide for a global future.

Dual Language programs are designed to continue developing students’ English and home language skills. Dual Language programs serve Multilingual Learners (MLLs) in need of English language development and English-proficient students who are interested in learning another language. Transitional Bilingual Education programs are designed so that MLLs who speak a common home language develop conceptual skills in their home language as they learn English.

Building on this progress, last school year, Chancellor Carranza formally re-named the Division of English Language Learners as the Division of Multilingual Learners in order to honor the value of the hundreds of home languages spoken by New York City public school students.

Restorative Justice & Social-Emotional Learning

The DOE is redoubling its research-driven efforts to create supportive school communities that help students stay in school and succeed academically.

Our investments in the social and emotional well-being of students now extend from pre-K through 12th grade citywide. Through a partnership with Sanford Harmony, all elementary schools now have access to social-emotional learning curriculum, and all middle and high schools will be trained in restorative justice practices over the course of three years.

The DOE has also updated its Discipline Code for grades K-12 to reflect a restorative approach to conflict resolution and underscore the City’s commitment to safe and supportive school communities. After a robust community engagement process, the DOE has made changes that will be supported by the unprecedented investments in social-emotional learning and restorative justice. As previously proposed, suspensions will stay below 20 days in most cases except in those that involve serious or violent incidents, and language is updated to take a more restorative rather than punitive tone.

Together, these and other Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. 3-K for All and Pre-K for All are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier; Universal Literacy is working towards ensuring every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All is improving elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensuring that all 8th graders have access to algebra. Equity and Excellence for All is also offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All is giving all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms, outlined in the 2017 New York City school diversity plan and through diversity pilots taking root in 8 districts, are central to this pathway.

“Back-to-school. Those words are music to the ears of public school parents across the city, including my husband and me. This year, parents have even more reason to be grateful on the first day of school with the continued expansion of 3K citywide. Thanks to this landmark initiative by the de Blasio Administration, more NYC children and families than ever will enjoy the benefits of free early childhood education that will help grow our kids into successful adults,” said,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman.

“I am so happy to welcome Chancellor Carranza back to the outstanding schools in Western Queens. His visits to schools like Aviation High School, Newcomers High School, and International High School and Middle College High School at LaGuardia Community College inspire students and families, and motivate teachers and community groups to support our schools. I am looking forward to a great year ahead,” said Assembly Member Cathy Nolan.

“I am absolutely delighted that New York City is now offering our children the ability to attend 3-K school beginning at age 3,” said Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz. “Our children are our most important treasures and we must do all that we can to educate and prepare them for the future. They are the future leaders of our city and our nation. This innovative program is one of the finest examples of what government and educators can do together to improve New York.”

“The expansion of 3-K for All is a major win for New York City families,” said Council Finance Chair Daniel Dromm. “Now all NYC students have access to the foundational education they need to thrive in higher grades. I commend the administration for prioritizing this program. As a former daycare center teacher and director, I have seen firsthand how impactful an investment in early childhood education can be. I look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor and Chancellor to develop this worthy initiative.”

“New York City has some of the brightest children in the world,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “With programs like 3-K for All, Computer Science for All and AP for All reaching important milestones this year, it is clear that the sky is the limit when it comes to what our City’s children are capable of if they are given a fair shot at a quality education. I want to commend Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to expanding access to such important educational programs, and thank the thousands of New York City teachers who woke up today with the calling and mission of educating our youngsters.”

Ensuring that all our 3-year-olds will have the opportunity to attend pre-K is an investment in life-long learning and a benefit to working families. With universal pre-K, more access to Advanced Placement classes, and the growth of dual-language programs, we are on a strong path towards increased educational equity for students of all backgrounds. I’m looking forward to working with the Mayor and the Chancellor on furthering the work to desegregate schools and to expand restorative justice approaches to discipline that interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline,” said Council Member Brad Lander.

“Today the journey continues and begins for many students across New York City. As leaders and elected officials we should be providing students with all the opportunities and resources they need to succeed,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “As a former teacher, I know well the importance of having a quality and equitable education. Having 3K across the 5 boroughs will allow students and parents to receive a head start in their education. I will continue working with my colleagues, Mayor de Blasio, and Chancellor Richard Carranza to ensure our students remain safe and receive the best possible education.

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