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Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña Kick off First Day of School with Launch of 3-K for All

September 7, 2017

Part of Mayor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda now reaching over 1,150 schools

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña today joined students, families, and educators in the South Bronx for the first-ever day of 3-K for All. Building on the success of Pre-K for All, New York City is starting on the path to free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old with nearly 1,400 three-year-olds registered in School Districts 7 in the South Bronx and 23 serving Brownsville, Ocean Hill, and East New York.

3-K for All is part of the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. The Equity and Excellence for All agenda, now in its second full school year, is supporting progress across all schools so that, by 2026, 80 percent of students graduate high school on time, and two-thirds of graduates are college-ready. It builds on record-high graduation rates, record-high college enrollment rates, record-low dropout rates, and a high-quality pre-K seat for every New York City 4-year-old.

“As a parent, I know how special the first day of school is and it’s even more exciting this year with the historic launch of 3-K for All,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Building on our work to make free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K for All a reality, 3-K for All will ease the financial burden on parents and give our littlest New Yorkers an invaluable head-start in life.”

"With programs like 3-K for All, young children across the City will get the early support they need to thrive inside and outside of the classroom. Early childhood education, particularly for low-income children, has long term benefits and is essential for their intellectual and emotional development,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, Co-Chair of the NYC Children's Cabinet.

“September is a month of possibility, particularly for our youngest-ever New York City public school students starting 3-K for All today,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “With our school system the strongest it’s ever been, we are investing more than ever before in the earliest years of our children’s education – with 3-K for All, Pre-K for All, Universal Literacy, and Algebra for All – and that is a true game-changer for New York City. These investments are going to give every child, no matter what neighborhood they come from, the foundation they need to succeed in college and careers. I join our 1.1 million students, their families, and our educators in their excitement for this school year.” 

“With our successful expansion of Pre-K for All, we delivered on our promise to give every four-year-old the foundation needed to achieve their full potential in school and in life. Today’s expansion of free, full-day, high quality pre-k to three-year-olds marks an important continuation of our commitment to children and families,” said Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. “The research shows that two years of pre-kindergarten is a game changer. I am thrilled that families in Districts 7 and 23 will be the first to see their little ones blossom and grow in 3-K for All this year!”

“If we want to support the next generation of New Yorkers and strengthen our economy, we must continue to invest in early childhood education and provide the resources that young students need to succeed in school. 3-K is a victory for our students, their families, teachers, and administrators in particular because it helps lay the foundation for a productive education,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "I am excited that the 3-K for All program has kicked off in my district, and I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Fariña for their dedication to making this a reality. I can’t wait to see how students will learn and grow from their participation in the 3-K program."

"The evidence is clear: early childhood education offers considerable benefits to our children. Mayor de Blasio's "3-K For All" program will provide Bronx and New York City students with even greater opportunities for learning at an earlier age, and I look forward to working with the mayor, Chancellor Farina and the Department of Education to see this program expanded across our borough and our city," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

"3-K for All is great news for New York City families," said NYC Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm.  "The initiative will provide our students with the educational foundation they need to thrive in elementary school and beyond.  I applaud the administration for moving our schools forward by launching this program.  As a former daycare center teacher and director, I know that an investment in early childhood education pays off.  I will continue to work with the Mayor and Chancellor to expand this initiative which will help increase graduation rates and college-readiness in our city."

Below is a breakdown of the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda for the 2017-18 school year:

3-K for All
3-K for All is the nation’s most ambitious effort to provide universal, free, full-day, high-quality early childhood education for every three-year-old child. This is the first year of a two-year expansion to create hundreds of new, free, full-day, high-quality seats in School Districts 7 and 23 serving Brownsville, Ocean Hill, and East New York. For the first day of school, 798 students are registered for a new 3-K for All seat at a DOE district school, NYC Early Education Center, or Pre-K Center. 577 students are registered for existing seats in these neighborhoods in EarlyLearn programs. DOE is on track to provide a seat for every three-year-old living in Districts 7 and 23 that wants one by fall 2018.

By fall 2020, the City will expand free, full-day, high-quality 3-K for All to at least six additional school districts, for a total of eight districts. Each pair of districts will have a two-year expansion, with the last pair of districts starting in fall 2020 and offering universal access in fall 2021. In order to achieve the vision of 3-K for All citywide, the City will need additional support from partners in the State and federal government.

As part of its commitment to free, full-day, high-quality 3-K for All, the City is also providing additional support to the public early childhood center programs currently serving approximately 10,000 three-year-olds through EarlyLearn across the City – including in Districts 7 and 23.

Pre-K for All
Pre-K for All is in its third year of providing a free, full-day, high-quality pre-K seat for every four-year-old in New York City.

1,879 DOE district schools, NYC Early Education Centers, Pre-K Centers are offering free, full-day, high-quality pre-K. Families can continue to find free, full-day, high quality pre-K seats by calling 311 or visiting

Free School Lunch for All
Free School Lunch for All will provide over 200,000 more students with free lunch starting this school year. Last school year, 75% of students were eligible for free lunch and starting this school year, 100% of families will be eligible to receive free lunch.

This summer, the State started a new data matching system that directly certifies families who are eligible for free lunch – this allowed NYC to qualify for a federal program (Community Eligibility Provision). The Free School Lunch for All initiative will benefit all families regardless of where they live or attend school.

Universal Literacy
Through Universal Literacy, schools receive support from a dedicated reading coach, who works with kindergarten through 2nd grade teachers to ensure students are reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade. The goal of the initiative is to have at least two-thirds of students reading proficiently by the end of 2nd grade by 2022, with the target of 100 percent of all 2nd-graders reading at grade level by 2026.

242 Universal Literacy reading coaches are supporting all 305 elementary schools serving approximately 75,000 kindergarten through 2nd graders across 14 districts, including all districts in the Bronx.

Algebra for All
Through Algebra for All, by 2022, every student will have access to Algebra in 8th grade, complete Algebra no later than 9th grade, and there will be academic supports in place in elementary and middle school to build greater Algebra readiness.

To date, approximately 900 teachers across 357 elementary, middle, and high schools have received Algebra for All training to strengthen math instruction and are working to increase the amount of time they devote to math instruction. 139 elementary schools are working to “departmentalize” 5th-grade math – having their math instruction led by a specialized teacher who has received intensive training.

AP for All
AP for All is adding Advanced Placement courses so that by fall 2021, students at all high schools will have access to at least five AP classes.

152 high schools are offering new AP courses, including 60 that offered no AP courses before the initiative.

Computer Science for All
Through Computer Science for All, every student will receive computer science education in elementary, middle, and high school by 2025.

To date, approximately 940 teachers have received Computer Science for All training to bring back to their 524 elementary, middle, and high schools.

Single Shepherd
Single Shepherd is pairing every student in grades 6-12 in District 7 in the South Bronx and District 23 in Brownsville with a dedicated school counselor or social worker who will support them in their school on the path to graduation and college enrollment.

Approximately 140 Single Shepherds are serving approximately 15,000 grade 6-12 students at all 49 middle and high schools in Districts 7 and 23.

College Access for All
By the 2018-19 school year, every middle school student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus. 355 middle schools across 22 districts will bring approximately 43,000 7th-graders to college campuses during the school year, and engage students and families in a schoolwide college and career culture.

By the 2018-19 school year, every student will have the resources and supports at their high school to graduate with an individual college and career plan. 269 high schools are receiving training and funding to build a schoolwide college and career culture. The initiative has also eliminated the CUNY college application fee for low-income students, and made the SAT exam available free of charge during the school day for all high school juniors.

District-Charter Partnerships
District-Charter Partnerships pairs district and charter schools to foster strong relationships and share best practices.

Over 120 district and charter schools are partnering around sharing best practices this school year, including co-located schools building campus community and sharing practices; collaborative learning partnerships through the District-Charter Collaborative; the KIPP Through College Summer Bridge program; and training through the DOE Uncommon Schools-Impact Partnership. In addition, several community and high school superintendents are working to implement district-wide partnerships throughout the year. 

Community Schools
New York City’s 227 Community Schools provide students with the support they need inside and outside of the classroom, including expanded learning opportunities, robust family engagement, an explicit focus on social-emotional development, and enrichment programming through partnerships with community based organizations (CBOs). New York City is the largest Community Schools system in the nation.

Together, the Equity and Excellence for All initiatives are building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are 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 will give 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 through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.

The Mayor and Chancellor will highlight these initiatives with five-borough tours. After the Mayor and Chancellor meet with 3-K students and families at PS 277 in the Bronx, the Mayor will visit PS/MS 46 in Manhattan, which has a new Universal Literacy reading coach. He will then visit New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math and Science IV and August Martin High School in Queens – these schools are partnering through District-Charter Partnerships and August Martin is a Renewal and Community School. He will then visit PS/IS 323 in Brooklyn and meet with its 3-K students and families.

The Chancellor will visit PS 8 in Manhattan, which has a new Universal Literacy reading coach; PS 76 in Queens, which has a Spanish Dual Language program; and Kappa V Middle School in Brooklyn, which has Single Shepherds and is participating in College Access for All. 

The Mayor and Chancellor will close their day by visiting the first AP Computer Science class at Curtis High School on Staten Island.

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