Afterschool programs offer increased learning opportunities for students and critical support for families. Mayor de Blasio’s administration has launched an unprecedented expansion of after school programs – most of which are in New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) schools. The Office of Community Schools offers support to schools and after school program providers and is a liaison between the NYC DOE and the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD).

What We Do

We collaborate with Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)(Open external link) and other government agencies to provide afterschool programs for all NYC schools. Activities reflect a balanced schedule of academic support, including tutoring and homework help, social/emotional learning, physical activity/wellness, and prevention services.

Our Impact

In 2016 and 2017, the Office of Community Schools received Twenty-First Century Community Learning Center funding. The program helped students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

In 2018, Empire Afterschool supported 94 schools in the Bronx and Brooklyn with the development and expansion of quality after school programs.

School Year 2021-22 Afterschool Programming, Updated on September 28, 2021

Afterschool programs are a critical aspect of homecoming, as schools and CBO partners welcome students back to school communities and classrooms where they can feel safe and well-cared for, and where they can learn and grow socially, emotionally, and academically.

Schools may host after school programming and after school activities as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. These include, but are not limited to school-based programs, DYCD programs, and external afterschool vendors. Staff and contractors working in a DOE building and any visitors must be vaccinated against COVID-19 submit proof of vaccination by 11:59PM on Friday, October 1 in the DOE Vaccination Portal . Please see the DOE Staff Vaccination Mandate FAQ for details about COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Afterschool programs may keep students in stable groups, but it is not a requirement this school year. Students may join afterschool programs outside of their home school. However, all students and staff must follow all DOE health protocols, including wearing a face covering and completing the health screening(Open external link). Health screening results are valid for 24 hours, so students and staff only need to complete the screening form once per day.

A COVID-19 vaccination requirement also applies to students participating in high-risk afterschool extracurricular activities like chorus, musical theater, dance/dance team, band/orchestra (with concern for woodwinds), marching band, cheerleading/step teams/flag team. Students ages 12 and up must be vaccinated in order to participate in these extracurricular activities.

COMPASS/SONYC and Beacon Afterschool Programming

COMPASS/SONYC and Beacon programs run as usual. These programs may hold parent engagement and/or culminating events once monthly for two hours after 6:00 pm. A separate permit must be completed for each event.

COMPASS/SONYC and Beacon Programs may provide programming on school closing days (holidays, school breaks, or weekends) with the average maximum number of such alternative programming days being 13 across the COMPASS system.

COMPASS/SONYC and Beacon programs may use available space for professional development and in-service training schedule staff training after 6pm once each week during the school year for up to an hour. A separate extended use space permit should be submitted for those dates.

Beacon programs operate on evenings and weekends and will begin providing services on or after October 1, 2021.

Food for Afterschool Programs

Many afterschool programs serve snack and/or supper through the Office of Food and Nutrition Services (OFNS). The same guidelines for breakfast and lunch must be followed for afterschool meals, and, if needed, students should be permitted to eat “grab and go” meals in classrooms.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements, Updated on September 20, 2021

Vaccine Requirements for Employees and Others Working/Volunteering in a DOE Building

As announced on August 23 by Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Porter, and Health Commissioner Chokshi, all DOE employees are required to provide proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, effective October 4. Further, newly-hired staff must provide proof of vaccination (at least one dose), prior to their start date. All staff and new hires received an initial email on August 23 from Chancellor Porter, informing them of these requirements and how to provide vaccination information using the DOE’s Vaccination Portal

Additional individuals covered by this mandate include:

  • All DOE volunteers, interns, and student teachers in a DOE school or DOE building,
  • City employees who work in-person in a DOE school or DOE building,
  • DOE/City contractors who work in-person in a DOE school or DOE building,
  • Employees or contractors of any charter school, 3K, or PreK program located in a DOE building who work in person in such building.

The above individuals must provide proof of at least their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by 11:59 pm on Friday, October 4. In addition, the above individuals must also be tested for COVID-19 at least once per week until they have submitted proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.

Please see this Order from the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene for more information.

Vaccine Requirements for Visitors and Extracurricular Activities

All students and staff who participate in high-risk PSAL sports must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Students in fall high-risk sports must get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by their first day of competitive play. Winter and spring PSAL participants have until the beginning of their season to be fully vaccinated.

A COVID-19 vaccination requirement also applies to students participating in high-risk afterschool extracurricular activities like chorus, musical theater, dance/dance team, band/orchestra (with concern for woodwinds), marching band, cheerleading/step teams/flag team. Students ages 12 and up must be vaccinated in order to participate in these extracurricular activities.

Visitor Policy

In order to protect staff and students in DOE buildings, all visitors wishing to enter DOE buildings must show proof of having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. Visitors do not include students attending school in a DOE buildingincluding adult students participating in D79, YABC, or DYCD programs. 

Acceptable proof of vaccination is one of the following:

An acceptable COVID-19 vaccination includes one dose of any COVID-19 vaccine fully authorized or authorized for emergency use by the FDA or WHO.

Resources and tools


It is critical that all staff members working inside a DOE building be cleared and eligible through the PETS system. In order to set up a new PETS account, email and request an account.

Extended Use Permits for School Year 2021-22 

Chancellor’s Regulation D-180 on Extended Use of School Buildings sets forth procedures and policies for the use of DOE school buildings. For the 2021-2022 school year, permit costs have returned to pre-pandemic rates.

Permit costs will be paid by the DOE for activities conducted on behalf of or in partnership with a school or DOE, including but not limited to:

  • School-sponsored activities and events
  • Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) activities until 9 pm
  • DYCD-funded COMPASS, SONYC, and Beacon until 6pm
  • NYCDOE-funded programs supported by the Office of Community Schools
  • Pre-approved administration of exams, including pre/post-test activities, auditions for admission purposes, and graduation requirement instructional activities.

All extended use activities must continue to comply with required DOE health and safety protocols including: 

  • The wearing of face coverings at all times, indoor and outdoors, when on DOE property;
  • Daily completion of the DOE health screening form by all individuals entering DOE property; and,
  • Maintaining three feet of physical distance between individuals, wherever possible. 

In the event of a school closure due to confirmed COVID-19 cases at the school, extended-use permits will be denied or revoked by the BCO extended-use staff for the duration of such closure.

Contact Information

For more information, visit For questions, email

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