COVID-19 response FAQs
FAQs for Parents, caregivers and guardians in response to COVID-19
As the school year approaches, what happens if schools are still in the virtual space? What would service look like?
City Year is currently transitioning into virtual service for this current academic year and working closely with our school partners to best support students’ learning and teachers’ needs.
Our school partners value the role that our AmeriCorps members are playing in providing high-quality support, normalcy, a sense of connection and helping students navigate their new normal. We are learning a lot about how to best do this and our AmeriCorps members are playing a unique role in helping schools implement a virtual learning model.
Our remote service looks a little different depending on the district and school needs, but examples include creating virtual spaces for students to reflect on instructional content, leading class warm-ups and small group break-out sessions, holding video tutoring sessions and supporting communication with students. We are hopeful and planning for schools to open in the fall, but if that is not possible in some locations, we will be prepared to support school plans for virtual learning.
Why should my child consider serving with City Year at this time?
All of us are adapting to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. Though the impact of this pandemic is wide-reaching and affects all of us, we know that this disruption will disproportionately impact students and families in the systemically under-resourced communities City Year serves.
Even during this unprecedented time, we know students continue to dream big and strive for academic success. Now, more than ever, our students need talented young adults who believe in them and their future. Serving in schools as a City Year AmeriCorps member in the new school year will be a unique and critical opportunity to help students reconnect with their school community, re-engage in their learning and recover from learning loss they experienced as a result of COVID-19. Thank you for supporting your child in pursuing a year of service during this critical time.
Additionally, City Year is an opportunity to gain professional experience and develop key skills that will help your child in their career. These skills such as communication, working on a diverse team and data analysis help our alumni stand out in a competitive employment market. What if my child is moving for service and schools are not physically back in session, would they still have a job? I am concerned about signing a lease and being financially responsible for a rental agreement.
All confirmed AmeriCorps members will have a position at the start of service. Despite the uncertainty this pandemic has caused, one thing is very clear- our students and schools will need the academic and social emotional supports that our AmeriCorps members provide when schools re-open.
At this time, we have not made any changes to our registration/start dates and plans for the 2020-2021 service year. If necessary, we will have the ability to provide virtual registration and start of year training and to adapt our service. We have already started transitioning into virtual service for this current academic year and our school partners value the role that our AmeriCorps members are playing in providing high-quality support, normalcy, a sense of connection and helping students navigate their new normal.
During this uncertain time, it has always been our top priority to care for our AmeriCorps members. For currently serving AmeriCorps members, City Year has maintained full bi-weekly living stipends, health benefits, AmeriCorps childcare benefits and educational loan deferrals for all AmeriCorps members. Our staff is working to ensure our current AmeriCorps members are being supported professionally and personally while engaging in virtual service. We are grateful to leaders in Congress who provided AmeriCorps members whose service was impacted by COVID-19 the opportunity to earn the full value of their Segal AmeriCorps Education Award ($6,195, pre-tax), despite service interruptions due to COVID-19.
We will maintain our priority of supporting our AmeriCorps members, with our incoming City Year corps starting service in the summer of 2020. Read more about the importance of national service at a time of national crisis in this blog post by City Year CEO, Jim Balfanz.
Is there a date by which City Year will decide its plan for the 2020-2021 academic year?
City Year has not made any changes to our start dates for next year, which are scheduled between July and August 2020, depending on the location. We’re expecting that over time, especially by the time the new school year starts, the situation around COVID-19 will be very different and our communities and schools will be open again. We are closely monitoring the situation with our school partners and if there are any changes– such as virtual registration or virtual training– we will communicate to our incoming AmeriCorps members as soon as possible.
We are committed to our AmeriCorps members, our students, our schools and communities and will be ready to support students next fall with the social-emotional and academic support to help them reconnect with their school community, re-engage in their learning and recover from learning loss.
What is the outlook for City Year’s funding for next year?
City Year is in a strong position to navigate this crisis, with a diverse set of public and private partners. Since 2003, City Year has earned the highest ranking from Charity Navigator, America’s premier charity evaluator, placing us among the most trustworthy nonprofits in America. Our school partners, who provide funding for our work, see our supports as critical as educators seek to address the trauma and learning loss that students will be bringing into their classrooms next year. We also receive federal funding through a competitive application process and we receive philanthropic support from foundations, corporations and individuals- many of whom make multi-year commitments.
Like all non-profits, we will be navigating shifts and uncertainties in public and private funding in the coming years and we are working closely with our partners to continue their commitments and to innovate on new funding strategies to meet the unique circumstances of this moment, building on our strong and diverse funding base.
If you have any questions or need more information, please reach out to us:
Read our FAQs for prospective or confirmed Corps in response to COVID-19.Read FAQs
Learn more about City Year's application process, service experience and benefits during and after service.Learn more