Diversity in Our Schools

A diverse group of children together in a playground

Our Commitment

The DOE is committed to creating and supporting learning environments that reflect the diversity of New York City. We believe all students benefit from diverse and inclusive schools and classrooms. We strive to welcome and support all students, families, and school staff. 

What is Diversity?

Diversity comes in many forms, including:

  • racial background
  • cultural identity
  • socioeconomic status
  • home language
  • country of origin
  • immigration status
  • ability
  • special needs
  • religion
  • gender identity
  • gender expression
  • sexual orientation
  • housing status
  • life experience

The Diversity Plan

The DOE’s diversity plan explains our approach to diversity work. It also includes several policy changes that are in progress. Read about the specific actions we’re taking to increase and support diversity in our schools. This plan builds on the important work we do every day, with all of our partners, to make our schools strong and welcoming.

Download the plan:

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District 1 Diversity Plan

In District 1, we are working closely with the community on a pilot to foster school diversity. This plan includes hosting the first districtwide Diversity in Admissions pilot and the opening of our District 1 Family Resource Center, where full-time staff help families learn about and apply to District 1 schools. The Family Resource Center also hosts events created for and by the community.

District 3 Diversity Plan

In District 3, we are launching a plan to increase diversity in District 3 district middle schools by providing more equitable access for applicants who are lower-performing students and whose families meet federal income eligibility requirements.

District 15 Diversity Plan

In District 15, we are launching a districtwide plan to increase middle school diversity. This plan was created through a year-long community engagement process in collaborating with school leaders, educators, parents and guardians, students, community members, and WXY Studio, and in response to recommendations from the District 15 Working Group. To see the full set of recommendations, visit the D15 Diversity Plan website.

Interested in hearing more about the District 15 Diversity Plan? Fill out this form and we'll call you.

District 28 Diversity Planning Process Updates

The D28 Diversity Plan process brings together community members who live, work, and go to school in District 28. The goal is to create recommendations for promoting school diversity, and set all our students on a path to even greater academic success, with a focus on middle schools. Diversity has a broad definition, so recommendations can cover solutions including school resources, parent empowerment, student voice, and admissions policies. Recommendations will be created through public community engagement, which will include district-wide workshops, school-based meetings, and more.

At the conclusion of the process, a working group of members of the District 28 community will issue recommendations. The recommendations will reflect the input and priorities of D28 community members as discussed throughout the public community engagement process. All recommendations will be anchored in a community-developed strategy, accompanied by strong supports from district and DOE leadership, and will be shared widely with District community members. This is not a “top-down” process for change; this process relies on District 28 families to make their voices and positions heard. There are no pre-determined outcomes—recommendations will grow exclusively from the community empowerment process detailed below for a planned release in December 2020.

Community Letter (English) Note: Translations will be available soon.

School Diversity Advisory Group

The independent School Diversity Advisory Group —community members, educators, parents, and students— is working to reshape citywide policies and practices such as admissions and program planning.

Learn more about the School Diversity Advisory Group (SDAG) members.

Read about the School Diversity Advisory Group Recommendations that the Department of Education has adopted.

Read more in an op-ed by Mayor de Blasio in the Daily News.

Diversity in Admissions Pilots

Nearly 90 NYC public schools and programs are participating in Diversity in Admissions pilots this year. Through the admissions processes, these schools prioritize targeted groups of students including, but not limited to, students whose families meet federal income eligibility requirements*, English Language Learners, and students whose families are impacted by incarceration.

*Federal law identifies this group of students as eligible to get free or reduced-price lunch. Lunch is now free for all NYC public school students.

Learn more about all of these district-wide and school pilots on our Diversity in Admissions page.

Equitable Admissions to Specialized High Schools

We're engaging with parents, educators, advocates, students, and community leaders on a proposal for a better, fairer admissions process for New York City’s eight testing specialized high schools.

Read the proposal to learn more:

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