New York mayor announces delay in reopening some schools for in-person learning

All schools were scheduled to reopen Monday
Posted at 10:27 AM, Sep 17, 2020

NEW YORK CITY — Not all New York City public schools will begin their in-person instruction Monday as originally planned, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday.

"For months, teachers, principals and school staff have been working hard to make sure our students have the education they deserve while putting health and safety first," de Blasio said.

The announcement came as educators have raised concerns over safety measures in school buildings and lack of preparedness.

The mayor said he has talked with school officials about different types of school buildings and their levels of readiness and decided to develop an updated approach with several phases for resuming in-person learning.

  • Beginning Monday,3-K, Pre-K and District 75 schools will reopen
  • Sept. 29: K-5 and K-8 schools will open
  • Oct. 1: Middle and high schools will reopen

All students in full remote programs will continue as planned, starting full-day instruction on Sept. 21.

"Our students, staff, and families have demonstrated tremendous resilience over the last six months, and we're going to continue to build on all the work we've done as we move forward," Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said. "We are giving our schools more staff, more time, and more support to have the strongest possible start to the most unprecedented school year."

The mayor also announced another 2,500 educators will be deployed to New York City schools in addition the 2,000 added earlier this week. The 4,500 total is still short of the 10,000 more staff requested by city schools.

Those educators are expected to assist in in-person learning in schools to make sure that all students have a rigorous learning experience in a safe, healthy environment. President of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators Mark Cannizzaro said the additional teachers would fulfill staffing needs at 3-K, Pre-K, District 75, K-5 and K-8 schools.

The Department of Education continues to work with middle and high schools to establish their needs for additional staffing, de Blasio said.

When asked what was "the straw that broke the camel's back," de Blasio, Cannizzaro and United Federation of Teachers Pres. Michael Mulgrew said school staffing shortages had not been resolved enough to have all school buildings safely reopen.

Mulgrew also said it became apparent a "snow day scenario," where a large amount of students would be placed into a room with a teacher, cannot be used during the pandemic.

He also acknowledged staffing issues have been raised for weeks, and they have been addressing the concerns and monitoring, but as teachers returned to schools, "that was when we noticed the huge need for more educators."

This story was originally published by Kristine Garcia on WPIX in New York.

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