Thursday, 13 August 2020

Mayor de Blasio admits there will be 'some cases' but insists New York's 700,000 children will be safe when they go back to school as principals urge him to delay reopening classrooms

New York City principals penned a letter to Bill de Blasio urging him to delay the reopening of schools for in-person learning in the fall, but the mayor has insisted that children will be safe while also admitting that there may be some cases of the coronavirus.
Mark Cannizzaro, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA), said the New York City school principals represented by his union still have many unanswered questions about how schools can reopen safely.
'We believe that NYC school leaders do not yet have enough information and guidance from the (Department of Education) to reopen their buildings properly,' he said. 
Cannizzaro penned a letter to de Blasio on behalf of New York City's 6,400 school leaders urging him to heed 'their dire warnings concerning the city's September 10 reopening plan'.
In the letter, which was obtained by the New York Post, Cannizzaro wrote: 'Given the lack of information and guidance available at this time, CSA believes that NYCDOE's decision to open for in-person learning on September 10th is in disregard of the well-being of our school communities.'
New York City principals penned a letter to Bill de Blasio urging him to delay the reopening of schools for in-person learning in the fall, but the mayor has insisted that children will be safe while also admitting that there may be some cases of the coronavirus
New York City principals penned a letter to Bill de Blasio urging him to delay the reopening of schools for in-person learning in the fall, but the mayor has insisted that children will be safe while also admitting that there may be some cases of the coronavirus 
de Blasio admits there may be cases as he pushes for schools to open
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'The slow rollout of guidance has forced us to once again address an unfortunate truth: schools will not be ready to open for in-person instruction on September 10th. A more realistic, phased-in approach would instead welcome students for in-person learning toward the end of September, following a fully remote start to the year,' Cannizzaro continued. 
During a press conference on Wednesday, de Blasio addressed the letter briefly, saying: 'I've talked this through with Mark Cannizzaro and I appreciate he's raising real concerns but I've also said to him we have been systematically addressing those concerns and we have a whole month until school opens and we're going to do a lot more. 
'I hear their concerns but this ball game is far from over. We're going to make these schools safe.'
De Blasio then addressed a question regarding teachers and administrators who do not agree with students going back to school in the fall. 

'Look, you're talking about professionals. Unions will always sounds various alarms and unions will say things sometimes in a very dramatic fashion. 
'I spent a lot of times with educators over the years and they are in it to help kids. And right now the way to help kids is to get back in person with them and give them the support they need. Kids have been through so much,' de Blasio said. 'Teachers are going to show up and get the job done.'
De Blasio then admitted that some schools would likely eventually get cases of the coronavirus. 
'There's been research that shows a lot of schools are not gonna have a case in the beginning; they'll maybe eventually have a case in the school. We'll deal with that.'
New York City has recorded more than 233,000 cases since the outbreak started in mid-March. More than 23,000 people have died in the city. 
De Blasio then addressed a question regarding teachers and administrators who do not agree with students going back to school in the fall. 'Right now the way to help kids is to get back in person with them and give them the support they need,' de Blasio said
De Blasio then addressed a question regarding teachers and administrators who do not agree with students going back to school in the fall. 'Right now the way to help kids is to get back in person with them and give them the support they need,' de Blasio said 
De Blasio then admitted that some schools (pictured Wednesday) would likely eventually get cases of the coronavirus. 'There's been research that shows a lot of schools are not gonna have a case in the beginning; they'll maybe eventually have a case in the school. We'll deal with that'
De Blasio then admitted that some schools (pictured Wednesday) would likely eventually get cases of the coronavirus. 'There's been research that shows a lot of schools are not gonna have a case in the beginning; they'll maybe eventually have a case in the school. We'll deal with that'

Gov Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that New York schools can bring children back to classrooms for the start of the school year, citing success in battling the coronavirus in the state that once was the US heart of the pandemic.
The Democratic governor's decision clears the way for schools to offer at least some days of in-person classes, alongside remote learning. Students will be required to wear masks throughout each school day.
'Everywhere in the state, every region is below the threshold that we established,' Cuomo told reporters. He said New York can revisit the issue if the infection rate spikes.
Many New York school districts have planned to start the year with students in school buildings only a few days a week, while learning at home the rest of the time. 
The state has left tough decisions - on how to handle sick students, how much time children will spend in class, whether to delay in-person instruction - up to individual districts.
More than 1 million public school students in New York City - the largest district in the US - had their last day of in-class instruction on March 13, just as waves of sick people were beginning to hit city hospitals. All schools statewide were closed by March 18.
De Blasio has been saying since the spring that his goal was to bring students back in September, with as much classroom time as possible while still allowing for social distancing.
That plan has looked exceedingly ambitious as other large school systems back away from in-person instruction.
Gov Andrew Cuomo (pictured) announced on Friday that New York schools can bring children back to classrooms for the start of the school year, citing success in battling the coronavirus in the state that once was the US heart of the pandemic
Gov Andrew Cuomo (pictured) announced on Friday that New York schools can bring children back to classrooms for the start of the school year, citing success in battling the coronavirus in the state that once was the US heart of the pandemic
A coalition of teachers, students, and families protest during a rally called National Day of Resistance Against Unsafe School Reopening Opening on Monday
A coalition of teachers, students, and families protest during a rally called National Day of Resistance Against Unsafe School Reopening Opening on Monday 

Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Houston, among other places, all announced they would start the school year with students learning remotely.
'We will reopen safely,' de Blasio tweeted Friday. 'If COVID-19 positivity rate goes above 3 per cent, we will not open.'
He said a return to classroom instruction is vital to jump-starting the city's economy, now hobbled by parents being forced to stay home with their children.
'It will not be easy but I think most parents feel strongly that even some time in school is a lot better for their kids than none,' de Blasio said earlier Friday, at a separate briefing.
School districts, though, face enormous hurdles.
Cuomo warned New York's roughly 700 districts still need to address the safety fears of parents and teachers. He said districts must post remote learning plans online and hold public discussion sessions.
The outbreak, while reduced, is not over in New York. Around 10,000 New York City residents tested positive for the virus in July.
Teachers unions have demanded clearer health protocols and a rule that schools should shut down immediately for two weeks if any student or staff member contracts the virus.
'As Gov. Cuomo noted, parents and teachers must be confident that schools are safe before they can reopen,' United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said Friday. 'In New York City that is still an open question.'
Teachers are prohibited from striking in New York state, but large numbers could still opt out of classroom instruction for medical reasons or simply refuse to work.
The governor said he doesn't want New York to get into a legal battle with teachers, adding: 'You can't order a teacher into a classroom.'
Parents, too, have struggled to decide whether to send their children to school or opt solely for online instruction.
Schools have spent the summer coming up with safety plans, securing protective gear and figuring out how to fit fewer students into classrooms and buses. 
Cuomo required all school systems to submit reopening plans, saying New York would not allow any district with an unsafe plan to bring students back to classrooms.
The governor said the Department of Health will continue to go through plans. About 50 plans are still incomplete or deficient, he said.
Earlier this summer, Cuomo set a general metric to help measure when it was safe to bring students back, saying the state would allow a return in regions where fewer than 5 per cent of people tested for COVID-19 came back positive.
The entire state has been well under that threshold all summer.

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