The plan will ensure all schools and all educators are best positioned to deliver a strong, safe, and healthy start to the 2020-2021 school year.
“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,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Today, we are announcing the latest in our larger plan to re-open schools the right way and give working-class families the in-person education they’ve asked us to deliver.”
“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,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “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 safety of students and staff is always the first priority,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “Our buildings must be ready, and testing and tracing procedures must be in place. A phased re-opening — and making sure, despite budget challenges, that we have enough staff — can help ensure that safety.”
“Nothing is more important to school leaders than protecting the health, safety, and well-being of their students and staff,” said CSA President Mark Cannizzaro. “Although we are extremely disappointed that the start of in-person learning must be delayed again, it is simply not safe to open buildings to children without a teacher for every class. Our principals have communicated their staffing needs to their superintendents, and the Mayor has committed to providing these much-needed resources.”
Teachers and students this week have been remotely engaging in preparations and orientations for the school year. As remote learning continues, in-person learning for blended learning students will be phased-in across the next two weeks, beginning with:
- Monday, September 21st: Blended learning students in grades 3-K and Pre-K, as well as all grades in District 75
- Tuesday, September 29th: Blended learning students enrolled in K-5 and K-8 schools
- Thursday, October 1st: Blended learning students enrolled in middle schools, high schools, secondary schools (schools spanning grades 6-12), and transfer schools/adult education
All students in full remote programs will continue as planned starting full-day instruction on Monday, September 21. As students begin in-person learning according to the above timeline, they will do so according to the blended learning schedules their schools have provided them (e.g., coming in person on Tuesday and Wednesday).
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Adding to the 2,000 additional teaching staff to be deployed to schools that the Mayor announced on Monday, the City will also bring on 2,500 additional educators to fulfill staffing needs at 3-K, Pre-K, District 75, K-5 and K-8 schools. These educators will help fill key gaps for in-person learning in schools to make sure that all students have a rigorous learning experience in a safe, healthy environment. The DOE is continuing to engage middle and high schools as well to establish their needs for additional staffing and will announce additional staff capacity for those schools in the coming weeks.
Health and safety continue to lead all reopening plans. The City will not reopen schools if the citywide infection rate exceeds 3.0%. The citywide infection rate is currently 0.63%.
Photo credit: Patrick Henry school Harlem.