- New York delays the start of school to give more time to prepare.
- Classes are postponed for a week, De Blasio said.
- A hybrid model will be used that includes numerous measures to avoid contagion.
New York City postponed a week the start of the school semester to give teachers more time to prepare for students’ return to classrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio reported, reports AP.
In an agreement with the unions representing teachers, employees and administrators, the semester that was to begin on September 10 will now begin on September 16.
All students will spend the first few days taking classes from home, via computer, before the start of face-to-face instruction for some students on September 21st.
“There was a lot at stake to be clarified, but I am pleased to report that we have reached an agreement to proceed, to respond to the real concerns that have been raised about how to do things right, how to do things safely and healthily, to make sure that people are prepared for the school year in absolutely unprecedented conditions, ”said De Blasio.
Among other security measures is a program of medical monitoring which includes monthly testing of a sample of students and staff.
De Blasio was joined at a press conference Tuesday by union leaders who said they believe the municipality can safely receive students back to schools, but said they need more time to prepare.
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said the union’s medical experts had approved the reopening plan.
“We can now say that the New York City public school system has the most active policies and the greatest safeguards of any school system in America,” he said.
The announcement came after the Democratic mayor had emphasized for months that the city’s recovery from the pandemic depended on the return of 1.1 million students from public schools to classrooms after the coronavirus forced them to close in March. .
New York school start delayed after agreement with unions
While other large school systems in the country – Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Houston – decided to start the school year with remote teaching, de Blasio maintained a plan for a coeducational reopening that sought to have as much time in classrooms as possible, with social distancing.
New York City announced Tuesday that it will delay the start of classes in its public schools for about two weeks until September 21 after reaching an agreement with the unions to avoid a teachers’ strike and give more time to prepare protection measures against the coronavirus, reports EFE.
The Big Apple has the largest public education system in the United States, with more than one million students, and is the only one among the large cities of the United States that has ensured that face-to-face teaching will return this month, following a hybrid model in the that on-site classes – one to three days a week – are optional and are combined with remote classes.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, together with the person in charge of Education, Richard Carranza, and union representatives, explained today in a press conference that according to the new school calendar that has been debated with “intensity” in recent days, the return to school classrooms will go from September 10 to 21 to “reinforce and improve” the safety of the educational community.
New York school start delayed after agreement with unions
The hybrid model includes numerous measures to avoid contagion, including disinfection of buildings every night, the distribution of hand sanitizers and the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, always requiring the use of masks and the social distancing.
The city has also promised that classrooms that do not have adequate ventilation will not be used, that those that are used will have capacity reduced to about a third of normal, and that high-touch areas will be cleaned several times a day, among other things.
The president of the main group of teachers in New York (UFT), Michael Mulgrew, said today that schools “will have a stronger educational program thanks to what is going to be done in the next two weeks”, in which the authorities and professionals buy time to finalize “all aspects of safety,” especially those pertaining to medical supervision.
“The PPE, the social distance, the cleanliness, the ventilation, we have all that; but we are going to take a step further by monitoring to ensure that if there are signs of a problem, we will be there as soon as possible and we will stop it ”, highlighted De Blasio when announcing a medical surveillance program that includes nurses in each center and random tests of COVID-19 every month starting in October.
New York school start delayed to give more time
Doing these diagnostic tests on students will require the permission of their relatives, something about which the mayor considered that there will be no major problem since it is a free “test” with a small swab, not the long one that is inserted through the nose , and in case some parents are “recalcitrant” about it he advocated “sit down and talk” with them.
“Now we can say that the New York public school system has the most aggressive policies and the best safeguards of any educational system in the United States,” added Mulgrew, who on Monday already stressed the need for a mandatory testing plan with frequency in schools as a condition to avoid a strike by teachers.
The mayor recognized the inconvenience of delaying the start of the course for many parents who hoped to be able to send their children to school in person on the 10th, but clarified that it will only be “a few more days in which they have to find some kind of arrangement.” in exchange for “perfecting the health security method”, and stressed that it is part of the “agreement”.
The start of distance education, meanwhile, is delayed until the 16th, so students will have to attend classes remotely for three days before returning to classrooms, while for their part, Teachers will return to the buildings on the 8th, after the Labor Day holiday, to review the equipment and adapt it to the new measures.
The Big Apple became at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, in the months of March and April, the epicenter of the pandemic in the country, but the state of New York is now one of the most stabilized, although it accumulates high numbers of cases (nearly 434,000) and deaths (33,000) according to the independent count from Johns Hopkins University.
With information from Agencia EFE and Associated Press
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