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Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Protocols Issued By The NYC Department of Education For Re-Opening Schools Are Untenable

DOE Chancellor Richard Carranza (inset). Tweed Courthouse on 52 Chambers Street, which
serves as the Department of Education's headquarters.
J.C. Rice, Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutterstock (inset)
The protocols just issued by the NYC Department of Education on what to do if someone gets the COVID-19 virus in school or out (see article in the NY POST, below) are part of a well-thought-out plan....NOT.

What are parents going to do when they, or the guardians, work full-time and their child is sent home for two weeks?


Oh, great picture, Chancellor. You look like I feel.

Betsy Combier

DOE releases new protocols for positive COVID-19 cases in schools
Selim Algar, NY POST, July 30, 2020

The Department of Education released new protocols Thursday for handling any possible confirmed coronavirus cases in schools this upcoming year.
The DOE plan states that if one or more students from the same class test positive their classrooms will close and anyone who had close contact with those students should self-quarantine for 14 days.
If two or more children in the same school test positive for the virus but do not share a classroom, the entire building will close for two weeks.
If at least two cases arise in the same building but the infections occurred outside of school, the DOE will also shutter the whole building while investigating the source of the exposures.
Once the probes into those cases are completed, the school will reopen while the impacted classrooms will remain closed for two weeks. Additional students and staff will be quarantined based on where the exposure took place.
If tracing efforts can’t determine infection origins, schools will be automatically shuttered for 14 days.
Kids who are compelled to leave classrooms because of exposure will transition to remote learning.
“We are doing everything in our power to keep kids healthy while ensuring they are getting the education they deserve,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.
“These rigorous test and trace protocols will keep our students and staff safe as we start off this new school year.”
The DOE said it will encourage all school staffers to get tested in the days prior to the scheduled September 10 start of the new year and will be given priority at 34 testing sites throughout the city.
If clusters emerge, the DOE said it could take more drastic measures based on the circumstances.
The department will also require some form of documentation in order to consider a case confirmed.
“New Yorkers did the incredibly difficult work reducing the risk posed by COVID-19, and as a result we’re in a better position than any other city in the country to safely resume in-person education under the current conditions and with clear, consistent health protocols,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza.
Students and teachers who feel sick will be required to stay home and are encouraged to get tested if their symptoms are consistent with the coronavirus.
Kids who feel unwell in school will be isolated and monitored by a staff member until they can be picked up, officials said.
Staffers who exhibit signs of illness will be also asked to leave their buildings.
City Hall’s reopening plan will have students alternate between classroom and remote learning.
The format has been met with stiff resistance from both the city teachers and principals union. Both groups have questioned the DOE’s logistical and safety preparedness.
Mayor de Blasio has lobbied for a blended reopening and has stressed the need to provide some scheduling relief for parents who can’t work remotely.
Principal Robert Bender outside of PS 11 in Manhattan.
Stephen Yang
See also this:
Selim Algar, NY POST, July 30, 2020

A Manhattan principal cautioned parents at his school this week that their kids will likely be in classrooms only five or six times a month this upcoming year, the Post has learned.
PS 11 administrator Bob Bender said that social distancing requirements will severely curtail the number of students who can be physically present in school each day.
“This means that a small group of students will be coming to school for about 5-6 times per month and then learning remotely on the other days,” he wrote in a letter to parents.
As part of its school reopening plan, City Hall will have kids alternating between classroom and remote learning to satisfy coronavirus safety protocols.
Mayor de Blasio’s reopening plan anticipates that most kids attending class 2 to 3 times a week — although he acknowledged that there would be exceptions. Some schools, officials said, would be in their buildings once or twice a week.
“For the vast majority of kids in the vast majority of schools, you’re be going to school, to the classroom either two days a week or three days a week depending on the week,” de Blasio said on July 8.
Principals at large or crowded schools across the city are struggling to devise plans that would allow for that level of frequency.
A current Stuyvesant High School model splits its large student body of over 3,300 kids into four cohorts — a scenario that would have them in their facility once a week.
De Blasio has backed a limited return to city school buildings — in part to provide scheduling relief for parents who can’t work remotely.
But the plan has met with loudening resistance from key city forces – including the teachers and principals unions.
Those groups want more safety assurances and have questioned the DOE’s preparation level for a resumption of campus learning.
In his message to parents, Bender said blended learning guidelines submitted by the Department of Education could be difficult to implement.
The DOE has given city parents the opportunity to opt for a remote-only format for the upcoming year.
“Schools are free to explore and discuss a variety of reopening options with their communities, but principals will submit a final proposal from the three models we laid out,” said DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson. “Schools can apply for exceptions and families have the ability to opt into fully-remote learning at any time, at any school.”

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