Schools get Federal and State funding based upon the "seat time" of students, i.e, the number of students attending class on a daily basis. For this reason, attendance is important.
What happens when there is a pandemic?
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re-posted from National Public Voice:
NY State School Districts' Teachers Want Remote Classes Only; Buffalo Teachers File For Injunction Against In-Classroom Work
|Superintendent Scott Martzloff announces the delay of classes for grades 5-12 in|
western New York's Williamsville Central School District in a video message.
Western New York school district delays classes after wave of teacher resignations and leaves of absence
by Jay Rey, Sep 2, 2020 Updated Sep 3, 2020
Buffalo Public Schools and its teachers union are headed to court – again – this time over whether the 3,600 Buffalo teachers need to report to school while the students are learning from home.
The two sides, no strangers to settling their conflicts in the court room, confirmed a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday when they will meet virtually with State Supreme Court Justice Frank A. Sedita III.
The BTF is hoping the judge will issue a temporary restraining order. That would prevent the district from forcing teachers to work from their classrooms two days a week, during this period of remote instruction, until a full hearing can be conducted on the health and safety concerns being raised by the teachers union.
At that full hearing, the union would seek a more permanent injunction until the matter could be resolved during the arbitration process, explained BTF President Philip Rumore.
But arbitration could take months, which would be “disastrous” for the school district and its ability to eventually reopen in-person amid the Covid-19 pandemic when that time comes, said Nathaniel Kuzma, general counsel for the school district.
“Even in an expedited fashion it will take months,” Kuzma said, “and any hopes to returning students to the school building at all will be significantly diminished.”
Kuzma on Wednesday pointed the finger squarely at Rumore, the long-time union president. Fighting with the district continues to erode the trust in the city’s education system and drive families away to the private and charter schools, he said.
“This is Phil. I don’t think this is the majority of teachers,” Kuzma said. “He has been teeing this up from the beginning.”
The teachers union, which called for a remote start to the school year, has been threatening legal action all summer if teachers are uncomfortable with the district's reopening plan.
The district announced a couple weeks ago that it would begin the school year Sept. 8 with all students learning from home. It plans to reevaluate the decision four to six weeks after opening day.
But the district still wants teachers to teach remotely from their classrooms two days a week, understanding some may not be able to do so for health reasons.
This week, teachers started professional development and are scheduled to set up their classrooms on Friday.
Rumore, meanwhile, said many schools still lack adequate air filters, and windows don't open in some classrooms in older buildings. He said protocols for testing, temperature screenings and cleaning the buildings are inadequate.
Rumore pointed to a poll of teachers over the weekend that found 1,866, or 70% of those surveyed, oppose the district's reopening plan and do not think it provides safe conditions in schools. Thirty percent, or 789 teachers, believe that it is safe for them to return to the classroom. There were 2,655 teachers voting, out of about 3,600 teachers, Rumore said.
The union filed a grievance last week and sought the court’s intervention.
|Krish Shah, a Bronx High School of Science, at his computer in his bedroom in Flushing, Queens. (Photo: Helayne Seidman)|
The city’s smartest students have overwhelmingly rejected Mayor de Blasio’s plan for blended learning, The Post has learned.
The top scholars, who fill the city’s most prestigious public high schools, are mostly opting to stay home and learn remotely, not trusting plans to keep them safe from coronavirus.
Shah, 17, who hopes to study business at an Ivy League college, said he would remain at his Queens home as school gets underway Sept. 21.
He is among at least 84 percent of Bronx Science’s 2,969 students who chose remote instruction, according to Jerome Kramer, a co-president of the school’s PTA.
The DOE put the number of remote requests for the school at 63 percent Friday and could not explain the discrepancy.
At Stuyvesant High School in Lower Manhattan, 71 percent of the school’s nearly 3,400 students will stay home, according to an email sent Monday by the school’s principal. And that number is rising.
The DOE said 57 percent of Brooklyn Tech’s students had requested fully remote instruction.
The stay-home rates at the elite high schools are starkly higher than the 37 percent citywide rate of students who have picked remote learning as of Monday.