We know teachers are fearful of returning to schools that (1) have not been sanitized enough or at all from possible contamination by COVID-19; (2) don't have sufficient ventilation/airflow; (3) don't have a nurse; (4) don't have Guidance Counselors, 1:1 paraprofessionals, OT/PT, other professionals to service special education children in violation of Federal Law.
....plus a plethora of other concerns.
The NYC DOE is in a state of panic because of their policies and funding mandate on-site seat time. No one was prepared for a pandemic (everyone understands this). Nonetheless, the Department will have to make up ghost students in order to get the funds they rely on.
How are they going to do this?
First, what New Yorkers know is that the NYC DOE fudges the books as a standard practice. An example is staffing ICT classrooms. In many schools - especially those with a high percentage of minority or non-English speaking parents - ICT classes have only one teacher, not two, and this one teacher may be a substitute, uncertified in any subject area. When this is brought up in a 3020-a disciplinary conference, where let's say the tenured teacher is charged with incompetence yet did not have a second teacher in the room as required, the Department brings in the second teacher's attendance records to show that this person was in the school building that day. Therefore, they say, the second teacher was in the ICT class (where else would they be?) and the arbitrator is silently ordered by the NYC DOE to believe this false information over the testimony of the teacher (who is simply trying desperately to not be terminated).
Children with special needs will have one teacher in their Integrated co-teacher classroom (ICT) classroom, without 1:1 paras.
Second, we have heard that many teachers, teacher substitutes, Assistant Principals, and Principals are not going to be showing up. In fact, as reported yesterday (see below), the Mayor has "announced the deployment of 2,000 teachers....Some of the 2,000 are certified teachers who work within the Department of Education, while others will be substitutes."
Oh, ok. So when students show up, they won't know what they will be learning, or even if the teacher in the classroom knows what they are doing.
It's called educational neglect, fraud. I call it "teacher/seat time ghosting".
The solution is to close the schools until December 31, 2020, and get remote teaching set up for all. There are wonderful resources out there that kids can use to learn at their own speed; another alternative is to subsidize learning pods where teachers do remote learning for their students in a very directed way.
There are millions of online teaching and learning resources on the internet right now. I went to Google for 3 minutes and grabbed a few. All parents and students should seek the education they want and need. It's there.
New York City Answers Call For More Teachers, Establishes COVID Situation Room To Monitor Cases In Schools
Syndicated Local – CBS New York 9 hrs ago
Schools: The New Normal
NEW YORK (WABC) -- One week before the start of school, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 55 New York City school staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result, one school closed Monday, while another previously closed one reopened.
The MORE UFT caucus of the teachers' union held a "Day of Action" of protests Monday outside two city schools.
"We're just a few days into the school reopening plan negotiated by the Mayor and UFT leadership, and it's already clear our communities are in danger. Positive cases around the city have been reported among staff, requiring colleagues to quarantine at a moment's notice. Staff returned to buildings with sinks, windows, toilets still broken, without PPE and without adequate staffing for the hybrid model," the group said in a press release.
One of the 55 positive cases was at P.S. 139 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, where a teacher showed up to work with a fever last week and was sent home.
Contact tracers took three days to reach out to those who had been exposed. The teachers who came into contact with the positive case are quarantining for 14 days.
This morning, the staff decided the building had not been properly cleaned and was not safe to work in. They will continue to work outside as long as it takes until the city gets it right.
If there is one more case in a separate classroom at the school, it could be in jeopardy of closing before it officially reopens.
Outside Grace H. Dodge Career and Technical High School at 2474 Crotona Avenue in the Bronx, the staff sat outside for a short time Monday morning before returning to the classroom.
Teachers have now been back to work for one week, getting ready for the arrival of students in one week.
Eyewitness News spoke to some teachers who said the city has not alerted them of the positive cases and they have not been contacted by tracers after coming into contact with positive cases.
The mayor said 98% of the coronavirus test results are back within 48 hours.
"Some people will test positive," he said. "Those folks will immediately get support."
After two weeks, those professionals who test positive will come back to work and they will complete the school year, the mayor said. The same will happen with students.
"We have to remember that for the small percentage of people who test positive it is a very temporary reality," de Blasio said.
There is free priority testing for all students and Department of Education employees throughout the city.
There are 22 priority testing sites at H+H facilities in all five boroughs.
You can find a location near you at nyc.gov/COVIDtest.
There is also a DOE COVID Response Situation Room to monitor cases. It includes a direct hotline for principals, test and trace officials, and will be open six days a week with daily public reporting.
The mayor also announced that 2,000 additional educators will be in place by the first day of school. They are made up of redeployed central staff, long-term substitutes, and temporary staff.
The Principals' union released the following statement in response:
"The 2,000 additional teachers the Mayor referenced in his press conference today is woefully short of the over 10,000 teachers that we estimate New York City principals have already requested. We urge the DOE to be transparent with the public about their citywide tally of principals' requests, so we can have a realistic conversation of what is truly needed to open schools successfully next week. Since the DOE first announced the irresponsible agreement they made regarding the instructional staffing of teachers, CSA has sounded the alarm that our City must somehow contend with the staffing crisis they have created. Principals do not have enough money in their school budgets to hire who they need, and the City is also facing a fiscal crisis. As a result, superintendents have told far too many principals that their staffing requests simply will not be met. There is now a week to go before students return to schools, and the City and DOE clearly have no comprehensive plan to fully staff our schools."
RELATED: City Council members push to delay in-person learning