New York (CBSNewYork) — New York City public schools are closed on Thursdays for students to study remotely and will not be reopened.
This move occurs after a surge in coronavirus cases and the city’s weekly infection rate exceeds 3%.
The closure took place this morning at more than 1,700 public schools.
“New York City has reached exactly 3.0%, and as a result, schools will need to be closed for the next few days,” Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday afternoon at a daily press conference nearly five hours late.
See: Mayor De Blasio announces that New York City Department of Education will be all-remote
The mayor and teachers’ union agreed to that 3% threshold during the summer to open a school in the first place.
Municipal school infection rates are well below 1%, but there seems to be no room for negotiation.
“It was the right number announced by the city’s doctors and confirmed by the doctors we worked with,” said Michael Marguerite, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Wednesday.
The school remains closed, at least until the end of Thanksgiving, and the city needs to come up with new plans on how to reopen.
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Meanwhile, the school’s president, Richard Calanza, says 60,000 students are still waiting for distance learning equipment.
“The problem remains a supply-side issue, so New York City is ordering devices from all manufacturers, along with all American school systems (probably the world),” he said Wednesday.
As a temporary solution, the school is preparing paper packets for students who do not have a device.
“Many students seven or eight months after the pandemic still lack the equipment they need to learn in a sustainable, meaningful and high-quality way,” said the Family Homeless Union. Raysa Rodriguez said.
Many parents and students, like Harlem 11th grade Kariana Jordan, are worried about the future due to the lack of basic tools for distance learning.
“If they don’t provide us with the real materials we need and the right devices we need, our kids have no hope,” she told CBS2.
A group of New York City public school families plans to hand over the petition to the mayor and governor on Thursday, with 11,000 families signing and asking leaders to revisit their 3% approach and reopen the school. ..
New York City Catholic schools operate independently of public schools and remain open. In a press release, spokesmen said they would continue to be “one of the safest places for students.”
New York City Public Schools Return to All Distance Learning on Thursday – CBS New York
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