New York

NYC Boy Lockup Kids Can’t See or Hear Teachers During Distance Education

The closure of the city’s public school building on Thursday also ended another group of young people in New York City, a face-to-face lesson for children being detained in a boy’s confinement.

But for 141 minors imprisoned throughout the city, distance learning means a system that teachers cannot see or hear during school hours.

According to teachers and other sources familiar with the system, they can only communicate with the instructor via text chat.

Out-of-class support is limited to virtual or telephone “scheduled business hours” by teachers and counselors, a ministry representative said without providing details. According to the Department of Child Service, there is also a face-to-face tutoring program at one facility.

According to teachers, students in camps in all districts except Manhattan are at risk of further delays as the pandemic shakes public education in the city.

“I have children, very low-level readers and writers. The only ability they can talk to us is to type what they don’t get,” said Bronx Hope, a branch of the Passage Academy. Troisil, who teaches history remotely at, said. A network of city schools for young people involved in so-called courts.

Children in the city’s most restrictive facilities, primarily at the Horizon and Crossroads Boys’ Center, attend classes in which they are detained. Children in the other seven “unsafe” centers attend school for passages, primarily outside their homes.

Sill, a 15-year union leader at a school at the Passage Academy, said ACS makes schooling more difficult, including the safety and confidentiality issues that arise from using two-way video connections. He said he had legitimate concerns. “We are concerned that children may be identified or that they may be able to reach and communicate outside using one of the platforms,” ​​Sill said. ..

Sill also acknowledged that progress has been made since the early months of the pandemic. For example, from September, children were finally able to see and hear teachers, and until Thursday, they returned to the Passages program at various facilities with limited face-to-face education.

“But none of us feel that this is the whole thing children should receive. It’s not nearby, and the handicap comes from the ACS side,” he added.

Through a spokesperson who didn’t want to be named, ACS argued: “Quality education and programming are an important element of our juvenile justice system. All detained young people can study directly in remote areas through DOE’s Passages Academy.”

Neither ACS nor the City Education Department answered CITY’s questions regarding specific policies. However, DOE said both institutions are working to address barriers to students using cameras.

“Students are provided with a Chromebook [laptops] To get the job done and connect with caring adults on a regular basis, “said DOE spokesman Nathaniel Styer. “And we are proud of the work that educators do every day to provide guidance to students in custody, including special education services.”

“Very inadequate system”

Sill told THE CITY that educators, social workers and teachers “really strive” during distance learning.

“On our side, I’m sure we’re really doing everything we can in this very strange system,” he said. “But are we doing by the kids right now? Number.”

When COVID-19 first surged, cases of the virus began to appear in detention centers, and ACS scrambled to protect both staff and children. So far, seven children have tested positive between Crossroads and Horizon, the city’s two largest facilities, according to ACS.

Initially, no teacher was “actually teaching”, according to the Bronx Defenders testimony. The education consisted of “worksheets and computerized packets only” and was submitted to the May City Council’s surveillance hearing.

The recreation space of the Bronx Horizon Boys Center on November 12, 2020.
Hiram Alejandro Durán / THE CITY

Since then, detained young people have received DOE-approved laptops to complete tasks and have access to live remote teaching, even if the instructor cannot see or hear. Students also have tablets for education such as college classes and other programming.

However, access to technology can be behavioral.

Tablets were distributed for education and other programming, but could be taken away as a punishment, ACS Vice-Chair Sarahemmeter told a committee of the Council on the Judicial System in May: He said: “The better they behave, the longer they hold the tablets and use them too.”

According to the Child Welfare Agency, if a child cannot use a laptop at school, a paper packet will be assigned the lesson. ACS did not respond when asked how many children had lost their right to use laptops and tablets since the pandemic began.

Recently, Sill held a meeting of young detainees, parents and teachers via Skype. It was the first time he saw a student and heard their voice.

According to Sill, many students don’t even attend virtual office hours or online classes. And the homework he receives is practically thin — what he said could be the result of not being able to connect well with students online.

“This is a very inadequate system. Like any other kid, we need to be able to see and talk to them. Our kids are the same as any other New York City kid. You should get level support, “Sill said.

Beyond “Dire Straits”?

Neither ACS nor DOE are responding to current attendance requirements, but a May report by an independent federal monitor overseeing the city’s correctional facilities reported that education at the Bronx Horizon Boys Center was already “chronic.” It is hindered by being late. ”

Students under monitor monitoring were late for class in Horizon for an average of nearly an hour a day in November last year before the pandemic.

“It’s clear that the Ministry of Education is working with ACS to improve access and quality of education,” said Dawn Juster, director of the School Justice Project at the nonprofit Advocates for Children of New York.

But she’s worried about what the closure of another school means for urban lockup kids.

“If the Ministry of Education is not allowed to attend the facility, technology restrictions can lead to dire situations in terms of academic access for children in juvenile detention.”

For Laurel Gwizdak Rinaldi, director of youth services at the Center for Community Alternatives, who is programming in Horizon, “the challenge is to help students engage with teachers.”

ACS has so-called program counselors who are supposed to help kids wake up and do their homework, but online sessions can take a long time, Rinaldi said.

She called for “key workers” to help her children directly, just as parents are at home, despite their health risks.

Rinaldi has already begun working with the city to hire a tutor who visits the Bronx Horizon Boys Center two days a week, three hours at a time. But she said it was only one facility and could only reach 10 out of 40 young people in the facility with each visit.

Teachers, on the other hand, want to be able to hear and see children’s voices during distance learning sessions.

“That’s our goal,” Sill said. “That’s the teachers the administration wants, but that hasn’t happened yet.”

NYC Boy Lockup Kids Can’t See or Hear Teachers During Distance Education

Source link NYC Boy Lockup Kids Can’t See or Hear Teachers During Distance Education

Back to top button