NYC Offers Broad Reopening Plan for Schools; Special Ed is Top Priority, Mayor Says – NBC New York | #specialneeds | #kids


What to Know

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday he is working toward reopening city schools, which he said would involve even more coronavirus testing, and provided an overall reopening plan.
  • During his daily coronavirus press briefing, the mayor provided no timeline for a schools reopening, other than saying it will possibly happen in the “upcoming weeks” and that it will require “a lot of work.”
  • Part of those additional steps is to have students and staff undergo more testing in advance of school reopening and throughout the school year and urged parents once who want their children to participate in in-person learning to submit their testing consent forms. When it comes to the priorities in the New York City Schools reopening plan, officials will “focus on the most important and most vulnerable of our education system.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday he is working toward reopening city schools, which he said would involve even more coronavirus testing, and provided an overall reopening plan.

During his daily coronavirus press briefing, the mayor provided no timeline for a schools reopening, other than saying it will possibly happen in the “upcoming weeks” and that it will require “a lot of work.”

“We can and we will bring back our schools. It will take a lot of work. I just want people to understand that from the beginning,” de Blasio said. “Bringing back the schools this next time will take an extra effort. It can be done.”

De Blasio went on to say that part of reopening New York City schools is “to take our core vision, which is health and safety first, and intensify it.”

“The data and the science govern all our decisions. We saw these number rise, we made a decision based on the standards we out forward months ago, but now a new reality is coming into play,” he went on to say. “We’ll take additional measures to reopen schools. There is a clear protocol for that, it involves a lot more testing. It’s a very conservative, cautious approach.”

Part of those additional steps is to have students and staff undergo more testing in advance of school reopening and throughout the school year and urged parents once who want their children to participate in in-person learning to submit their testing consent forms.

“That whole approach was working and working very well,” the mayor said. “We are going to now build upon that.”

When it comes to the priorities in the New York City Schools reopening plan, officials will “focus on the most important and most vulnerable of our education system.”

“First of all, our special needs kids and the families of special needs kids have been saying very clearly how much they need in-person education. I couldn’t agree with them more,” de Blasio said. So, when we come back, the first thing we are going to focus on is getting what is called District 75 schools — special ed schools — back and up and running across all grades.”

Following special education schools, the city will focus on early childhood education by working to bring that back 3-k and pre-k, followed by elementary schools.

“And we’ll keep building from there,” the mayor said. “This is an initial vision. A lot of work to do to make it come together but I want to give people a sense of how things are going to go in the coming weeks and the focus we are going to have as we build out this plan.”

De Blasio ordered public school buildings to close last Thursday due to the city’s 3% rolling positivity rate last week. De Blasio reiterated his belief Monday that New York City would become an orange zone by state standards in the coming weeks. The state’s rules of an orange zone allow schools to reopen under extensive testing, he said. To ready that possibility, he pleaded with families to fill out test consent forms.

A parents’ group that held a rally Saturday against school closure planned to deliver a petition Thursday at City Hall. NBC New York’s Katherine Creag reports.

When de Blasio announced last week that public school buildings would be closed at least through Thanksgiving weekend, some parents wondered why the schools were closing when restaurants were still open.

De Blasio said he was sympathetic to those complaints, but added: “Looking at the state’s own number system, we’re talking a week or two before we’re in that orange zone status.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo first sowed the seeds of takeover Wednesday when he announced he would transition the entirety of New York City to a micro-cluster orange zone if the citywide seven-day rate hits 3 percent and stays at 3 percent for 10 straight days. State reporting of that metric differs from city data.





Source link