NEW YORK — Thursday was the last day of classes for students at New York City public schools before Christmas break. When they return, there will be a new mayor and schools chancellor calling the shots on school safety during the pandemic.
So far, though, Mayor-elect Eric Adams isn’t revealing much about his plan to keep schools open once he takes over the school system of nearly 1 million students and 75,000 teachers.
“I am going to get us through COVID,” he said earlier this week, but didn’t elaborate much. He’s insisted that there’s only one mayor at a time, and he doesn’t want to cloud the clout of current Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The head of the teachers union sent a message to the new administration.
“We will work throughout this entire break,” said Michael Mulgrew. “But if we don’t see that we are getting the testing system that we need to keep our schools and our communities and our children and parents safe, then we’re going take a different position on this entire schools have to remain open [plan].”
Attendance Wednesday averaged around 73%.
The City Council’s education chair Mark Treyger said getting kids tested after the holiday break is the only way to fight absenteeism.
“We need stronger testing protocols,” he said. “We need more transparency, and yes, we need to test, test, test both students and staff in our school buildings to keep them safe.
One thing most city leaders agree on is keeping buildings open: closing schools, they say, is not an option.
“I do support, however…a remote option for families who rightfully remain concerned, Treyger said.
Classes are set to resume on Jan. 3.
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