You are reading

Principals Union Calls for City to Delay Reopening of In-Person Classes

Mayor Bill de Blasio toured Village Academy in Far Rockaway to observe how the school is preparing for a socially-distanced reopening on Wednesday. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

Aug. 13, 2020 By Allie Griffin

New York City principals are calling on the city to delay the start of in-person classes, stating that schools are ill-prepared to reopen safely in the midst of the pandemic.

The union representing school principals, the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators (CSA), penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio Wednesday demanding that he delay the reopening of schools noting that more time is needed to properly implement a safety plan.

Schools are set to open Sept. 10 with a mix of in-person and remote learning.

“We are now less than one month away from the first day of school and still without sufficient answers to many of the important safety and instructional questions we’ve raised on behalf of school leaders and those they serve,” CSA President Mark Cannizzaro wrote in the letter.

“Given the lack of information and guidance available at this time, CSA believes that NYCDOE’s decision to open for in-person learning on September 10th is in disregard of the well-being of our school communities.”

Under de Blasio’s current plan, most students will attend class at their school buildings two to three times a week, and stay home for online learning the other days. Students also have the option to enroll purely in remote classes– and can opt to do so at any time.

The union said the city has failed to address many of its members’ crucial concerns and ignored appeals for more time to implement the new “highly complicated” coronavirus prevention protocols.

Cannizzaro said in-person learning should be postponed until the end of the September, with remote only beginning on the 10th.

“The slow rollout of guidance has forced us to once again address an unfortunate truth: schools will not be ready to open for in-person instruction on September 10th,” he wrote. “A more realistic, phased-in approach would instead welcome students for in-person learning toward the end of September, following a fully remote start to the year.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza toured Village Academy in Far Rockaway to observe how the school is preparing for a socially-distanced reopening on Wednesday. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

The letter also lists a number of questions left unanswered by city officials on topics, such as the supply of nurses; repairs to ventilation systems; the availability of PPE, cleaning materials and other necessary supplies; adequate staffing numbers and guidance for children with special needs.

Today, de Blasio answered one of their questions. He promised that every school will have a certified nurse by the first day of school at a press briefing this morning.

However, the CSA said there’s still been too little planning for schools to open on time.

“Regrettably, the city started the planning process far too late for [school leaders] to have any faith or confidence that they can reopen their buildings on September 10th,” Cannizzaro said in the letter.

Teachers report in on Sept. 8, which Cannizzaro said allows “frighteningly little time for the preparation and training necessary for these unprecedented circumstances.”

The teachers union, United Federation of Teachers (UFT), said they agree that schools cannot start in-person classes until it is safe for students and staff.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew, asked how parents could comfortably send their children to school when their own principals don’t feel it’s safe.

“The principals union — whose members will be responsible for enforcing coronavirus safety protocols in the schools — now believes that school buildings will not be ready to open in September,” Mulgrew said. “Will any parents be willing to put their children in a school whose principal believes the building is not ready to open because it is not safe?”

However, de Blasio said there is still more time to address the concerns of principals and teachers during his morning briefing today.

“I really believe our schools are crucial for our kids, there is nothing that replaces in-person learning. Our schools coming back is part of how our whole city comes back and we’ve been planning for months,” de Blasio said.

“We have a whole month before school begins to address these concerns further,” he added.

email the author: [email protected]

6 Comments

Click for Comments 
Gardens Watcher

No way is NYC going to be ready for in-person schooling this year. What’s the rush anyway?

11
5
Reply
Enough whining!

If supermarket cashiers can do their jobs, so can teachers.

Get back to work or lose your paychecks.

19
20
Reply
Hold on, there!!!

This is NOT teachers talking but the principals!

Kindly do not put us in with administration. We do not have the same union. Whenever we have to do some sort of union voting the administration MUST leave the room!!

13
3
Reply
We WERE doing are jobs all this time!!!

Y’all think we’ve been in vacation since remote learning started??? We’ve never worked so hard in all our lives!!! We lost our time for spring break! We still had IEP meetings to prepare for and attend!

So stop talking about things you don’t know!!!

10
4
Reply
Learn to write

“Doing ARE jobs….”????

And you are a teacher with those dreadful writing skills?

7
4
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.