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Queens Legislators Call on Mayor Adams to Offer Temporary Remote Option for Schools

More than a dozen legislators are calling on the mayor to offer remote learning at the city’s public schools after students returned to school Monday amid a surge of COVID cases (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Jan. 7, 2022 By Allie Griffin

More than two dozen city and state lawmakers are calling on Mayor Eric Adams to offer a temporary remote learning option for students at the city’s public schools—amid a record-breaking surge of COVID-19 cases.

Three Queens legislators, who are parents of young children themselves, are spearheading the call as students returned to school this week across the five boroughs.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos, Assembly Member Jessica González-Rojas and Council Member Shekar Krishnan penned a letter to Adams Thursday to demand a virtual learning option for two weeks until Jan. 18. The letter was signed by 24 additional state and city lawmakers, including several from Queens.

The legislators said the extra time will allow parents to get their children vaccinated and tested for COVID-19 to slow its spread. It will also give schools, they added, more time to receive shipments of masks, testing kits and other items to institute universal weekly and baseline COVID-19 testing.

Students returned to school this week after the holiday break. About 67 percent of students returned to the classroom Monday as COVID cases across all age groups topped 33,400 that same day, according to city data.

“This demonstrates the hesitance by many parents to return their children to schools as the virus
continues to transmit in high numbers,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

The officials noted that they are not calling for a fully-remote school year. They only want the virtual option to be temporary to keep students safe until COVID-19 cases slow down.

“To be clear, we are not asking for the closure of schools but simply an adaptable response to an increasingly alarming issue impacting the health of New Yorkers,” they wrote.

The legislators said they are concerned that faculty and students will have trouble focusing on teaching and learning when they are worried about contracting the virus. They said the two weeks off would allow them time to get tested and vaccinated and have some peace of mind.

“Providing families the time to test and vaccinate their families will provide benefits in the long term and slow the spread of COVID-19 transmissions.”

The letter was also signed by Queens Assembly Members Andrew Hevesi and Catherine Nolan, Queens Senators Toby Ann Stavisky and Michael Gianaris and Queens Council Members Sandra Ung, Tiffany Cabán, Linda Lee, and Lynn Schulman among others.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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7 Comments

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Just get vaccinated

No. I quarantined all last winter because it was the right thing to do. The vaccine’s have been out for 9 months. There have been no side effects. I’m vaccinated, boosted, wearing a mask…. and not doing anything else to help the vaccine hesitant anymore. And I’m not sacrificing my kids mental health for them either.

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Tabitha

According to the news this morning we also have to be careful not to catch FLURONA!!! Please help us with rent and food. Is AOC still in Florida?

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Rose

Covid cases will go down soon as less people get tested in nyc. In nyc , many people got tested prior and during the holidays to protect themselves and the families they were visiting away from the city. Now so many of the new renters are back and live alone so if they feel well they will not get tested.

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As good as this sounds, It's too late baby!

He should make everyone go fully remote for a month or so.

Having the option for remote means more teachers, more schedules, more confusion. More kids literally left to their own devices!

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Jim

And what about people who have to work and have no option to stay home and care for their kids? What about parents who depend on those meals that kids get at school or who can’t afford internet at home.

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