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Queens Parents Left Scrambling As Schools Abruptly Close

P.S. 175 the Lynn Gross Discovery School in Rego Park was one of 33 additional schools citywide to close Thursday (Google Maps)

Oct. 8, 2020 By Allie Griffin

An additional 33 New York City public schools in parts of Queens and Brooklyn were shut down Thursday for at least two weeks in an eleventh hour move by the city and state.

The schools are located within COVID-19 hotpots and were ordered to close by Governor Andrew Cuomo after he shuttered more than 90 schools earlier in the week.

The first batch of schools were closed Tuesday based on ZIP codes and coronavirus positivity data, while the new 33 schools closed today are tied to COVID-19 case data on a more granular level.

Conflicting messaging and last minute announcements from Gov. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio regarding the closures has left parents and teachers scrambling to make sense of the news.

The city didn’t announce which schools would be closing today until last night, leaving affected parents little time to find a caretaker for their children or plan ahead.

The 33 newly shuttered schools are a result of Cuomo’s new coronavirus cluster maps. The maps draw boundaries based on viral clusters— independent of any ZIP code boundaries– and fall into zones.

The 33 schools had not fallen into the ZIP codes included in the first round of shutdowns. However, they fell into either state-mandated red or orange zones where schools must close.

Central Queens cluster and zones (Governor Andrew Cuomo)

The new state-mandated zones also meant more than a dozen schools that had been closed on Tuesday are no longer in the shutdown zones, but instead fall within a yellow zone — which are not subject to school closures under the state plan.

De Blasio said today that those schools will remain closed for two weeks regardless of the state’s  zones.

All other schools within a yellow zone — the furthest from the cluster — may remain open, but must implement weekly COVID-19 testing for students and educators.

Altogether, 124 schools across Queens and Brooklyn have closed due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases within their neighborhoods.

The closures also affect private and religious schools within red and orange zones.

The Diocese of Brooklyn, which represents both Catholic schools in Brooklyn and Queens, criticized Cuomo’s decision to shutter the Catholic academies and parish schools in the cluster neighborhoods.

“This decision by the Governor clearly fails to take into account the positive progress our Diocesan school system has made so far this school year,” said Dr. Tom Chadzutko, Superintendent of Brooklyn and Queens Catholic schools. “It is unconscionable to think that after the many sacrifices our staff, students, and parents have made, and in spite of our almost non-existent infection rate, the Governor has decided to force our … schools to close.”

Parents at one Catholic school in Forest Hills, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Academy, planned a protest against the school closures today. The school is within an orange zone and closed today under the governor’s order.

Each closed public or private school must stay shut for two weeks, at which point the state and city will access the testing data and reevaluate the closures. It’s likely that some schools will remain closed for longer.

The list of Queens public schools closed for at least two weeks is below.

 

22 Comments

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Fanni

School should be open in this District on Columbus Day. No one I know celebrates it except for ignorant people that do not know all the harm he caused to natives.

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cultural sensitivity

Columbus is a cultural touchstone and an icon for Italian Americans and immigrants…viewing him thru a 2020 lens is just an excuse to justify your racism against Italians…This man took the human race from antiquity to modernity…That is why we honor him with a national holiday…If we can honor a proven rapist and fake PHD preacher like MLK we can certainly honor one of the greatest men in western history.

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Paula

If all public schools close again i will go back to my vacation hone in LI. I love apple 🍎 and pumpkin 🎃 picking and its a great way to teach math. You can also bake a pie and make it a learning experience. You have to make the best of what you gave, be thankful and stop complaining. You have to take advantage of every teachable moment when children are learning from home.

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Bench warmer

Sorry Paula we all don’t have vacation homes to run and hide to , and I bet you don’t know have school age children
many families rely on schools to be opened , schools should remained opened if there isn’t rising cases coming from students and staff not what’s going on in the neighborhood

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one group ruining it for all

Yeah well, hopefully “those people” and you know who you are, will wear masks when they’re out with their other bearded friends so they don’t send the entire freakin city into the abyss of another 6 months of hell.

Coumo’s book on how he defeated the coronavirus comes out next week, kinda funny in a way. Hope he sells many copies over there in Kew Gardens.

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Juanita

i heard the city and state try to save money by close the schools. there is teacher shortage.

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We're being gaslighted

Cuomo and Dumblasio couldn’t organise a fart in a bean factory, let alone lead anybody through a crisis.

Then again, maybe they’re doing this on purpose. Can always blame Trump for their foul ups.

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sandy

The parents should be happy there kids will be safe from getting the virus. We don’t have 30 doctors looking after us like the rich. I had to go to the ER for something not related to the virus and doctors and staff were so rude and uncaring. they put sick patients right next to you in the er and allow them to take off masks while they cough and sneeze. one person started screaming about this and no one cared so they just walked out. i think they are better at coordinating song and dance videos then they are about helping the sick.

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That happened before.

And it had nothing to do with today’s BS.

Everyone got sick because parents seem to find the joy in sending their kids into school half dead.

All for a free xbox at the end of the year.

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Josefa

why dont they just bus the children to other districts in NYC. parents need some time to themselves!

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Bethany

This is a terrible thing to do to families. Parents and children need consistency. These Politicians are messing with People’s lives

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So will you dig their graves?

Cause well all end up dead with this consistency!!!

And really??? Most if the children in our schools go home to NO consistently whatsoever!!! No bedtimes, no dinner, no routines, no chores, no discipline.

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Melissa

Many teachers have children as well. They deserve to stay healthy, as do the children & families who attend these schools. Imagine the loss of consistency were they to contract Covid & then spread to their families!

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Sarah

Many healthcare and essential workers have children as well. But the city does not tell them to stay home or close them down. They are told to go to work. Schools need to stay open. They are essential to the lives of many students and families. I heard that some older students are using pre recorded videos to stream themselves during online classes.

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Critic Al

Wear a mask! Wash your hands! Keep a safe distance! Yet, people are selfish. From the president to the locals not following guidelines that safeguard the health of all.

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#dumpcuomo

Please stop with the masking comments! Sweden has opened up and they are doing well. Masks make people dumb!

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