NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — City schools are beginning to outline what reopening in the fall could look like.
CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas found out more on how principals are trying to prepare.
In an email to school leaders, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza outlined eight areas to consider when planning to reopen in September. Among them includes taking extra safety precautions like requiring personal protection equipment (PPE), preparing for a possible phased-in start to the school year, while also coming up with ways to create social distancing within the buildings which will impact students’ schedules.
“We have to think what happens to that parent who has to go to work, whose kid has to go to school on Day A and Day C but on Day B and Day D they’re not going to go to school, but they have a sibling,” teacher and parent Carin Bail said.
Bail said she wonders how schools can meet these new requirements, while also facing deep budget cuts.
“These are all ideas that we want to happen, but you have to really think with what resources? You can’t rub stones together and make money appear,” Bail said.
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Nadia Lopez is the principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn. She said she’s preparing for in-person, online, and hybrid learning.
“That’s going to require literally three strategic plans,” Lopez said.
Her school community is approaching nearly 2,000 positive coronavirus cases, and the death of George Floyd at the hands of police compounded the trauma.
Now, counselors and a social worker from an outside agency will not return next academic year due to budget cuts.
“The question hasn’t been asked — how is … how are your teachers and your school community faring? And taking those things into consideration when funding is being taken away from the very things that we need, like the mental health support,” Lopez said.
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In all, there are 1 million students in the city, each with different needs.
In the email, Carranza told school leaders, “Our job is to be ready and nimble.”
Still, there are so many questions. Among the most important is if it is even safe for schools to open in September.