NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The delayed start to the city’s school year has been met by relief from teachers hoping for more time to make their classrooms safe.
But parents wanting to get back to work are wondering why some decisions weren’t made earlier, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Tuesday.
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Teachers at MS 324 in Washington Heights were doing a safety walk through their classrooms Tuesday, checking social distancing capabilities and ventilation. They were grateful to know the start of school has been delayed.
“I’m very relieved that we’re being given the extra time to get the buildings safe, because that’s all we really wanted,” Lisa O’Connor said.
“No teacher really wanted to not come to work. Teachers want to teach. But we want to do it safely and I think this is a move in the right direction,” Shawn Hindes added.
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Schools will be given 10 extra days to prep the building and ready blended learning plans. Parents, like Harlem’s Shasha McGinn, who were already juggling work schedules to send their children to school next week, have mixed feelings about waiting longer to return.
“They should’ve been figured this out,” McGinn said. “Me going back to work is like not even possible.”
“I think it’s a positive move. They want to make sure they’re safe, as well as the kids, because they go home to their families as well,” parent Madeline Lewis added.
The city agreed to the teachers union’s demand for monthly random COVID-19 testing of adults and children at every school, which teachers and some families are hoping is just the beginning.
“I was a little surprised, a little bit relieved, but I still have mixed feelings because random sampling testing isn’t the same as widespread testing,” teacher Sarah Kuhner said.
“Really, I feel good about the change. Because even if other kids don’t show the symptoms you never know if they have it or not,” student Mekhi Lewis said.
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Hindes, a social studies teacher, said the administration at his school has been great in planning ahead, but he said the faculty will make sure the Department of Education keeps its promise of proper ventilation in the classrooms and sufficient safety and cleaning supplies.
“If we’re not, teachers will speak up and will tell the union and will tell the administration, will have to get it done correctly. This is too important to mess up,” Hindes said.
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