“Real concerns have been raised by my colleagues,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. “We are doing this to make sure that all the standards we’ve set can be achieved.”
A “welcome back” banner hangs in front of P.S. 33 in Chelsea, which is scheduled to partially reopen Monday.
Is it ready? The answer depends on who you ask, CBS2’s John Dias reported.
“I think we still need some more materials like PPE. We don’t have that, we don’t have enough hand sanitizer, soap,” said Kara Mignone, a fifth grade teacher.
While teachers have concerns over supplies, the school’s union representative said they’ll be good to go.
“We are ready for the children,” said Cristina Tur.
This coming Monday, Sept. 21, 3-K and pre-K, as well as District 75, which serves special needs students citywide, will be the only ones returning to the classroom.
On Sept. 29, schools serving K-5 and K-8 students will come back. Then on Oct. 1, middle and high schools students will go in person.
Many parents are thinking about why, in mid-September, city schools are still not ready. The say it’s hard to plan their own work schedules.
“I have a husband, so he watches them for me in the daytime, and then he goes to work at night. We’ve had to play with our schedule,” said Cherity Jones.
“There’s no way you came up with a plan in a couple of days that you couldn’t get in five months. For five months we’ve been asking what are you going to do?” Brigette Brantley, who has a third grader, said.
Watch John Dias’s Report:
Arina Zizersky, a working mom from Staten Island, couldn’t contain her emotions Thursday when a city app alerted her that in-person learning for her daughter was delayed, again.
“The system is failing… It’s so sad. I could barely keep my job down,” Zizersky told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes. “I have to go day-by-day and see who is able to watch my child. I have to lose days at work. I have to lose money. I have bills to pay.”
Zizersky is one of several parents who rallied outside P.S. 62 in the Woodrow section of Staten Island on Friday morning.
These parents believe their children can safely return to school.
“Our principal, our teachers worked so hard all summer. Our school is ready. Our children deserve to be in school, in the classroom,” said Kerry Cordasco.
They said “wishy washy” leadership is hurting their kids’ education and working parents.
“It’s a lot to ask of other people to do the online schooling with my son. Trying to juggle everything isn’t easy,” said Rebecca Rose, a mother who works at Staten Island North Hospital.
“I was a public school parent here in New York City. I understand it’s frustrating that we need to get it right and it’s going to be hard to do in the middle of this pandemic, but we’re getting there,” said de Blasio during an appearance on MSNBC Friday morning.
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At a backpack and food giveaway in Mott Haven, The Bronx, Shekebea Wright, whose children will be all remote, said she has no confidence in City Hall.
“It’s affecting me because I can’t work. I gotta stay home with my kids,” Wright said.
“It’s just one delay after another, and it’s got to stop,” New York State Sen. John Liu told CBS2. “There are millions of people who have to schedule their lives around this. The mayor every morning projects an air of confidence as if everything is on track, but clearly things were not on track.”
The mayor said the delay will help address a staffing shortage and to make sure buildings are safe. He’s adding 4,500 educators, but some teachers are not convinced.
“We’re still having pre-K teachers going in. They’re going into unsafe schools. The windows still don’t open, the thermometers don’t work,” said Alexis Neider.
“We have stood up in every single borough… Fighting for our school system and our children. Fighting for them to be safe, fighting for ourselves to be safe and fighting for all our families to be safe. We want to do our work. We need to be safe,” he said Thursday.
De Blasio said the decision came following an hours-long conversation with the principal and teachers unions.
The first day of school was initially scheduled for Sept. 10. The mayor said he is confident that all public school students who want to be in school will be by Oct. 1.
De Blasio said there is no chance, as of now, the city will switch to an entirely remote learning plan.
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