The parent council for the Upper West Side and parts of Harlem has sent a letter to the mayor and governor asking them to delay the planned reopening of public schools on Sept. 10. Community Education Council 3 (CEC3), an elected parent group representing schools in the district, says it “stand in solidarity with colleagues from across the city” in pushing for the delay.
The city is allowing parents to choose between a fully remote schedule and a hybrid program where children would go to school in person about half the time. The Department of Education has created all sorts of rules for reopening in an attempt to keep schools safe, and they’ve bought PPE and air purifiers to reduce the risk of Covid-19. If the city’s positive Covid testing rate rises above 3% on a weekly average (it’s lately been below 1%), all schools will close. Chancellor Carranza says “health and safety always lead the way” in the system’s decisions.
But the CEC3 says that the city hasn’t done nearly enough to ensure that kids, teachers and other employees will be safe. They claim the department has “squandered these last five months, choosing to curate a political narrative, and to disseminate glossy, consultant-styled plans instead of working with stakeholders to put our children, families, teachers and staff first.”
Staff at some local schools, including MS 334 (The Anderson School), have also sent letters requesting a delay.
“We know that our families are suffering and want schools to resume some semblance of normalcy,” the letter says. “However, there are simply too many risks being taken and too many questions that remain unanswered.”
Read the full letter, which is also critical of the city’s remote learning efforts, here.