City Will Delay Public School Opening as School Staffs and Others Question Timeline

New York City will delay the opening of public schools for in-person lessons until Sept. 21, Mayor de Blasio announced on Tuesday.

Remote learning will start Sept. 16.

“School staff are still expected to report to schools on September 8,” Chancellor Carranza said. “Starting on September 16, teachers will remotely work with all students for an instructional transition and orientation period.”

On the Upper West Side, the staff at several schools had expressed concern about opening on Sept. 10, which was expected to be the start date. Those schools include PS 199, 334, 87, Frederick Douglass Academy II, 180, and 333, according to a teacher at PS 87.

Some worry that the extension still won’t be enough.

“I am deeply concerned that eleven days is not nearly enough to meet the monumental task before the city, and that the administration will fall victim to the same logistical failures and logical fallacies as it did previously, just with a new date,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in a statement.

Correction: This post initially said remote learning was also expected to start Sept. 21.

SCHOOLS | 22 comments | permalink
    1. Carlos says:

      This is pathetic. They had all summer to prepare for this – nothing has changed. If anything the goal should have been to start earlier, while the weather is warm and perhaps they could also use outdoor space.

      When are they going to make the days up?

      • concerned parent says:

        Not only are there fewer school days, not only did they have since March to anticipate this and plan for it, but they also shortened the school day to give the teacher more prep time (the decreased time equates to 20+ fewer days of learning.) So a shorter school year and a shorter school day. Amazing leadership and planning all around! (No wonder why the US education is falling behind.)

        • Latoya Pastor says:

          They shortened the school day but the children are not losing any instructional time because students will have a working lunch. While the students are eating, teachers are still teaching them. We were given the extra planning time so we can plan with the teachers who are doing remote teaching. We need to make sure we’re all on the same page.

          • LK says:

            >While the students are eating, teachers are still teaching them.

            How is this helpful? Do the kids take notes? Ask teacher questions? Whom are you kidding?

      • UWSSpEdT says:

        The students start remote learning on the 16th, so they miss 4 days of school. Subtract that from the 7 days teachers gave back to work over spring break and we are still owed 3 days.
        2 days were not enough in normal conditions to come back to a class that was essential left in a time warp from March 13th. Add to that the fact that nothing was put away, and now, we have to, plus set up for the new school and get “trained” on this new blended learning design that no one knows anything about.
        The concerns about ventilation and hygiene are very, very real…my school is 109 years old! You think we have HVAC systems?! It’s laughable.

    2. uwsider says:

      A week out before school was supposed to start. Thanks city government for the ability to make family plans.

    3. GrumpyOldMan says:

      From the NYT artile: “New York has an enormous population of vulnerable public schoolchildren who have been largely failed by remote learning: About 750,000 public schoolchildren in New York City are poor, roughly 200,000 have disabilities and 114,000 are homeless.”

      Shame on all of us who pretend to be “liberal” and/or “progressive” The time has come for less rhetoric and more action in confronting the grave problems of social justice that confront this city.

      • Michael says:

        So confronting the grave social problems? For the teachers union leader Randi Weingarten it means more pay for less work or refusing to work and also blocking others from working, oh and let’s not forget blocking charter schools from opening. Shame on all these fake “progressives”. You want to help people overcome poverty and their situation in life, education is one of the best ways.

      • curious says:

        this is the sad state of progressive politics – all the talk is equality and bridging the gap between the haves & have-nots. and yet every decision from cuomo & de blas is widening the gap MASSIVELY. you think private schools are dealing with this? nope… why? because they started planning 5 months ago for this. and how about not opening up indoor dining – who is that going to negatively impact? right again… more unemployment for people who can least afford it. sad times from our progressive leaders. perhaps its because de blas has never actually done anything in his career – he has no leadership skills, no planning capabilities, no organizational desire. he’s just a complainer..

      • Virile Young Stud says:

        What tangible, concrete, and specific action(s) do you propose, Sir, beyond virtue signaling by “shaming”?

        • curious says:

          i propose this – planning. plan as if you will reopen schools. if you get the chance, you are prepared. if you cant, continue with remote. but you had 5 months to plan for this scenario.

          indoor dining – how about plan as well. IF we can reopen safely, what will be the guidelines? dont wait until you decide its safe to begin planning.

          but hey in the meantime, lets do more cooking shows ok?

    4. D3 Teacher & Resident says:

      No teacher I know wanted schools to be remote indefinitely. All of my colleagues are firm that it’s time to try to reopen, we just want to feel reasonably confident that it’s being done safely.

      During lockdown drills, my middle school students ask if I would try to save them if a gunman came into the room. My answer is always, “yes, my dear students, of course I would, but in the meantime, I hope our leaders are working to make sure it doesn’t come to that.”

      This time, instead of gun control and comprehensive mental health care, we are asking for well ventilated classrooms, adequate cleaning, and frequent testing. It makes me feel incredibly undervalued that some people think that makes me selfish.

    5. Preschool teacher says:

      This is ridiculous! Our family came back to the city to quarantine in time for school and I am due back at my job in a preschool next week. My daughter is 5 years old and is so sad without school that she is almost in a depression. My husband has been working in a hospital as a physiotherapist for most of the past 5 months with tons of overtime because many others in his group left the city. He is not getting ANY paid days off and he is exhausted. Why are the teachers so special that they are being paid to sit at home for yet another 10 days?

      • D3 teacher and resident says:

        @Preschool teacher
        We are not sitting at home, we are reporting back to our buildings on September 8 as scheduled and will be working full days until students return. The point is to give schools a little more to prepare the physical space and the curriculum. And teachers have the same child care concerns as everyone else does, we are all in the same boat with that! And thank you, my fellow educator, for working with our littlest ones!

        • Steven says:

          With all due respect – and much respect is due to teachers – this is a time for going above and beyond, not playing the status quo. Healthcare workers, emergency service workers, certain retail employees and many other essential workers have been making sacrifices since March – without a 3 month summer break. All this school planning and preparation should have happened this summer, not when the union contract says it can happen.

      • SFutt says:

        Do you really think we are staying home? I am a pre-k teacher, and normally my room would have been already set up. I always come in a week before for 8 hours a day UNPAID. We haven’t had any of our questions answered about day to day safety other than wearing masks and washing hands while we are waiting to find out if we are going to be laid off from the 22,000 city workers slated for the chopping block. I’m a parent too, and I have never been so stressed out. My 11 eleven year old is depressed as well. Please don’t judge us- I bet your daughter’s kindergarten teacher is going through similar issues.

    6. Marion UWS says:

      There is also a problem that the custodial union has brought up. That they do not have enough staff to satisfy the new sanitizing requirements.

      • curious says:

        again… we knew this, or should have known this, 5 months ago. that was the time to do ventilation, proper spacing, etc where possible. sad stuff from de blas & his cronies

    7. Disappointed says:

      Once again, the poor planning on the part of the mayor and school chancellor Carranza has led to a delayed opening of the public schools. They knew this was coming and yet what have they been doing for the last 5 months????? The 850 million dollars DeBlasio gave to his wife’s Thrive initiative would have certainly come in handy…..Does anyone know where that money went to??

      • Sue says:

        The poor planning is not just a NY problem. I am in Central Florida and the same questions/ comnents came up. What did everyone do in the 5 months that could have been used to plan? Nothing. School board meetings at last minute… school started with no plan for making sure computers used in classrooms for remote students worked. No provisions made for students who don’t have access to good internet or computer. A teacher friend bought his own piece of plexiglass to hang between himself and those students who are in the classroom.

    8. Michael says:

      New York City spends $38,000 a year per student. That is more than most private schools charge in the rest of the country, with a terrible graduation rate, and terrible quality of education. How long are people going to accept this? We talk about progressivism, how about some progressive thinking and stop accepting this BS.

      Being progressive is about implementing social reform of new and liberal ideas. Supporting the unions, De Blasio and city board of education is regressive!

      • Steven says:

        “How long are people going to accept this?“

        Good question.

        As long as voters continue to elect a mayor, city council members, and other city officials who consistently bend to the demands off the teachers union .