City Changes Rules for Hybrid Schooling as Most Parents Have Gone to Remote-Only


Photo by Stephen Harmon.

The city says it will only allow parents to opt their children back in to hybrid schooling once this year, after previously saying there would be windows of opportunity to opt in once each quarter. That opt-in chance will be from Nov. 2 to Nov. 15.

The sudden shift comes as remarkably few people are attending public schools in-person. Only 26% of students have been to schools in person this year, the mayor said on Monday.

The limited window to go back to learning in-person was designed to help principals plan. But it surprised some parents and public officials. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams called it evidence of failure.

“This puts families in a difficult position of having to make a long-term assessment based on an ever-changing reality, with little information or transparency. The city itself has failed in that regard, and it fails now, again, in providing safe and satisfactory options for students, parents, and school staff who have had to endure an alternating absence and incompetence of leadership.”

Data shows that the students that are attending in person tend to be from richer school zones. That’s clear in District 3, which includes the Upper West Side and parts of Harlem, the Daily News reported.

“In District 3′s wealthiest eight schools, concentrated on the Upper West Side where fewer than one in five kids live in poverty, 73% of families are signed up for in-person classes — compared to 53% in the district’s poorest schools clustered in Harlem, where more than four of five children are poor.”

NEWS, SCHOOLS | 15 comments | permalink
    1. Anita says:

      Schools need to be more flexible during these times for everyone’s sake. Parents shouldn’t be pressured like this!

    2. Leon says:

      Once again, Carranza and deBlasio can’t get out of their own way. This is such a dumb idea. People made plans assuming they would have multiple re-entry points. If you are only doing one, do it after the heart of flu season (maybe after Feb. break), not now.

      Now everyone is going to opt in, classes will be reconfigured and schools will be too crowded so kids will be able to go less frequently, then everyone will opt out but they can’t reconfigure again. The principals are working so hard and the DOE is making their jobs impossible.

    3. Carlos says:

      Are there any explanations for why more kids are going in person at richer schools than poor ones?

      I really don’t understand the logic behind this mid-year switch by the DOE. Meanwhile, they have given no guidance around middle school and high school admissions because they are too busy creating drama.

      • josh says:

        My understanding is that more lower income families do not trust the DOE for safet5. Most of the higher income families I have spoken with have expressed relief that their kids are in school because they dont want them home. Makes it seem like lower income families are concerned about the safety of the family while higher income families are more concerned with the sanity of the parents.

        • Carlos says:

          As an upper income parent, I am taking a well thought out calculated risk. Our principal has worked tirelessly and has been very transparent, and I am comfortable with the protocols in place.

          Also, my children’s education is my number one priority. I believe that that education will be more robust in person, particularly for younger children. I am willing to take a small risk to have a greatly enhanced educational outcome. And I am making compromises in my life to make it safer for my child and the school community. I am doing this for them, not me.

        • HelenD says:

          That’s an absurd comment about the parents who are well off. The private schools have put safety measures in place and they want their children to be interacting with their peers and teachers. If the low income parents don’t feel their schools are safe, and that could very well be the case, then they need to work together to make sure these changes are made. Why is it that NYC parent’s protest about every damn thing on the planet but then just sit back and wait for the clowns running the schools to jerk them around for months when their children’s education is at stake?

          • Norma says:

            I am a parent of wealth and also work with financially poor youth and their families. There is not one of these families, that I have encountered, who do not care about their childrens safety and if they had the means to would something different. Wealth gives us options. As parents of wealth we have options and it is my responsibility, our responsibility, to provide my youth (our youth and their families) and their families with these options so they do not have to choose between food or school. In my perview, poor or wealthy in this country, no one should have ever have to choose between their health or their childs education.

    4. Norma says:

      As a single parent, an educational administrator and a Latina I find myself in a very priviledge place to not complain. My children are what is most important. Their physical and mental well being; sometimes one takes precedence over the other. Their physical health is more important right now. A SW by trade and because I love THEM their mental stability is my responsibility. Too many parents, not all, particularly of wealth are more concerned about their careers and getting their kids into the top schools and taking chances than figuring out how to roll things back to spend more time with their family. Not that I want to lose my house or my belongings, but if we have our health and eachother those items are only things that can be eventually recovered. I find myself blessed to slow down and appreciate this time with my children and be witness to them grow. Take a moment and play with them. Have lunch and sit down at a meal with them. We wont ever get a time like this again and we should make the most of it. We underestimate the resiliance of children and coddle them way too much, they can handle more than us adults. School is not the end all be all and the preponderance of childrens education happens outside of school, so why not make every effort to shape that edcuation ourselves.

    5. Scott says:

      Silly people, you think the schools are run for the kids? No, they are a union job site.

      It is October 27th and today is my son’s sixth day in the classroom this year. What a joke.

      • Norma says:

        I can see why you may think that and that attitude of union first exist it is not ubiquitous. Unions serve a purpose in asystem that historically disrespects teachers. I would say our country as a whole is disrespectful of educators. If our country bestowed prestige on the profession of teaching as in other countries unions would be unnecessary. I have an excetional staff of brilliant teachers who are thoughful, hardworking and innovative, I would say that there are more brilliant teachers than there are not. Systemically I agree its not about kids especially our youth of color and who are not finacially advantaged.

      • josh says:

        Right, it is all about the union and has nothing to do with Covid…

    6. Bill Williams says:

      Stop living in fear! Send your kids to school. You’re doing more damage to their mental well being keeping them home.

      https://www.npr.org/2020/10/21/925794511/were-the-risks-of-reopening-schools-exaggerated

      • norma vega says:

        You cant shelter your children from mental health issues completely. These are very different times where unfortunatley the trust in politics, science and religion has been eroded. Some may argue that sending them to school with a mask, where they cant socialize and have to be told repeatedly to stay a part is damaging. Ultimately the amount of damage is determined by the caretakers ability to create an enviornment at home that allows a child to talk about their fears and what routines are in place to support the child to feel safe and productive. In speaking with friends and colleagues the resounding theme was “how do I handle work, kids and school?” The answer atleast for me is having very clear routines, especially for sleep and video games, for their school, scheduling in time to check in on how they are doing, children will rise to the occasion. Yeh its a lot of work, and? Being a good parent means doing a lot of work. I cant see myself taking a chance with their health. I thank god they havent been sick but I dont want to find out that they may have underlying conditions once they have gotten infected.

    7. D3 teacher says:

      If they claim they want to make it easier for schools to plan, this is not the right move. Now every parent who thinks they might at some point want their kids doing in person learning is going to opt back in but not actually send their kids until it’s convenient. So kids are going to be randomly trickling in all year without any notice, making it next to impossible for schools to program effectively and safely. The original plan, to have quarterly opt-ins, felt fair and reasonable.

    8. LK says:

      Wait till you find out the new grading policy. https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/news/chancellor-s-message-for-families
      No failing grades – yay! But get a load of this – any passing grade that the student/parent does not like can be substituted by ‘P[ass]’ or ‘Cr[edit]’ without affecting student’s GPA! Pick your own grade – Brilliant!