Local Parents Organize to Oppose Limits on Opt-In Rules at Public Schools


PS 199 families waiting outside the school. Photo by Stephen Harmon.

Community Education Council 3, a parent group that resembles a school board, is holding a meeting on Monday to fight a Department of Education rule that would limit the periods when parents can decide to opt back in to hybrid learning from all-remote.

The DOE has said it will no longer allow parents to opt in once every quarter. Now, they’ll get only one chance for the rest of the school year. They’ll have to decide to send their children back in a window from Nov. 2 to Nov. 15. Parents and politicians have begun to push back, urging the mayor to allow parents another opt-in opportunity in January.

To join the meeting on Monday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m., click on the Zoom link here.

NEWS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Leon says:

      Thank you for publicizing this. The DOE’s change of plans is a horrible idea. Many families opted out wanting to see how the virus progressed and thinking they were likely to opt in around February/March, when it warms up. Changing the rules on them midstream and forcing a rushed decision is contrary to everything we are aiming to do. There is no logic behind this.

      I have had my issues with CEC3 but I applaud them for their work on this.

      • Quan Lee says:

        Time to send kids back to school full time. If you have a Covid worry, opt for home schooling.

    2. Pedestrian says:

      This surprise deadline is typical of the DeVlasio Administration. They don’t do their work and then they decide we make a splash by discomforting parents or residents. Let them complain we don’t care. We have photo ops to go to and those rezoning SS for our pals. Kids don’t have lobbyists and neither do their parents

      • Quan Lee says:

        Put kids into classrooms. If you have a problem, go for home schooling instead of making the rest of the children suffer

    3. Kathleen says:

      I understand why BOE can’t have students opting out and in of blended learning throughout the year. It requires physical space to be reconfigured, more teachers and teachers being switched around to accommodate more students, etc. All of this is more disruptive than Covid has already made learning for the kids. That said, I also understand that parents are upset that BOE changed the rules after the school year has started. It’s a mess.

      • Teacher says:

        What’s more disruptive to schools is the uncertainty the new rule is going to cause. Many parents will opt in now just so they can have the option in their back pocket, but then will send their child in on their own time table. Could be December 1, could be December 15, January Flibbity-six, half past Tuesday, never, whenever. So schools will never know from day to day who to expect or plan for. When there were set opt ins, we could plan. Now… we’ll be winging it from day to day. Splendid.

    4. Lauren says:

      Allowing kids to opt in can be tumultuous for the kids who have been enrolled in blended learning. In order to accommodate kids who opt back in, schools will have to reorganize classrooms, which means some students will have to be put in new classrooms. This year has already been tough enough on students and asking a 5 year old, for example, to switch teachers and classmates half way through the school year would be really difficult emotionally and socially (speaking as a parent of a kindergartener). I understand why parents want more opportunities to opt-in, but at the same time I also appreciate the desire to create stability and consistency.

      • uwsider says:

        Agreed. Just as parents may have depended on opt-in schedules, those of us already in blended learning need stability and can’t reconfigure our lives and our kids’ lives every couple months. CEC3 has jumped to opposition on this without listening to the other side but I’ve given up thinking these rinky-dink local government bodies like the CEC have either democratic legitimacy or capacity to do anything.