The Councilman has proposed several good ideas that may or
may not come to fruition. I agree with him regarding the delaying of the
opening of the schools. We have too many staff members on every level who
have preexisting conditions and will want to teach virtually. We also
have many students whose parents will have major concerns about sending their
children into school and need to be reassured regarding health and social
DOE has yet to address how they will have sufficient staff to cover the new day
care centers, hire enough teachers to take the place of those teachers opting
to do only virtual learning and where they will get the funding for salaries,
benefits, supplies, books, etc. The city and state are in dire financial
circumstances. Where will they get the money? As of today, I do not see a
positive federal response for more funding.
a former middle school Principal in a school with close to three thousand
students, I am very concerned about bus and subway transportation and social
distancing when students arrive and are dismissed from school. In terms of transportation,
how do you social distance children on school buses? How do you enforce the
wearing of masks on all modes of transportation?
are issues with emergency drills and how students will attempt to socialize
even in the cafeteria. The early grades are even tougher. You
cannot ask Pre-K 3 and 4 year olds, as well as the other early grade students,
to do the things we adults can do easily. This includes issues regarding
hygiene and wearing masks all day. This will be a great challenge.
suggestion for synchronous learning is also a contractual issue. When first
approached to teach in a distance learning system, the teachers’ union informed
the teachers they did not have to do that. There were numerous reports of
students not receiving any real instruction. Therefore, there has to be a
buy-in by the UFT. The DOE must ensure that high poverty communities have
better access to the Internet. They must also consider how to train and use
paraprofessionals to be part of the distance learning program. Paraprofessional
are not licensed teachers, therefore they cannot be in charge of classrooms
whether on site or in the virtual world.
The current DOE plan is unacceptable and totally lacking in
so many ways. The current plan truly hurts those families with two or
more children in the school system. How does a parent handle child care issues
if her children’s school schedules are in conflict with each other? What about
the single parent who must work to pay bills, but has no one to take care of the
child and does not make it into day care facilities?
Member Treyger deserves credit for at least putting ideas out there for people
to comment and try to implement. However, the first day the schools were shut
down, was the first day the Chancellor should have started to plan for their
reopening. He and his staff should have been devising multiple scenarios in
consultation with all of the communities they serve]\ I would hope as the
Council Member has suggested that the opening of the schools physically is
delayed so a real plan can be put forward.
-- Matt Bromme