Monday, January 17, 2022

NYC mayor considering virtual learning plan for schools


Michelle L. Price, Associated Press

Published Thursday, January 13, 2022 5:45 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams is considering allowing the nation’s largest school district to return to some form of virtual instruction as the city grapples with the coronavirus.virus cases, contrary to their pledge a week earlier to keep the kids inside schools,

Adams said at a news conference Thursday that he still believes the safest place for children is school, “but we have to be honest that there are substantial numbers of children that, for whatever reason, parents can’t bring them to school.” are.”

Attendance levels for students returning from winter break have been below normal, with anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of students not attending class on most days. As of Wednesday, the district-wide attendance was 76 percent, according to numbers from the city’s education department. In a district of about one million students, this means that about 220,000 were either ill or otherwise missing from school.

More than 100 schools The attendance of all the students who attended the class on Wednesday was recorded to be less than 60% and more than 50.

After peaking the first week in January, the average number of new cases in New York City has declined slightly in recent days, raising some hope among officials that the ommicron tide is waning.

Adams, a Democrat who took office for the first time of the year, took a swift stance on the pandemic, urging New Yorkers to take precautions and get vaccinated, but not to let COVID-19 control their lives. He also said repeatedly that the city could not tolerate further closures of businesses. schools,

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers’ Union, which represents the city’s public school teachers, had personally asked the mayor to suspend learning since Adams took over.

Adams said Thursday that he is working closely with Mulgrew and is willing to entertain temporary distance learning, as long as it was a “quality option.”

“But my goal: I want kids in school,” Adams said.

The mayor insisted the city would not see the kind of controversy in Chicago, where the nation’s third-largest school district canceled five days of classes because of disagreements with the teachers’ union over COVID-19 safety protocols.

“This is not Chicago,” Adams said. “We can solve it. We can get out of these crises and we will find the right way to educate our children in a very safe environment.”

He didn’t provide details about what the remote option might look like. Messages left with the teachers’ union and the city’s education department were not immediately returned.

The city’s school system was one of the first to return to in-person instruction after the pandemic hit in 2020 and schools Closed in March for the rest of the year. They launched a hybrid plan in the fall of 2020, with most students learning inside school a few days a week and online at home the rest of the time.

New York City students returned to full-time individual instruction this past fall.

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