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Five Big Questions When New York City Students Return to School

New York City public schools welcome students who have already lived for 18 months on Monday. Coronavirus pandemic When it comes to learning, we face unprecedented challenges.

There are some certainty when classes begin, such as the availability of vaccines for children over the age of 12, but it’s unclear how the grade will evolve as the Delta Variant devastates the United States. Become. There are five main questions about what the 2021-22 academic year entails. ..

1. How much distance learning or alternative learning will be possible?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August that all children would study directly five days a week without remote options.

A student Immunodeficiency, Or those who have certain medical conditions (including cancer or multiple sclerosis) listed by the Ministry of Education (DOE),Medically necessary guidance.. According to DOE, this is provided primarily via the online platform and can be provided directly at home if needed.

The case is different if the student attends the class directly, but then it must be quarantined.

In primary school, if a student becomes infected with COVID, there is currently no vaccine available to students under the age of 12, so they should be quarantined for 10 calendar days with the rest of the class. COVID, they are directed to a 10-day quarantine with other unvaccinated students who are in close contact with the class, and vaccinated students who are showing symptoms. Those close contacts can be tested again on day 8 if the COVID is negative.

According to the DOE, if a student has a COVID and is forced to quarantine the entire classroom, the student will receive live remote instruction. According to the agency, if only a few students in the class need to be quarantined, they will “get support from teachers and receive asynchronous remote instruction during business hours.” That time is paid to the teacher.

Not everyone is satisfied with their face-to-face learning obligations.Several city council members pushed back At the hearing on September 1st With DOE Prime Minister Meisha Porter.

Justin Brannan, a New York City Council member representing Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, told MarketWatch: “Especially, we need remote options, as well as remote emergency response plans. We need to know exactly how social distance works in a heavily overcrowded school … DOE may like it. It doesn’t make sense to me to categorically oppose even considering remote options for no family. “

New York City Other Information: Respond to vaccine hesitation, one gentle answer at a time

The lack of distance learning options for all students also ranks some parents. Angela Torres lives in the Slogsneck district of Bronx and her 11-year-old daughter attends the Urban Institute of Mathematics Middle School. Torres is the school’s PTA chairman and also participates in the Bronx Parent-Leader Advocacy Group, which advocates remote options.

“Why don’t you allow remote options, even in limited quantities, for example 20%?” Torres said the COVID test wasn’t enough and the social distance in the classroom wasn’t enough. He added that he was worried that he might be. “It’s hard to make a decision, and some parents feel sandwiched between rocks and hard spots.”

Dr. Jessica Justman is an epidemiologist at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and a senior technical director of ICAP, a global public health group.

“At the population level, I think it’s much better for the majority of children to go to school and study directly,” says Justman. “Then you have to take a step back and say how many children this can hurt? And what are the options to protect them?”

2. What triggered the full-scale closure of the school?

The school can be closed if the city’s health department determines that it is.Widespread infection“In the school.

Widespread infections provide evidence of multiple sources of infection in multiple spaces or cohorts within the school, a Health Department spokesman told MarketWatch.

The DOE states that it expects closures to be restricted.From other school districts California NS MississippiAfter the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, some schools had to be closed.

3. What if my teacher or school staff is not vaccinated?

De Blasio Presentation In late August, all DOE employees, including school-based employees, You will need Vaccine at least once by September 27.

The mayor Interview with MSNBC City officials are working on a series of “penalties,” he said, “if no one follows, the consequences will be clear.”

United Teachers Federation (UFT) Union fought With the city about what happens to unvaccinated members Submission Complaints to the State Public Employment Commission.

See also below. Return to School with Delta Variant Threat — Some Parents Request Distance Education Again

Until Friday evening, the city and union were negotiating what would happen to school staff who could or would not be vaccinated. NS Arbiter dominates According to the UFT, the city must provide non-classroom work to teachers and staff with certain medical conditions that prevent vaccination, or to staff who are religiously exempt. Teachers and staff without medical or religious exemptions who refuse the vaccine must be provided with unpaid leave, but must be allowed to maintain health insurance. Those who refuse unpaid leave must be paid a severance pay.

“As a group, teachers have overwhelmingly supported the vaccine, but there are members who have medical conditions and other reasons to refuse vaccination,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said in a statement. “After we requested independent arbitration, the city withdrew its original position of excluding all unvaccinated personnel from salary and sent certified medical or other persons out of the classroom. I will provide a job. “

4. What safety measures are taken when the student returns to the classroom?

According to DOE, masking, social distance, air purifiers and COVID testing will all be part of returning to school this year.

School strives to pursue social distance Guidelines released by the CDCIt is advisable to maintain a social distance of 3 feet between students. However, many people, including high school principals, point out that this is not possible in all schools, Gotamist report.

Students and staff are required to wear masks regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. DOE.. You can remove the mask at lunch. There is also a mask break as long as the students are separated from each other. According to the city’s DOE, students who cannot wear masks for medical reasons will be “provided with alternative accommodation,” but it is unclear what that means.

When it comes to testing, all schools Test Up to 10% of unvaccinated students, excluding kindergartens and kindergartens, twice a month. However, the test is an opt-in arrangement and requires family consent.

“Schools need to come up with ways to make the test very easy for people with symptomatic treatment. In fact, they need to be advised not to come to school. Walk around for two days with symptoms. Don’t, “Justman said. “If you’re focusing on unvaccinated children, I think I’ll test them once a week.”

5. What if my family doesn’t send my child to school?

Some families spoken by MarketWatch said they didn’t want to send their children directly to school on Monday, even if those students weren’t eligible for medical exemption.

The families wait and see what happens in the first week of school. Many want cities to carry out distance learning in caves.

“We keep our children home during the first week of school, and if there is no change, we need to enroll them in homeschooling,” said Alisha, mother of Richmond Hill, Queens. -We are planning to start the second grade on an old Monday. She demanded that she use only her name due to privacy concerns.

Related: Due to the ongoing fight between masks and vaccinations, the number of COVID-19 children and teens has exceeded 250,000 for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic.

At a press conference WednesdayDe Blasio said the city “continues to try to persuade children” if parents are not ready to send their children to school at the beginning of the school year.

“Our priority is to ensure student safety and ensure that students return to the school building this fall,” a DOE spokeswoman said in a statement to MarketWatch. “Our staff has exhausted all options for daily contact and support to family and all students, including helping students learn why they couldn’t go to school and how to remove barriers to attendance. I am. “

Five Big Questions When New York City Students Return to School

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