Vaccinations have begun in New York, but virus cases are on the rise.
Both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are alluding to the possibility of another shutdown after the holidays.
"I don't say it with anything but sorrow, but I do think it’s needed. We're going to need to do some kind of shutdown in the weeks ahead—something that resembles the pause we were in in the spring," the mayor said during his Dec 15 press briefing.
So what does this mean for NYC schools?
Younger students and all grade levels in District 75 schools have begun returning to class following the November closures, though middle school and high school students are still learning remotely. The city is working to bring back in-person learning for five days per week, but another shutdown would seemingly put a stop to this plan.
Although the final decision will be up to the state, Mayor de Blasio said on Tuesday that he would like to leave the schools open.
"Right now we're seeing extraordinary success in keeping our schools safe. I want to keep them open," he said. "If we do have a pause that will be a decision the state makes, as I said, that could be as soon as right after Christmas, but the schools with all the layer upon layer of health and safety measures with this gold standard of health protections that we've put in place, schools can effectively keep serving kids and kids need it."
The United Federation of Teachers, however, disagrees with this proposal. Michael Mulgrew, the president of the union said, "If the coronavirus infection rate rises to the point that a citywide 'shelter in place' is necessary, keeping school buildings open would be irresponsible."
Mulgrew: “If the coronavirus infection rate rises to the point that a citywide ‘shelter in place’ is necessary, keeping school buildings open would be irresponsible." https://t.co/uCHqkmRDYW via @ChalkbeatNY— UFT (@UFT) December 16, 2020
As soon as we learn more, we'll be sure to update you. If you have questions about health and safety in schools, a virtual #NYCOfficeHours will take place on Dec 17.
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