Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza announced today that New York City public schools will remain closed until at least September 2020.
“We originally said the best-case scenario would be to come back on Monday, April 20th at the end of the spring break,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We could see already, that was not going to be possible many days ago. And then the State put the pause on until April 29th.”
“Lord knows having to tell you that we cannot bring our schools back for the remainder of this school year is painful,” the Mayor added. “But I can also tell you it’s the right thing to do. It clearly will help us save lives because it will help us to guarantee that the strategies that have been working, the shelter-in-place, the social distancing, all the focused strategies that are finally beginning to bear fruit, they need the time to continue to be effective.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio mentioned during the press briefing that he spoke to the American physician and immunologist Dr. Fauci, who agreed with his decision.
“He appreciated the sense of being cautious and careful because the most important mission for all of us in New York City and all of us in this country is to end this crisis,” said Mayor de Blasio. “To not let it reassert and keeping the New York City public schools closed is a way to contribute to finally beating back the coronavirus.”
Since the schools closed on March 16, 2020, parents have been struggling with their new home teacher position and many students have yet to receive the electronic devices needed for online learning.
“I know that this news today may come as a bit of a shock to everyone out there, but the Mayor and I absolutely agree that this is in the best interest of all New Yorkers,” said Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. “We know that the past few weeks have not been easy.”
“And we’ve asked a lot to our teachers and our administrators and our families and our students, I know you’re exhausted,” Carranza added. “But thank you for continuing to do the work that you do. While we may not be together in school buildings, I want to be very clear that schools remain in session because of our teachers and our administrators and the learning continues.”
What parents can do
Parents can find support on the NYC Department of education website schools.nyc.gov under the tab Learn at Home, which contains guidance and activities for families.
For parents with seniors who need to pass the Regents exams to graduate, Chancellor Carranza suggests getting in touch with their child’s guidance counselors and high school for more specific information.
Parents who need a device for their children, can fill out the survey by calling 718-935-5100 and pressing the number 5, if they don’t have internet. If they do have internet, they can visit coronavirus.schools.nyc/remotelearningdevices and that’s available in all nine languages.
NYC Department of Education has mailed over 40,000 learning packets to families that don’t yet have devices.
The New York Public Library is offering one-on-one free online homework help daily from 2 to 11PM. Tutors are available in English and Spanish, from early elementary through high school grades, in core subject areas.
Families who do not have a New York Library card to access this service, can apply for a card on the New York Public Library website.
Fun at Home is the City’s free, new digital platform that provides safe, fun, and entertaining virtual activities for teens and young adults who are at home during the COVID-19 crisis. It includes tips to cope with the public and mental health challenges that may arise during this difficult time. Fun at Home can be accessed at nyc.gov/funathome or texting “Fun” to 97743 to receive the latest updates on resources and activities.
Every New Yorker can access ThriveNYC’s resource guide for mental-health support at home. This guide is tailored to the needs of aging New Yorkers, veterans, students and young people, and people harmed by violence, crime or abuse. All services are free to New Yorkers, regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status.
Access to meals during school closure
All New Yorkers may pick up three free meals a day (vegetarian and halal options available) at more than 400 Meal Hubs open Monday through Friday across all of NYC. All three meals can be picked up at the same time, and caregivers can pick up meals on behalf of children in their care.
Children and families can pick up meals from 7:30AM to 11:30 AM and adults from 11:30AM to 1:30 PM.
Meal hubs do not require registration, identification, or documentation and no one will be turned away.
To find a meal hub location near you: Go to schools.nyc.gov Text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877.
Moving forward The City of New York is working on a five-point plan for the opening of school in September.
1- Make sure the City gives a device to every student that needs one by the end of April
2- Expand helplines and hotlines available to parents by adding more educators, and the ability to get much more coaching and support in multiple languages
3- Provide more creative at-home programming
4- Help the City’s 75,000 seniors graduate on time
5- Create comprehensive plan to reopen the schools in September