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  • Students and parents attend informal and introductory classes at New York City Public School 15 for incoming prekindergarten students on the street in front of the school during a registration session in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, U.S.  September 02 2020.

    Students and parents attend informal and introductory classes at New York City Public School 15 for incoming prekindergarten students on the street in front of the school during a registration session in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, U.S. September 02 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 17 September 2020
Opinion

De Blasio pledged the city hired nurses and other healthcare workers for schools, as well as upgraded ventilation systems, acquired personal protective equipment, and testing supplies.

U.S. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would not restart in-person lessons in the public school system, as the teachers are reluctant about returning to classrooms because of the pandemic.

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“Although they acknowledge that some real progress had been made, not enough had been made, and more had to be done to make sure that things would be as strong as they needed to be,” de Blasio said.

The announcement comes only four days before the settled date for classes resume. This is the second time the city postpones the retake of on-site learning activities, from September 10 to September 29. 

Following the announcement, schools would only receive the pre-kindergarten children and students with special learning needs. Pupils in middle schools and high school would retake activities on October 1. The city is already implementing online lessons. 

Several teachers’ unions confronted the Mayor over school conditions to welcome back over 1.1 million students into classrooms while at risk of COVID-19 contagion. NYC became the pandemic epicenter in the spring when cases exceeded 10,000.

De Blasio pledged the city hired nurses and other healthcare workers for schools and upgraded ventilation systems, acquired personal protective equipment, and testing supplies. Other major cities as Chicago and Los Angeles enforced online and remote schooling for students in all learning levels. 

The unions, accountable for overseeing the safety of academic installations, demanded monthly testing for teachers, pupils, and schools’ staff. They also requested de Blasio to present a strategy in case of new outbreaks in schools to ensure isolation and the cease of activities.

“If we’re going to do this, we must make sure that we get this right,” the president of the United Federation of Teachers, Michael Mulgrew, said. 

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