I heard reports from schools in NYC today that as the weather turned cooler and rainier, the pigeons are now seeking refuge from the elements and are flying into schools with obsolete ventilation that have to keep windows open. The birds apparently like it on the inside and some decided to stay and fly around. We heard squirrels are climbing through the windows in other schools and deciding to stick around too.
I don't know anything about the rumor that Bill de Blasio, Richard Carranza, and Michael Mulgrew have come to an agreement to count the pigeons and squirrels as students. Some will be recruited as staff according to another rumor. A third bit of scuttlebutt has it that all three leaders agree that the pigeons and squirrels are subject to the new grading policy and should receive only passing grades. Gossip around also says any teacher who tries to remove the birds or squirrels will be subject to disciplinary action.
Seriously, we have a situation where windows have to be left open to allow some ventilation to slow an airborne COVID-19 virus. It's getting cold in some school buildings. Add to this, the wind today was helping the rain pour through the open windows so it was a cold and rainy day inside certain schools. Does anyone wonder why only a little over 1/4 of the students have returned for any in-person learning this fall? Many who saw what conditions were like in the buildings, turned around and left rather quickly.
This was in Gothamist today. After they report how few COVID-19 cases have been reported in the mostly empty schools, they say this:
Still, confidence in the city's in-person learning program has been waning. As of last week, less than half, or 46% of roughly 1 million public school students, had signed up for the blended option, what some critics have said is an indictment against the city's plan. Back in August, when the city conducted its first survey, 74% were slated to attend in-person learning, although those who did not fill out the online form were by default registered for the school's hybrid program.
During Monday's press conference, de Blasio revealed that the true number of students showing up for in-person learning was even worse than surveys indicated: only about 283,000 children have shown up out of roughly 460,000 who signed up. Attendance among those students is around 83%.
We posted yesterday how this attendance figure is probably inflated too. It might be as inflated as a high school grade. Gothamist also reported how Carranza and de Blasio are only going to make a one-time offer in early November for parents to send their kids back into school buildings. That reportedly will mercifully be it for this school year.
For anyone who decides to return, please say hi to the pigeons, the squirrels, as well as the staffers who for some unknown reason just keep resigning themselves to these unhealthy working conditions in so many buildings. I'm praying for you. I wish I could do more but I am only a dissident union blogger.