Tuesday, November 10, 2020


Dear _________,

As we enter the winter months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we face new challenges keeping public schools safe.

Experts recommend strong ventilation — by increasing the circulation of outdoor air into buildings — to lower the concentration of an airborne virus such as the one that causes COVID-19. But keeping all windows wide open may be less feasible when the outside temperature drops.

The union has been working with the DOE to ensure that it creates a set of protocols and practices to keep staff and students safe during the winter.

School ventilation systems

Please continue to have open conversations with your principal and the custodial engineer about your school's ventilation system and building temperature. In many cases, custodial staff will arrive early during the winter to preheat the school building before the arrival of staff and students. They are supposed to maintain temperatures in the building at 68º F throughout the day if the outside temperature falls below 55º F. If the school is too cold, staff should moderate window openings and the chapter leader should reach out to the principal or custodial staff directly to ensure that the heating system is working.

The DOE is in the process of shipping and installing MERV-13 filters to schools with heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that can use these filters. Your school does not need a MERV-13 filter to be safe. If these filters are not appropriate for your school's HVAC system, your custodial staff should be operating the system with minimal or no recirculation of air, which can cause the building to be colder than usual.

See our FAQ and the winter ventilation plan 

If you have any questions or concerns about building temperature or your school's ventilation system, call the UFT at 212-331-6311 and ask to speak to a safety and health liaison from your borough or a representative in our Safety and Health Department at union headquarters.

Guidance for your members

●Bring in fresh air: How wide or how many windows should be open will differ with each room design and the comfort level of the occupants. In general, if your classroom or office has operable windows, keep the windows and doors open. All windows do not necessarily have to be wide open, especially when it is raining, snowing or extremely cold outside. Windows should be open as wide as is comfortable for the occupants. Also, dress in layers and bring additional warm clothes for yourself. Be sure to also remind students (and the parents of younger students) about the importance of dressing warmly for school.

●Encourage outdoor play: Students should be allowed to play outside and participate in outdoor activities whenever possible, unless it’s snowing, there is ice on the ground or the wind-chill factor is below 0º F. Schools should not prohibit outdoor play based on the temperature alone. On very cold days, school staff should make sure students cover up their skin, wear warm clothing and use several layers to stay warm.

●Continue to take precautions: No one precaution is enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing, mask-wearing, frequent handwashing and surface cleaning continue to be crucial safety measures. All these measures work together and build upon each other. But wearing a mask is most effective because you can directly reduce the number of viral particles in the air at the source.

Thank you for your hard work and perseverance during this difficult school year.



Anonymous said...

Sounds safe. Do you trust this guy? Why haven't the 10 million plus infected just kept the windows open? Because we are fucking stupid.

Joe said...

Joe again,

Thanks for posting this, James. It shows how much the UFT cares about us. I found a couple things too...This is why people who loathe me should loathe themselves. The UFT and DOE would put you in a casket in one second. You are completely disposable. Maybe after you die Mr.Carranza will make you a fake valedictorian because of your integrity. I wonder how the people who died in March and April after the DOE led us to slaughter feel. Sounds like DOE malfeasance. I wonder why there have been no legal efforts by the UFT. Oh, they agreed to everything just like they did in September. But now we have a robust test and trace program where when someone tests positive, nobody is informed and there is no tracing. But remember, it is better than nothing. Remember Amy and Mike telling us that? Remember ATRs pissing in their pants because we couldn't get a bathroom key? Remember being unable to eat lunch because the staff room was locked and nobody would open the door for you? Remember waiting 1 years for retro with no interest? Remember students never attending class and passing because they did enough? Remember teachers getting U ratings because a field supervisor walked in, randomly, to an out of license class in a failing school and blamed the teacher? But hey, the UFT said we should be able to manage the class. Why worry? We have accepted good enough. But people loathe me? Read below, this is new info, but go to work in infected buildings because you trust mulgrew. Instead of loathing me, loathe yourself and stop getting abused. When you get a chronic mental illness from in school covid, watch how the UFT and DOE helps. Hint...they won't.

Twenty percent of Covid patients develop a new mental illness, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. The most common disorders experienced by survivors within 90 days of their diagnoses are anxiety, depression and insomnia.

"The city’s contact-tracing program has disclosed little about which trends and patterns are contributing to transmission. One city health official told my colleague Joseph Goldstein that clusters had been traced to workplaces, specifically construction sites and offices."

Wait, the @nytimes is writing that a second wave of covid is breaking over NYC?


Anonymous said...

I’m sure mildew is working in sub zero temperatures while being exposed to multiple vectors. He is obviously using infectious public transportation and putting up with having his retro stolen. The worst part is he is told absolute shit by a liar who purports to represent his interests while continuing to knife him in the back.

BxT said...

This seriously belongs in an Onion article is he for real?

Anonymous said...

Joe is correct, again. I think he meant waiting 11 years for retro.

Mandina said...

Sorry for being off topic, but it is important to me.

I am teaching remotely. The attendance is awful. I get emails, almost daily from guidance stating that this student will start attending soon, that student is going to start soon. I don't need the "we cant fail students because of attendance" speech. I'm just supposed to accept that students can unilaterally decide when school starts after missing 50% of the term already? I'm supposed to "work with them." Oh. When will the students work with me? When will guidance work with me and tell students it is too late? These are students who have always been on the roster.

Anonymous said...

Is Mulgrew going to pay my hospital bills when I get pneumonia?

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew won't pay your medical Bill's but he did remind you to write your will.

Anonymous said...

i promise next time we'll swing for the fences....quote from boiler room

Anonymous said...

Please don't believe the "schools are safe" narrative the
has been telling you. 1st, less that 26% of students are attending, 2nd only students w consent have been tested (it is not randomized). We're not in the clear. Schools are a reflection of their community.

NEW: Yesterday's one-day positivity in NYC adjusted up to 3.58%. 7-day average is now 2.31%

NYC is in the 2nd wave. We need to redouble our efforts to flatten this new curve.

James Eterno said...

Where is this from?

Anonymous said...

Mark D. Levine
NEW: Yesterday's one-day positivity in NYC adjusted up to 3.58%. 7-day average is now 2.31%

NYC is in the 2nd wave. We need to redouble our efforts to flatten this new curve.

Anonymous said...

MULGREW: Sits all day in an empty office.

CHANCELLOR: Sits all day in an empty office.

ME: Works with multiple classes in a public school building including doing lunch duty where kids have masks off.

nerddowell said...

It's only a matter of time before the term "third wave" starts trending...

Anonymous said...

Yes 352, but Joe is the bad guy. As is golf guy. As is stock market guy. But I should bust my balls passing no shows? And working with them? And begging them to engage?

James Eterno said...

4:03, We need to have a real union.

waitingforsupport said...

@4:03 pm... the doe/uft/and probably your colleagues have left you to "hang in the wind".

Joe said...

Joe here,


In short, yes, the students can do whatever they want and pass. Teachers have been brainwashed and allow it. James has said repeatedly that the grade belongs to the teacher. Make a grading policy, post it and enforce it. If they are absent, give them a zero everyday for classwork, average that with the written work, end of story.

If you are questioned by an AP, have them send you an email stating they want you to pass someone with 0% attendance and then forward it to the media.

I have my standards. They will not be changed.

The good is that teachers also can do whatever they want. The DOE has made it this way, do what is best for you. Just use Carranza's quotes stating that every student must have a live teacher everyday and then saying that students don't have to attend. Then ask your supervisor if you must teach live everyday while students don't have to be there. Can't have it both ways.

Hope everyone did as little as I did today.

Anonymous said...

Covid rates rising in all 50 states—165000 new cases today— and Newark NJ—curfew at 9pm to 5am. Just a matter of time till NYC closes all public schools.

Anonymous said...

Wait, wait - Trumpers said it would go away Nov. 4

BxT said...

No discussion of Mulgrew letter to editor ?

James Eterno said...

I didn't see it.

Anonymous said...


BxT said...

How to fix remote learning in NYC
By Michael Mulgrew
New York Daily News
Nov 10, 2020 at 5:00 AM

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is really pathetic.

Shelley said...

Teachers can no longer make a grading policy, set percentages, say, 40% classwork, and then NX students who don't make the grade. What is really going down is that the DOE & UFT sent a grading policy handbook to schools, all teachers have to sign off on it, then Admins set the percentages in a computer system like IO Classroom, formally Skedula, and teachers are strongly advised to use Pupil Path to keep parents, Admins, guidance, co-teachers, psychologists and social workers, and especially students up to date on every assignment and grade, these must be posted on Google Classroom or some other platform, and grades must be swiftly entered into the system so everyone can check them 24-7. Welcome to the infinite classroom, to the "you can get, watch, see whatever you want and need whenever you want and need it world" made possible by the nerd billionaire robber barons who have taken over how education works and how the workers in education do their jobs. Our jobs are more data entry than ever. More typing. More reading on screens. More sitting at desks. More learning how to enter information into machines that do the work, not merely the calculating, but the grading, the teaching for us. Right now, we have more back breaking, neck breaking, hand mangling machine work, and less work in classrooms, and this machine work will not go away when we return to buildings. Automation and technology are not new to education. Chalk and blackboard are a technology, books are technology. We had radio, we had Ed TV, we had overheads and Scantrons and copy machines . . . some lasted, others were buggywhipped by new innovations like Smartboards; tech is not new to classrooms. What is novel here is that the pandemic crisis has accelerated an introduction of automations and systems of control in teacher work. When a technology is introduced to a job, you don't get the old job plus new technology, you get a new work environment that changes the fundamental human relationships in the workspace, that changes, for example, how many students can be in a "classroom" and where and when work gets done. Now, at first, as we've seen here in NYC, the introduction of automation and systems of control may increase, but only temporarily the demand for workers, as it blurs job descriptions and all the basic things we, as organized workers, bargained for, but the Union will not be able to reverse these changes and put the bomb back in the split atom. It's here to stay and it will evolve as a new culture. There will be winners and losers of course. We will be the biggest losers. Now Stock guy out there can put every dime he has into Zoom and IO Classroom stocks and bet big on creative destruction, but unless he's very rich and owns millions of dollars in tech shares, he will not even hedge his losses because we are going to lose more than NASDAQ will gain. We are fucked. Our Union is driving our jobs into a teacherless future. Children will play online and in very small groups, but won't need educators to babysit. Older students will learn online, with and from other students, guided by machines and those who set the protocols. This is not some dystopian fiction, this is happening now.

Shelley said...

Only a Union can stop, reverse the automation and control systems that will end teaching as we know it. I will be retired before they take almost everything I got into this job for, but those that hope to stick around has better do more than talk about reforming our corrupt and anti-democratic union because the machines and their masters, if you haven't notices, a faster than us and are quickly making us obsolete.

Our so-called union is making of us alienated workers, distanced further and further from what we produce or what services we provide. This is done, of course, not in the interest of the members and workers but to exploit labor for commercial profit and political control.

How do we stop, what seems and inexorable force against us? The robots are here and the culture, the environment will never return to how it was before they were introduced. They are not quite invasive species, but they alter the environment and force mutations and extinctions. The union can't stop this. Most people in the UFT want to see more, not less tech, and will foolishly argue that the teachers must have tech to make their jobs easier, improve teaching and learning. And of course this is true. Technology has one function: improve productivity. And it has and will continue to do so in Education because the curve is only beginning to go vertical. The law of diminishing returns will not flatten that curve for years, but it will cost thousands of jobs in NYC, millions across the country, and the teaching job as we know it or knew it will be history. Our union isn't even talking about this. They are on the wrong side of this existential threat to our jobs.

This is one reason I have decided to endorse the position of pulling dues from UFT. Unless we stop feeding the monster it will rip us limb from limb.

Anonymous said...

Happy Veterans Day.

DOE demands that parents who choose classroom learning send kids to class


"“The first six weeks of school have shown promising results: we’re the largest school district to bring students back in-person, and so far, we’ve seen a 0.17 percent positivity rate through random testing,” O’Hanlon said."

They are not mentioning the fact that students need to consent to testing and that there are so few who have.

Duran said...

I work at Brooklyn institute for liberal arts, 600 Kingston avenue. Shelley is dead on. This witch principal sits in her office staring at the computer all day looking at our grades which must be put in every single period, every single day. We use Jupiter grades. The teacher turnover here is endless. I thought excessive paperwork was gone. Isn't that what uft promised? The grading policy is pre set and ridiculous. It is impossible to fail. You start with 45. If you do a drop better than nothing you are at 65.

Anonymous said...

Put Mulgrew in a freezer and bundle him up.

Actulaly, Mulgrew has already been "bundled up" with cash by the Koch brothers, Bloomberg, Cuomo, DeBlasio, Rubert Murdoch and their ilk.

Mulgrew is the most asinine union leader in NY City.

TJL said...

@Shelley 7:02: Outstanding analysis. I hope you start your own blog. Minor quibble: I do think we can fight it more than you suggest; for instance, with grading policy, I too deal with the percentages being imposed, and entered in Skedula, but one can be creative with how one categorizes assignments, and also the averages can be overridden in PADS when report cards are due.

Anonymous said...


I think you are right on target.

Do any of the authority figures care about education or children? All this tech is the demise to expanding our minds, learning, knowing, discussing, sharing, etc. Most of the teachers in my school, young and a little older disagree with me. They tell me this is the way of the future! That I need to get with the program! I do use googleclassroom and IO classroom and I know more about these applications than most teachers at my school, including the 20+ year olds! This tech is not leading us in a good direction.

I am concerned about the teachers spewing the upsides of all the education software for remote learning "available" to teachers and I am very am concerned about the recipients of all this tech.

This is all nuts and going to lead to the demise of solid, real education. Will this lead to the extinction of anyone thinking for him/herself?

Jeff said...

Question...If no shows must be given the opportunity to do the work and attendance doesnt count, shouldn't the live instruction remotely be outlawed? It is unfair to the no shows.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and teachers passing no shows and marking no shows present proves how valueless we are.

Anonymous said...

Our school is making us make separate Google Classrooms for students with NX's from the spring to post and grade assignments. I thought we were no longer responsible for them if they're not our students? What's the deal?

Anonymous said...

The deal is you are a fool, the uft doesn't care, the doe abuses you, and you pay $62 per check for that privilege.

Anonymous said...

NYCSchools wants 2 send us back into a building w/ no HVAC system, 5 positive cases, and a large number of staff & students quarantined! Additionally more staff w/ known contact have not yet been quarantined or even contacted by tracers.
where u at??
Quote Tweet
Mark Treyger
· 42m
I’ve been informed of at least 5 positive COVID-19 cases at IS228 in my district. However, staff was informed that the school will only be closed for 1 day while contact tracers have asked many to quarantine and # is growing. We need more transparency than we’re getting right now

Anonymous said...

Quick, tell Mulgrew. He doesn't give a fuck. Keep paying dues.

Mark D. Levine
· 4h
BREAKING: NYC has updated daily positivity rates. Single day rates now reported at...

* Monday 11/9: 3.91%
* Tuesday 11/10: 4.47%

7-day avg now up to 2.52%

Our second wave is here. We need to act fast.

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

Joe here,

Today, the students had the day off, but they are off everyday. The comments above demonstrate the uft is ignoring covid in schools...I'm shocked. I guess maybe I should work harder to earn the same disrespect. I will check in tomorrow. It is almost Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Why the f&@k does Mulgrew keep saying we are the only large system in the USA to stay open? What is he trying to prove? No one gives a shit. Why is he risking the health of so many just to stay in person when again no one gives a shit if NYC schools are open or remote. It makes zero sense. This moron has to go ASAP. Teachers should just STOP going in! Why are they still going in?!

Anonymous said...

Because he doesn't care and he knows sheep are stupid and pay dues