One question before I post the email: Is the news that NYC schools are going all remote possibly as early as Monday "disheartening" to all of you as President Mulgrew says?
As New York City confronts a second wave of coronavirus infections, Mayor Bill de Blasio may make all schools remote in New York City as early as next week.
Before you leave work today, make sure you have all the equipment and supplies you need to work remotely from home in case we are remote on Monday.
Under the state-approved safety plan that we hammered out with the mayor in early September, all city schools must automatically go fully remote if the citywide positivity rate on virus tests is equal to or greater than 3%, using a rolling seven-day average. The city's seven-day rate has crept up to 2.83%, the mayor said this morning.
A citywide shift to all-remote learning would be temporary. Just as the numbers will dictate when school buildings should close, school buildings would reopen when the numbers improve.
I know this news is disheartening since we have done a phenomenal job of keeping school buildings safe and our students, especially our youngest, have loved the in-person interaction with staff. Public schools are among the safest public places in New York City thanks to the safeguards in the safety plan we insisted upon as a condition for reopening — and your vigilance in ensuring that these safety protocols are followed in every school.
But schools are not an island. Epidemiologists warn this second wave is bound to infiltrate our schools. As hundreds of thousands of students, parents and staff crisscross the city on public transportation, schools would become the connection points to spread the virus through all the city’s neighborhoods.
We have a safety plan endorsed by independent medical experts, and we must stick to it. That is how we keep our school communities safe.
We'll send you a text message as soon as a decision is made. Sign up at www.uft.org/text to get the early alert.