Sunday, December 06, 2020


The email below came our way this morning. Thanks to our sources. Be safe, please. 

Dear __________,

To all of you who will be returning to school buildings on Monday, we want to take the time to address you directly and to clarify and respond to some of your questions that have come in during the past few days.

The decision to reopen elementary schools first brings New York City in line with other cities across the country and the world that have given priority to in-person instruction for younger children. You don’t need to be reminded that our youngest children and our District 75 students need in-person education the most — you all know this population and what they need better than anyone.

The positivity rate of 0.49% out of 170,000 in-school virus tests through Nov. 18 attests to our success in keeping our school communities safe. But more frequent testing is the only way forward as the rate of infection in communities throughout the city rises. To reopen safely, the city has agreed to more aggressive testing when you return. Testing will be mandated and weekly. Twenty percent of all staff and students in Grades 1-5 will be tested every week — even in neighborhoods that have very low infection rates. And no student will be allowed to stay in school for in-person learning without a consent form signed by their parent or guardian.

This more intensive level of testing is our early warning system, but the most important things that will keep our school communities safe are the safety and health protocols we fought for in September.

The rules for closing school buildings and quarantining staff because of positive cases remain in place: The presence of a COVID-19 case or cases confined to one class will still result in the class moving to remote instruction, while the entire school will go fully remote if there are two or more positive cases in a school that are not linked.

See our FAQ on the December reopenings »

Even before this increase in testing, we had the strongest protections of any school system in the country. Now, they are even stronger. We deserve nothing less, given everything we have been through and what we continue to do each day despite a constantly changing environment and set of circumstances.

To reroute the testing capacity to the younger grades, the city has agreed to keep middle and high schools remote. Significantly fewer middle and high school students opted for blended learning and showed up for in-person classes. For this reason and the fact that children 10 and younger are much less likely to contract or transmit the coronavirus, reopening elementary schools first was the most sensible choice.

We’ve heard from many of you that the blended learning model has been difficult for students and educators alike. Moving towards a model that is either fully in person or fully remote should help ease some of that burden. But safety remains the priority — principals have been instructed to reprogram their schools to facilitate as much in-person learning as possible, without sacrificing any of the social distancing or safety requirements. Not all schools will be able to go five days a week. The ability to accommodate more in-person instruction will vary from school to school, depending on the available staff and space.

There has never been a more trying time to be an educator. Your commitment and your presence speak volumes. Thank you for being there for your students and being someone they can count on.

Please call the UFT at 212-331-6311 if you have any questions and concerns. Hearing from the membership is so important to us, especially during a time like this. We will keep you posted with any updates as soon as they arise.


Michael Mulgrew, UFT President

Karen Alford, UFT Vice President for Elementary Schools


Anonymous said...

Sounds safe, except for...

The test positivity rate in the focus areas under NY's Micro-Cluster strategy is 6.22%.

The statewide positivity rate excluding these focus areas is 4.24%.

We continue to take strong action to respond to outbreaks and to stop the spread.

Mask Up.

Anonymous said...

Don't be sheep, don't be stupid.

Anonymous said...

As long as the weekly testing is mandatory and they do not let any students in building without a consent form - medical issues aside, I'm on board with this plan. That along with same rules apply for closing rooms and schools down is reasonable. 1 case, ask the Classes go remote, 2 cases entire school goes remote.

TeachNY said...

Agree. Totally reasonable plan.

Anonymous said...

That flushing sound that you are hearing is NYC's tax base:

Anonymous said...

NY...What a pleasure. Fraud school system...

As I reported I know for a fact every major bank and financial firm HQd in NYC is doing the same. It’s not just covid but crime taxes and overall lousy quality of life Goldman Plots Florida Base for Asset Management in a Blow to New York

Anonymous said...

I'm an elementary teacher and I am not down with this plan. Mulgrew is full of shit. Almost every big school district is the country has been closed since September. Friggin' Success Academy schools in NYC are closed and are staying closed till March at the earliest. Now I gotta commute all around NYC just to be a babysitter? Ridiculous beyond words. Oh yeah, don't get me started on the fact that middle and high school teachers get to stay warm and comfy at home for the next month while us elementary and D75 teachers are going to be standing out in the cold waiting for temp checks and teaching in freezing classrooms during the start of the coldest week of the school year.

Anonymous said...

524, do not go in.

Anonymous said...

524: "Do not go in". Ummmmm yeah, sure. I need to pay my rent and put food on the table. You don't go in without a valid reason, you will be targeted by your principal and the DOE. They need every swinging dick on hand right now.

Anonymous said...

Key Updates for Week 48, ending November 28, 2020
Seasonal influenza activity in the United States remains lower than usual for this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I am not down either. Middle School here.

If middle schools reopen, I will ensure that my principal and chapter leader know loud and clear what I am going to do. Student without a mask will be kicked out of my classroom. Student who is sick (red eye - can you believe they let a student with red eye get through; cough; overly tired; etc I will send immediately to the nurses and will not accept back into my classroom). Teachers giving mask breaks prior to me coming in - I'm going to call you out loud and clear.

I had COVID in the Spring. I am a healthy 22 year old. No drugs or alcohol, no health problems, healthy diet and exercise. I had COVID in the Spring and couldn't breathe for two weeks. Too scared to go the emergency room due to people dying left and right, I tried to tough it out at home. My mother would check on my pulse during my sleep to see if I was still breathing. My father, a heart patient, had it too. Fever over 100 that wouldn't break for 2.5 weeks. We stayed home because we figured if we died, at least we would be with the ones we loved.

I still can't smell. My taste is very much effected. First it went from everything tasting bad to not being able to taste at all to a somewhat normal taste but not like before COVID. I run out of breath so fast whereas before COVID, it was never an issue. One flight of stairs has me gasping for air whereas before I was hopping 3 to 4 flights with no problem.

I know too many people that died from this - a mother of two young children, someone's brother, family friends.

I wish we would all stick together. The UFT sucks, but we are the union. And if we don't join hands in fighting for what is safe, it would be our fault as well because we didn't stick together and stand up for ourselves. And to be clear, if there were a strike to occur to fight this, I would stand alongside everyone.

The mayor said 3% and schools close. Governor said 5% and schools close. 7 Day Overall Average is over 5% and we are going back.

Kids need in-person school, parents need somewhere for their kids to go when they work, I get it. But, my family needs me, too. And it isn't fair to risk my life and potentially hurt my family.

One of my students is vacationing in Mexico right now. The parents could care less if you got sick or hurt. I am not willing to sacrifice my life to appease the public. That is what I did in my last school - stressing my self to no end to help the students and families. Instead, students were chaotic - trashing my room, throwing food at my door, ruining my classroom, threatening me, and parents threatening me. And I was having full blown anxiety and panic attacks.

As a younger, un-tenured teacher, I am very much up for fighting against this. I am not dying for tenure (both literally and figuratively - I don't care to get tenure). I know I am not going to be a lifer in this career - I've been to a few schools and have come to the conclusion that I won't be satisfied teaching my entire life. At this point, I am only working to save up for grad. school and moving out of NYS, as well as some $ for a rainy day. If I could still have a positive impact on some students along the way, that makes me happy - but at that point I am doing it for me - not for tenure and not to hurt myself over.

I hear those of you who believe this virus is not a risk. You have the right to do what you want and believe what you want. However, just hear out that there are people who had a life-threatening experience with the virus, there are people who lost loved ones due to the virus, and I bet you more than anything - they would want those people to be with them right now more than anything else in this world. And that doesn't make them "sheep" and it doesn't make them "weak" or "snowflakes" or "liberals" or whatever term you want to use.

They are coping with this virus due to the experiences they've had just like you are due to the experience (or lack of) that you had.

Anonymous said...

Also, in my school, multiple teachers were tested over and over again each week and some teachers never got selected to test (even despite volunteering to do so since they didn't get a turn). A lot of students were tested over and over again because many didn't give a consent form. When you test the same people each week, that skew statistics. That's not random. Basic statistics says that the whole testing process is flawed.

Anonymous said...

This is what you like? "None of the white WNYC staffers who signed the diversity petition, including influential talk-show host Brian Lehrer, volunteered to resign in order to rectify the station’s racial imbalance."

Anonymous said...

The in person teachers get screwed again. Bulletin boards for remote teachers who have to work in school to do coverages. Eating lunch in your car because it's the only safe place. I can't wait to freeze my @ss off with the windows open, now that winter has arrived.

Anonymous said...

Ok, go in and suffer the consequences.
"New coronavirus cases leaped in New York in the week ending Saturday, rising 41.4% as 61,687 cases were reported."

Quan said...

602, wrong. I told my principal I won't come in, he gave me permission to stay home indefinitely. 2nd, target how? There are no observations. 3rd, I'm sure there is grade fraud in your school, you can easily embarrass your principal and alert the media. 4th, you can sue for unsafe work environment. 5th, you have many paid sick days you can use.

Quan said...

Read what Reno wrote and then maybe you will stand up for yourself. Don't be a fool. The uft doesn't give a shit about you. I opted out, no uft protection and flat out told my principal I'm not coming in and he can try to fire me. Guess what. I've been home all year. No penalty. Full remote.

James Eterno said...

If you don't think it is safe, stay home. We can figure the reason. There are a bunch of them.


Anonymous said...

Thank You UFT and DOE,

After yet another unfair agreement, I have decided the following...

I will ‘fake it until I make it’ and won’t give my top effort. What’s the point?

It’s Sunday, I brought no work home and Tuesday, I’ll go in and put together a last minute bs lesson. I will have about 7% attendance. What's the difference?

Make this job work for you, why not?

Where else can I make 6 figures and be able to not work that hard?

The kids don’t care, admins don’t care, and the doe doesn’t care.

I care(about TDA, pension, benefits, time off and staying in good health).

Keep the grade fraud coming.

This is great for the 86% minority student body we have across NYC.

You have gotten your wish. Now nobody cares.

You have made this a disgusting and disgraceful job.

Are you proud President Mulgrew, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza?

Thank You UFT and DOE

James Eterno said...

Can we stick to the topic please? Tomorrow is what we are talking about, not someone's remote classes. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Ok. The topic is that teachers should refuse to go in. Why go back to repeating when nobody is doing anything? Waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I just actually remembered the self-reporting form we need to fill out.

"Have you experienced symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever of 100.0 degrees F or greater, a new cough, new loss of taste or smell or shortness of breath within the past 10 days?"

I have been dealing with a sore throat for a few days. And the shortness of breath has definitely been acting up more the past 10 days. I have loss of taste and smell. I could select Yes to that and would by DOE policy have to stay home. I'm not lying, I am just sharing the symptoms I have and the side effects from COVID from the Spring.

If middle school needs to come back, I'm just going to do exactly that. Follow DOE policy and report the symptoms (and side effects I have had from COVID).

My only question is that the 10 days doesn't come out from CAR right, because I am still trying to file for a grievance for 3 sicks days I am owed from last year but the grievance process is closed for some reason.

TeachNY said...

RENO-so sorry that happened to you. Always sad to lose a teacher to another career...but I totally understand why people do.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so after all this talking, everyone will go in, get sick, uft will be silent. Nice work. The dumbest in NY.

Anonymous said...

Just checked the 7-day average based on zip codes.

Where I live = 3.7%
Where I work = 6.30%

But here I am, forced to go into work tomorrow, instead of continuing to work remotely where it is clearly safer.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew, to placate the mayor has set up a little deception. Knowing that teens are much more likely to infect staff and knowing that he couldn’t legitimately open middle school and high school at what is quickly becoming last spring, he opted to send in elementary school teachers. He did this for that reason and because he knows elementary school teachers would not give him any pushback. They are, of course, the kindest and nicest of us, are predominantly women and are the most loyal. Thus, our enlightened UFT president is proven to be an opportunist, a jellyfish and a sexist.

Marc washington said...

Go to work, teachers.

Andrew Cuomo
Hospitalizations are going up.

Wear. A. Mask.

Anonymous said...

Willing to risk this?

NYC Health Dept. warns of lingering COVID-19 illness
By Carl CampanileDecember 6, 2020 | 6:08pm | Updated

Anonymous said...

Why worry? Mulgrew has your back, right?

Covid is killing more than 2,000 people a day in the U.S. as infections and hospitalizations hit records
Noah Higgins-Dunn

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Teachers: I told my admins I won’t be going into my classroom tomorrow if we don’t have consents for our students.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the shameless liar and bald bastard mildew should go in and cover classes. He’s hiding out in his million dollar mansion or in his well ventilated office in his redoubt at 52 Broadway.
Another classic case of leading from behind. A total sociopath.

Anonymous said...

I'd say from the teachers I talk to its about a 60 - 40 split with 60 percent wanting to go in and 40 wanting to stay home. I'm ok with it as long as they test like they say they will and if students refuse they will be sent to remote. That works for me. Obviously there is no choice that works for evryone. At least there see options if you don't want to go in, unlike most jobs out there.

Moose said...

Hi Reno,

I have read a lot of your posts from afar. When you are writing about the facts and not swaying others emotions into your agenda through racial tension, you bring a lot of knowledge and clarity to the table. I'm just trying to be honest about what I have seen.

I am sorry about what has happened to you and how you view this "career" that you won't be sticking with. I hope your family is healthy and that you find happiness in whatever you do.

A lot of people your age (22-25) are coming into a career with LESS JOB SECURITY than ever before. Unfortunately, this is what the DOE wants. They want people like you teaching 10 years and fizzing out so that they don't have to pay a pension and benefits.

Like I said, all the best in the future and I hope you find a career where you have fulfillment and joy.


Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd be happy being fat and taking blood pressure meds.....