Saturday, December 05, 2020


 This found its way to my email this morning.

Dear ___________,

To all of you who will be returning to school buildings next Thursday, I 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.

You don’t need to be reminded that our District 75 students need in-person education the most — you know what your students need better than anyone. Research shows that students with complex disabilities regress when they don’t attend school in person.

The positivity rate of .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 will be tested every week — even in neighborhoods that have very low infection rates. District 75 students will now receive the COVID-19 test from a school nurse they know and trust.

There are only two types of exemptions: a medical exemption and a disability-based exemption.

Anyone has a right under the law to claim a medical exemption in the rare circumstance that a health or medical condition makes COVID-19 testing impossible.

I am glad to report that after several days of intense talks, the city has agreed to adopt a disability-based exemption policy that is not an exemption from being tested for the virus, only an exemption from being tested in school. Parents can request this type of exemption and a DOE psychologist must determine if there is evidence in the student’s records to show that school-based testing would be dangerous or traumatic for the student or dangerous for the person giving the test. Under the new policy, the exempted student must still be tested if selected for the random sample, but the responsibility will rest with the parent or guardian to have the child tested by a private physician or at a city test site. The parent will have seven days to get the child tested and must bring the test results to school.

The DOE has finally stated unequivocally that all children who return to in-person learning must have a signed consent or exemption form on file. I know the paucity of these forms on file at many District 75 schools has been a source of frustration. The DOE told principals this week that no student will be allowed to stay in school for in-person learning without a signed consent or exemption form on file.

Working with students who can't social distance or tolerate masks can be stressful. Increasing the number of District 75 students being tested will protect both our students and you.

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.

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 District 75 schools will be able to go five days a week. Safety remains the priority — 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 who 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. I will keep you posted with any updates as soon as they arise.


Michael Mulgrew,

UFT President 


Anonymous said...

That letter is a a DISGRACE and affront to everyone forced to go into the covid laboratory's know called schools. The only thing I find ironic is that elementary schools and not JR HS or high schools will be opening. I feel no sympathy for elementary teachers who don't want to go in but now must. It is this group (plus retirees) that continue to vote for this horseshit UNITY union party. Maybe now although I doubt it they will see the need to vote Unity out.

Anonymous said...

Oh, stupid me, I thought the uft didn't do anything.

If you go into any building on Monday, you are dumber than I thought.

Anonymous said...

Dues well spent. Good luck. If you go in, you are a bunch of idiots. Which school will Muilgrew be in on Monday, all day, with studnets?

"NYC positivity rates have climbed dramatically over the last two weeks — it was as low as 1.1% in early September. That’s when the rate began a slow climb, hitting 2% in late October, which continued and became something of a gallop by mid-November, when it blew past 3%,"

"Meanwhile, the statistics from state officials showed the statewide positivity rate remains above 5 percent — at 5.4 percent — and that the state’s coronavirus hot spots have an average positivity rate of 7.3 percent. "

TeachNY said...

It’s actually a very thoughtful letter.

Anonymous said...

D75 Bronx teacher here. No students were tested in my school building before the closure. It's going to be different this time?

Anonymous said...

Nj open, over 14% statewide.maybe they brought it here.stupid cuomo let them come and go freely from nj and things will close here.hate him

Erica said...

The fraud continues, this is from a no show, it is December 5.

"I know I have missed a lot but on Monday I will be present"

Anonymous said...

Gonna go well...

City principals are set to clash with parents who haven’t submitted COVID-19 testing consent forms but still want their kids in class when schools reopen Monday.

The Department of Education has stressed that students who lack the document can’t participate in building instruction.

“In order to come to school in person, students need to have a consent form on file — there is no grace period for this rule,” DOE spokesperson Nathaniel Styer told The Post.

Parents who oppose the DOE’s in-school testing format are refusing to submit the forms and threatening lawsuits if their kids are barred from buildings.

Anonymous said...

There will be little to no enforcement, that's just the way it is.
Next we will hear, it is not equitable or excellence to exclude children because of family decisions or lack of engagement.

Do not trust.

TeachNY said...

I love how people advise others to “refuse to go in.” Poor advice. Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

Im sure mulgrew is comfortable with this...

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...

So it’s safe to open schools and for teachers to go in, but not for 52 Broadway? Mulgrew states he has a valid reason for sending teachers back, but won’t elaborate? Has he asked teachers for input? Does he remember who he works for? Isn’t it time to remind him? Don’t take this virus lightly, it has been devastating for many.

Anonymous said...

Simultaneously justifying the return to schools by a low DOE positivity rate and admitting that the testing program that generate that rate was hopelessly incomplete. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Now if we refuse to submit to a covid test, we will be put on leave and be taken off payroll.
Great Union!

Erica said...

Lean On Me is on tv, made in 1989. "Blacks are becoming a permanent underclass." 30 years later, all we do is participate in grade fraud. How weird. When are we going to fix the problem. Oh, nevermind, the uft made a blm resolution. Nice work, mulgrew.

James Eterno said...

You made your point Erica but can we please not have 20 comments about grade fraud and how easy it is to pass in some NYC schools. 3K-5 is opening Monday. Some are ok with that while others are scared. Let's think about our colleagues.

Erica said...

Just making a point how far we HAVEN'T come. The medical situation is the same sham as the grading issue.

Anonymous said...

Lol. Erica is correct. Anyway, back on topic. Teachers keep complaining. Uft does nothing. March 17-19 all over again. Keep paying dues. Keep going into infected buildings. Some will never learn. Don't show up. What is the question?

Anonymous said...

Why worry, mulgrew is safe at home

New York records another 10,761 COVID cases and 67 deaths: Cuomo


Please sign and share. THIS IS THE SUPERINTENDENT OF HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS. Students, families and teachers look to him for an example. There are voice recording and repeated text messages of threats to spread the corona virus. I have listened to the recordings and it is his voice. We have families who have children who have not attended school in months because they are afraid. Families have lost families members to this. We have a large black and brown population. His salary and benefits are over $350,000. If this were a student or teacher they would be removed. The teachers have been teaching using the hybrid live instruction model and none were granted medical accommodations like NYC teachers. To threaten to spread covid 19 over a possible $20 monthly gym fee is crazy. There are many other ways this could have been handled. Please help us get new leadership by signing and sharing.

Anonymous said...

Who is going to refuse entry if no consent/exemption form is submitted?

This part of the plan has not been communicated to members. How will this happen when District 75 students ride a school bus daily to school?

Will the bus company be responsible for refusing children without consent to board the bus?

What will be the procedure when the child gets to school?

Nothing, the child will enter the building, parent called to pick up, will not come, the child remains in school with peers.

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare. Where is the Early Retirement Incentive Bill S9041? This Bill is specifically targeted to NYC municipal employees. I kept hearing after the election this Bill would be voted on. If this is a real possibility and teachers want to leave, shouldn’t something be coming out soon? With all this confusion and stress I think many eligible teachers would want to opt in before the end of winter recess.

Anonymous said...

Why is it okay that as an elementary teacher, I have to go to school this week, but middle and high school teachers an work safely at home? I didn't select in-person. It selected me. I believe in in-person learning, but I'm freaked out about returning with city cases growiong

TeachNY said...

I just want to wish the elem school teachers a good first week back. Hopefully my middle school will be open soon. Just remember, the kids will be very happy to be back and to see you. All throughout history, teachers have taught in-person through the darkest times-underground schools in the Warsaw Ghetto, teaching outside in the cold during the 1918 pandemic....keep your head up and know that you’re doing the right thing. Good luck, my fellow elem school teachers!

Anonymous said...

Dont worry, mulgrew says everythig is fine. Go to work on the bus and train and with sicks students...

Mayor Bill de Blasio
Today’s #COVID19 indicators:

• 165 new hospitalizations
• 2,264 new cases
• 5.12% positivity rate (7-day avg.)

Continue taking precautions this weekend. Wear a mask. Avoid large gatherings. Get tested.

Anonymous said...


Winter Covid surge is the 'worst event that this country will face,' White House health advisor Birx says

Anonymous said...

Why is the UFT ok with this after an agreed 3% closure? The city is about 5% and some neighborhoods much higher. Even if the school is under 3% most teachers have to take mass transit to and from work so they will be exposed to the city’s overall infection rate. My whole family has the virus right now. I know I have it and the test came back negative twice this week and positive this morning. My wife can’t taste or smell - she tested negative and has a fever, my daughter is ok but running a slight fever - she came back negative and my in-laws are near death in a completely over run hospital LIJ - they also tested negative four times and then positive. My point is you can’t trust the tests and the older you are the worse it is for you. Take vitamin D,C and Zinc.

James Eterno said...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for you and your family 11:20.

Anonymous said...

What a nightmare. Where is the Early Retirement Incentive Bill S9041? This Bill is specifically targeted to NYC municipal employees. I kept hearing after the election this Bill would be voted on. If this is a real possibility and teachers want to leave, shouldn’t something be coming out soon? With all this confusion and stress I think many eligible teachers would want to opt in before the end of winter recess.

Just a CL said...

So what are our death benefits again?

Just an endangered CL said...

So we're going to have our school nurses administer a highly complex medical test... the same Nurses that are not permitted to administer aspirin?
What could go wrong here?

The perpetual skewing of the school statistics is already a lie being used by them to justify opening schools. The tests are not randomly performed. Those "sick" are not being tested in the schools as they are required to be home. Therefore random, healthy volunteers without symptoms are asked to go to the auditorium for testing. This is all a sham.

I am done.

Anonymous said...

10:17 you chose that when you became an elementary school teacher. Lol

Anon2323 said...

How can anyone trust Mulgrew, like seriously, how can we take anything he says about caring for our needs in the highest regard? Mulgrew late to close legit has blood on hands from March. Mulgrew panders to keep students home, arbitrary 3%. CDC says 5% should be home and now that it's legit 5% send kids back? I get spread is much less for younger students than in high school. The leaders have been as terrible as you can imagine and they have been wrong on everything and have no credibility.