The Council of Supervisors and Administrators is stepping up to say the city's plan to open the schools in September will be impossible to implement. We have heard nothing from the UFT.
This is from the NY Post:
The city’s principals union is warning that the new school year could again be chaotic, as the Department of Education’s social distancing guidelines will make it impossible to accommodate all students full-time.
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators said that there is not enough room in many buildings to enforce the 3-foot separation mandate that the DOE has released — and that the stage has been set for a reopening debacle.
The CSA said the DOE’s guidelines, which dictates 3 feet between kids at all times, run counter to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, which said that 3 feet should only be enforced when practicable.
“Earlier today, the DOE sent an email to each principal with a capacity report for their building which gave the impression that all schools must maintain 3 feet of social distancing for all students at all times rather than adhere to the CDC guidance of 3 feet distance where possible,” the union wrote in a letter to members Thursday.
Those guidelines have left administrators scrambling to figure out what to do, according to CSA.
“From the moment that planning for the upcoming school year began, CSA has communicated to the city and the DOE that it will simply not be possible to bring back all students to all buildings while fully complying with these social distancing protocols,” the letter stated.
Coupled with the absence of a remote learning option, the CSA said schools are on a collision course with chaos in a matter of weeks.
“The city obviously wants it both ways, to offer no remote option and for families to believe that students and staff can maintain 3 feet of social distancing at all schools at all times,” the organization fumed.
The union said that the DOE said it was going to use the less stringent CDC guidance as recently as last week.
“Just yesterday, President Mark Cannizzaro sent an email to the Mayor and Chancellor regarding the mass confusion they have once again caused with conflicting, vague, and untimely communications,” they wrote Thursday.
In that message, Cannizzaro said DOE officials agreed that the 3 foot rule could cause problems.
“The CSA immediately raised, and the DOE concurred, that it would not be possible in a very large number of schools to welcome all students back and while maintaining a distance of three feet at all times,” he wrote.
Should I even bother with the DOE response which is just public relations nonsense? Here it is:
The health and safety of our students teachers and staff comes first during the pandemic,” said DOE spokesperson Danielle Filson. “We’re working hand in hand with principals to maximize social distancing and ensure the absolute safest learning environments for our kids.”
What I suggest is everyone sign the petition for a safe reopening. It's up to us to step up to wake the UFT and city-DOE leaders out of their slumber.