Thursday, August 26, 2021


Basically, the UFT is going along with the DOE's homecoming opening plan. I say as a parent and part timer in the schools that it is totally inadequate and will be an invitation for COVID-19 to infect schools. No remote option for most families, no real social distancing, minimal testing, etc. 

Michael Mulgrew's latest email:

Dear _________,

The city today released its full health and safety plan for the 2021-22 school year, which builds on the strategies we used successfully last school year to keep our school communities safe.

Health and safety continues to be our top priority. We have been working with city and DOE officials throughout the summer to ensure that our members and our students remain safe when schools fully reopen in September amid the pandemic.

New York City schools will follow similar health and safety protocols as last school year on cleaning, ventilation, masks and personal protective equipment, and daily health screening.

Here are highlights of other features of the plan:

Physical distancing in schools

The DOE will follow the CDC recommendation to maintain at least 3 feet between students within classrooms. When it is not possible to maintain 3 feet in a given school, the DOE advises layering multiple other prevention strategies. During meal service, schools will use outdoor spaces and additional spaces in school buildings where possible.

COVID-19 testing in schools

Every school will have 10 percent of unvaccinated individuals who have submitted consent for testing in their school population tested biweekly. Students and staff who are fully vaccinated are not required to be tested.

Positive cases of COVID-19 in schools

Elementary Schools: If there is a positive case in a classroom, all students in the class will be instructed to quarantine for 10 calendar days.

Middle and High Schools: In the event there is a positive case in a classroom, students who are:

  • At least 12 years old, vaccinated and not showing symptoms will continue to attend school in-person.
  • At least 12 years old, vaccinated and showing symptoms will be directed to quarantine for 10 calendar days.
  • Unvaccinated will be directed to quarantine for 10 calendar days. Those students who test negative on Day 5 of their quarantine can return to school on Day 7.

Remote Instruction

The mayor has finally acknowledged the need for virtual instruction for medically fragile children and for those in quarantine, something we have maintained was necessary since last spring.

We are still working out the details of this remote instruction and other challenging aspects of the safety protocols, and we will continue to push for acceptable solutions to these issues at the bargaining table.

See the full plan

Starting Aug. 31, we will train the COVID-19 building response team in every school to ensure all protocols and procedures are being followed correctly. We will be reaching out to chapter leaders with more details next week. More than 3,000 UFT members benefited from this training last fall.

Update on the vaccine mandate

We are moving ahead with impact bargaining with the city on its new vaccine mandate for DOE employees. While the UFT is a proponent of the vaccine, and we know an overwhelming majority of our members have already been vaccinated, we have a duty to make sure that the city’s mandate is implemented correctly and legally.

In impact bargaining, we will ensure that the city respects our members’ rights by law and the DOE-UFT contract as it implements the mandate. We will be working at the bargaining table to ensure a fair and equitable process for medical and religious exemptions, an independent review and appeal process for members who are denied an exemption, and an appropriate outcome for members who decline to be vaccinated.

The Municipal Labor Committee is weighing a lawsuit challenging the city Department of Health’s authority to mandate the vaccine. Although our attorneys believe the mandate has a strong legal foundation, as part of the MLC, we support its effort to ensure that every detail of this mandate meets the relevant legal standards.

We know you still have questions as you prepare for the opening day of school in September. We will continue to update you on the latest developments. I hope you are able to attend our next all-member town hall on Thursday, Sept. 2, where I will report on these topics and more.


Michael Mulgrew's Signature

Michael Mulgrew
UFT President


Anonymous said...

From Twitter

Just in disbelief (again) today that the @UFT thinks the masks from last year, lack of social distancing, poor ventilation, janky air purifiers and REDUCED testing are the way to safety.

A teachers union that doesn’t care if students and staff get sick. Who’d have guessed?

Anonymous said...

So if someone tests positive but doesn't have symptoms they stay in the building to infect everyone. Right? Now where are all the vaccine people saying how bad people are for not wanting it? But nothing about mulgrew allowing schools to stay open no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Here is one thing you can be sure of. Michael Mulgrew will never step foot into a classroom.
What a great job he has. Every morning he gets up and the first thing he says is "thank the lord I do not have to go into a class room. I can just sit and do nothing all day and get paid for it." Enough is enough. Time to throw him out the door.

Anonymous said...

"While the UFT is a proponent of the vaccine.." Hmmm, If I remember correctly, Mulgrew stated at the last town hall that he was against mandated vaccines. His bullshit is plain for all to see.

Anonymous said...

It does literally the opposite of building on last year's plan.

Anonymous said...

Evidence mounts that people with breakthrough infections can spread Delta easily
Why are any positive students allowed to return to class if they have no symptoms?
This doesn't seem to make any sense especially since you can still spread the disease if you are asymptomatic and before symptoms manifest.

"What concerns Eric Topol, the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, is that fully vaccinated individuals who are infected with the Delta variant can transmit the virus and this can happen at a higher rate than previous strains in the days before symptoms, or in the absence of symptoms."

Anonymous said...

@9:53 "So if someone tests positive but doesn't have symptoms they stay in the building to infect everyone. Right?".

That's not what it says. For over 12 years old, the positive case would have to be out but if you've had close contact, are vaccinated and don't show symptoms, you don't have to be out.

If you have symptoms you're out, and if you're not vaccinated, even without symptoms you're also out.

Anonymous said...

We know that the unvaccinated asymptomatic can have the same viral load as the vaccinated and that they can still infect others, especially with the delta variant.
It doesn't seem to make sense to allow positive asymptomatic students to return to school.

Anonymous said...

I bet Joel Klein & Bloomberg are watching in disbelief as the dynamic duo of Mulgrew & DiBlasio destroy the NYC public schools & break the UFT. Adams will finish the job. Moskowitz wins. Permanent remote is coming. Lay offs coming. If you have less than 10 years in the system, get out now. Matter of time; It is over.

Anonymous said...

"During meal service, schools will use outdoor spaces and additional spaces in school buildings where possible."

Students are going to put on their hats and gloves and go and eat outside? Oh yeah, that makes sense. In my school the "additional spaces" were the classroom and computer labs. LOL. I don't know why everyone is so upset. The red states were so gun-ho about everything and one after the next they went remote after trying in-person for a couple of days

I am going to set up my remote classes and share it with my in-person students during the first couple of days and I'll be all set to go remote soon after we open. DeBlasio is trying to make a big show of reopening the schools as if the Delta is not surging.

There is no mention of what happens if a teacher tests positive. We don't have to quarantine if we don't have symptoms, but what if we test positive? Are we now using our time? I can see teachers without symptoms claiming that they do, because, why not? LOL. What a mess.

Anonymous said...

Are these people for real? I used to give my sixth-grader choice on mac & cheese, versus spaghetti. Broccoli, versus spinach. There's a pandemic "mask or no mask"? I don't think so. Fight for mask breaks, smaller class size, remote option, home school if you must. How ignorant does one have to be to read the news on Delta, and opt your child out of wearing a mask?

"Thousands of parents showed up to the West Ada School District office Wednesday to opt their children out of the mask rules the board passed a night earlier.

Taylor Johnson, who has a sixth-grader in the West Ada district, said he gave his child the choice of whether or not he wanted to opt out of the requirement.

“I’m really glad they did the opt-out,” Johnson said. “I think that was a very wise move on their part. I think there would have been mayhem if they wouldn’t have given that option.”

His son, he said, didn’t like wearing the mask and didn’t see any benefit to it."

"The board’s policy change Tuesday night came after hearing from two St. Luke’s Health System physicians, who recommended that the district start the year with a mask mandate if their goal was to keep students in school, every day, for the full year. They talked about the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, its impact on hospital capacity and how transmissible the delta variant is."


Anonymous said...

I wrote in a previous blog from James that to some extent Mulgrew's hands are tied regarding the law and vaccine requirements for teachers. However, while he may bargain for those with medical issues regarding the mandate he is failing us in these closing procedures.

If a student tests positive in a classroom over 12 to allow vaccinated students or teachers to return to class without any quarantine for at least 5 days to see if symptoms appear is a disaster.

Following the science means many things but what it also means is that the vaccinated can carry and spread the disease without showing symptoms. If Mulgrew agreed to this or doesn't fight this he sold us down the river.

Anonymous said...

Is biweekly every two weeks or twice a week? To me, it means every two weeks which is utterly pointless in trying to catch infections early. We are just going be guinea pigs again. Mask breaks? Sounds great…

Anonymous said...

@7:31 - it doesn't say that "positive asymptomatic students say in school. Where are people reading that?

Anonymous said...

Only testing those who submit consent forms seems to indicate that they are not actually interested in finding positive cases.

Anonymous said...

At least 12 years old, vaccinated, and not showing symptoms will
continue to attend school in-person. Out of an abundance of caution,
these students are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days
after exposure.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. They can always agree to test those who've had close contact. I get that some people think they're just evil, but part of it is that they're incompetent.

Anonymous said...

Bi-weekly means every two weeks. Semi weekly would mean twice a week.

Anonymous said...

10:43 - you do realize that doesn't mean they are "positive for COVID", right? They're talking about those who are vaccinated, and have had close contact, perhaps is in the classroom with someone else who tested positive. That' doesn't make them "positive asymptomatic"

Anonymous said...

@9:10 - I wouldn't worry too much, they'll be closing back down before you know it. The shit show that's coming is not sustainable.

Anonymous said...

Yes it sure will.but they wont do anything unless kids drop like flies or the lawsuits roll in.tchr dies?no biggie.replace with a newbie

Anonymous said...

From DOE website:

School staff can use the following strategies to support students in meeting face covering compliance:

1. Have an adult in the school building whom the student trusts hold informal restorative conversations to address the importance of wearing a face covering during the school day.
2. Provide age-appropriate supports including education materials on complying with health and safety protocols.
3. Offer the student more frequent face covering breaks.
4. Develop a face covering contract with the student.
5. Implement Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports incentives for face covering compliance.
6. Direct the student to a school counselor and/or social worker to discuss concerns.
7. Hold a remote conference with the student’s guardian.

So if if a student refuses to comply with the mask rule, stop teaching and try 1 to 7.
Good luck with that.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that bad behavior, like good behavior can be contagious. One student takes it off, and there's going to be more than one with the mask off.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything in the Danielson Rubric about mask wearing?

Anonymous said...

8:57. Yes. You’re ineffective if a student tells you to fuck off he’s not wearing his mask.

Anonymous said...

The policy states that windows should be open in classrooms. MY SCHOOL HAS NO WINDOWS!

Anonymous said...

Well, it's 11:59PM, time for the DOE to begin to think about large scale policy for the coming school year. If the Mayor is beginning to change his stance on a remote option for medicalaly fragile that would mean many in D75. This past year, a majority of students did not attend in person. The Chancellor does now state about a remote option when an elementary class must quarantine. So, who will teach them? I see accommodations coming back for some "compromised" staff. This will become very political and divisive and of course this all occurs at the 11th hour. Stay Tuned!

Anonymous said...

LOL @8:48.

Unknown said...

9:26 i remember reading about people at home in those types of buildings who got covid.also happened while in isolation in quarantine careful!insist on hepa.teachets choice...haha

Anonymous said...

Sll of you who think it is safe:would You be willing to pay for hospital bills for covid,since u seem so sure that u wont be hospitalized??