NYC mayors consider virtual education plan for schools – Times of India

NEW YORK: New York City Mayor Eric Adams is considering allowing the country’s largest school district to return to some sort of virtual instruction as the city weathers a wave of coronavirus cases, contrary to its promise a week before children are sent to school.

Adams told a news conference Thursday that he still believes the safest place for children is at school, “but we must be honest that there are enough children there, for whatever reason, parents are not bringing them to school.” “Attendance levels have been lower than normal since the students returned from winter vacation, with one-fourth to one-third of students not attending classes most days. As of Wednesday, district-level attendance was 76%, according to Education Department figures. About one million students In the district, that means about 220,000 are either sick or otherwise absent from school.

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More than 100 schools reported less than 60% attendance, and more than 50 reported less than half of all students attending classes on Wednesday. After peaking in the first week of January, the average number of new cases in New York City has dropped slightly in recent days, raising some hopes among officials that the Omicron tide is receding.

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Adams, a Democrat who took office on the first day of the year, has taken a strong stance on the epidemic, urging New Yorkers to be cautious and get vaccinated, but not let Covid-19 control their lives. He has repeatedly said that the city cannot afford to close more businesses or schools.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers’ Unions, which represents the city’s public school teachers, asked the mayor to personally suspend education as soon as Adams takes office.

Adams said Thursday that he has been working closely with Mulgru and has so far been willing to entertain temporary distance learning because it was a “quality alternative.” “But my goal: I want kids in school,” Adams said.

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The mayor stressed that the city would not see such a conflict in Chicago, where the country’s third-largest school district has canceled a five-day class due to disagreements with the teachers’ union over the Covid-19 safety protocol.

“It’s not Chicago,” Adams said. “It simply came to our notice then. We can overcome these crises and find the right way to educate our children in a very safe environment. ”

He did not elaborate on what the remote option might look like. Messages with the teachers’ union and the city’s education department were not immediately returned.

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The city’s school system was one of the first to return to personal guidance after the epidemic hit in 2020 and schools closed in March for the rest of the year. They launched a hybrid plan in the fall of 2020, with most students studying a few days a week at school and the rest of the time online.

New York City students returned to full-time personal guidance this past autumn.

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