New York City schools to close again as city fights virus

Clay Curtis
November 19, 2020

"But we set a very clear standard, and we need to stick to that standard". He added that schools would definitely remain closed through Thanksgiving.

NY has the largest school system in the United States, with 1,800 schools and no fewer than 1.1 million students.

The mayor said the rate has now passed that mark.

One Twitter user said reopening schools was a great ploy to get parents to bring their families back to the city, so that local officials could collect their tax dollars.

The action by NY schools, announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio via Twitter, doubtless came as a relief to some teachers, many of whom have expressed fear of being placed at increased risk of exposure to the highly contagious respiratory virus. We had to have that conversation with them to get everyone on the same.

Even as the school system stayed open, more than 1,000 classrooms went through temporary closures. Numerous country's largest school districts have been remote-only since the school year started, and rising coronavirus cases have recently forced several school districts to delay plans to bring students back into classrooms.

Parts of western NY that have been under the least onerous "yellow zone" restrictions are now under more restrictive "orange zone" restrictions, in which schools go remote and "high-risk" businesses such as gyms are closed, Cuomo said.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has frequently overruled the mayor on major decisions related to the pandemic, said Wednesday the city had the authority to shut things down. Officials are working to distribute more devices, relying on paper learning packets in the interim.

CNN has obtained a copy of a letter sent Wednesday from New York City School Chancellor Richard Carranza to families and students that confirms all school buildings will be closed beginning November 19, and students will transition to remote learning.

"New York City can not abandon children and families to the failures and inequities that have already been so devastating".

As Cuomo briefed reporters, de Blasio tweeted that in fact the three-percent threshold had been met.

The teachers' union at one point threatened to strike. "Since the three percent rate has been reached, education will continue but all students will be learning remotely", Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, said in a statement.

WNBC-TV reported that de Blasio "told parents Friday to have a plan in place as early as Monday in the event the citywide rolling positivity rate hits the school shutdown threshold (3 percent) over the weekend".

"Now it's the job of all New Yorkers to maintain social distance, wear masks and take all other steps to substantially lower the infection rate so school buildings can re-open for in-person instruction". Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters.

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