As New York City schools equip to reopen in some form for the new academic year, one new order might provide parents a bit of relief.
What We Know:
- Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that every city public school building would have at least one certified nurse on-site when they open again for the fall.
- De Blasio said there would be a certified nurse for every individual public school building in New York City. The mayor also stated at his daily news meeting, all precautions are being taken, but there is a tremendous advantage when having a health professional present.
- De Blasio said NYC Health and Hospitals were working to ensure there was proper staffing for the plan, which called for a contract of 400 full-time nurses. It was seen that, in spite of worries about availability, there was still a month to find everyone needed. He also stated that along with the nurses, “rigorous test and trace protocols” will be in place to help stop the virus from escalating after schools reopen.
- Also, more than 2,000 early childcare programs in the city will need more nurses, as the mayor said 100 nurses would be hired to provide coverage. The ZIP codes hardest hit by COVID-19 will be receiving priority. De Blasio also confirmed that Health + Hospitals would be covering the cost of these new nurses.
- School Chancellor Richard Carranza stated, “If we are able to, from a medical perspective, come back even a few days a week, that is healthy for children and adults,” Carranza also mentioned that he wouldn’t be surprised if more parents opt for only remotely learning before school begins. “We said all along, parents are juggling a lot of difficult decisions, and those numbers will probably be very fluid.”
- The city is hoping for a hybrid reopening on Sept. 10th, with most of the 1.1 million students being two or three days a week in a physical classroom and the rest of the time learning remotely. Parents have been given the option of petitioning full-time remote learning for their children.
- The mayor acknowledged there were challenges with the plan as the city recovers from a pandemic. Yet, he mentioned the city has been able to bring down the rate of positive cases to around 1 percent and that it’s owed to the children and their families to reopen on time.
The mayor declined to delay the start to the school year and said the city’s infection rate is within the lowest in the nation, which he says makes it safe to reopen schools with the changes plus a strict policy to shut it down again if the infection rate climbs up.