NY Governor Presents School Reopening Guidelines

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File

Schools in NYC will only be permitted to open once the city reaches stage 4, NY Governor Cuomo announced at press conference on Monday.

By Anash.org reporter

At a press conference on Monday, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo presented an outline of the state’s plan for reopening schools in the fall.

According to the guidelines, schools are able to reopen only if their region they are located in have reached the final phase (4) of reopening. Currently, most of New York State is at stage 4 while the city lags behind in phase 3.

Additionally, Cuomo announced that the daily infection rate in that region needs to remain at 5 percent or lower over a two-week period, to allow schools to open there. Reopening will be halted if infection rate reaches 9% on a 7-day average.

“If you have the virus under control, reopen. If you don’t have the virus under control, then you can’t reopen,” Cuomo said. “We’re not going to use our children as guinea pigs. We’re not going to put our children in a place where their health is endangered.”

Once a region has met those thresholds, schools will be permitted to open, but all students and staff will be required to wear masks when social distancing cannot be maintained. Teachers and students will also have their temperatures checked at the start of every day.

Schools will need to plan for maintaining social distancing as much as possible and develop thorough cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

Some remote learning will likely continue into the fall, Cuomo said.

Last week, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a plan for public schools, in which 1.1 million students are presently enrolled. Students will learn on a “blended learning” schedule, with students rotating the days that they come to school, so that buildings don’t become overcrowded.

“Students will be in two- or three-day a week rotations,” Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza explained. “So for example, one cohort comes to school on Tuesday and Thursday and another cohort comes on Wednesdays and Fridays. Then the cohorts alternate on Mondays.”

With the blended learning style, there will be fewer students in each classroom, and large spaces like cafeterias and auditoriums will also be used as classrooms.

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