By Emily Drooby
New York City public schools were originally slated to start a hybrid mix of in-person and online learning on September 10.
But in a newly announced schedule, teachers will instead begin preparing their classrooms on September 10. All students will begin remote learning on September 16 and on September 21, school doors will open for blended in-person learning.
This change could have an impact on parish schools and Catholic academies in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“There is nothing more precious than taking care of the children of NYC,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio as he announced the changed schedule on September 1.
The New York City public school date change comes amid threats of a possible teachers strike, angry over their pandemic safety demands not being met.
During the press conference, Public Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said, “We’ve heard from our educators, from our school leaders, everyone in our schools that have said we need some more time.”
The head of the teacher’s union was also on hand at the media event to endorse the new plan.
This change is not so great for the Diocese of Brooklyn. Superintendent of schools Thomas Chadzutko explains that it puts Catholic schools reopening in jeopardy.
“Personally, I felt devastated, not for myself but for the principals, and the boards and teachers who have worked tirelessly over the summer,” he told Currents News.
Chadzutko says a majority of their schools are ready to open with 100% in-person instruction on September 9.
The city provides six services described as non-negotiable to the Diocese of Brooklyn’s reopening plan; security, nurses, transportation services, food services, special education teacher support services and crossing guards.
“We really cannot open without the services,” explained Chadzutko.
It’s not yet clear if those services will be available for their opening. Chadzutko said they’re still moving ahead with their original reopening plans so that they don’t fall behind.
The superintendent’s office is attempting to get answers about the city’s plan for these essential services. They told Currents News they reached out to the city as soon as the announcement was made. They have also been looking into laws to see if there is anything that might help.