After mounting pressure, NYC Mayor Bill Deblasio finally made the decision to shutter NYC public schools effective Monday, March 16th.
“This is a decision I have taken with no joy…I regret to have to announce that our public schools will be closed. There is no school tomorrow and we will be suspending our public schools until after our Spring vacation…We will make a first attempt to re-open our schools on Monday, April 20th. But I have to be honest, we are dealing with a lot of unknowns and a lot of challenges. …We may not have an opportunity to re-open them for the remainder of the school year.”
The goal is to roll out remote learning on Monday, March 23rd. In addition, DeBlasio plans to set up multiple “specialized sites” within the five boroughs to support the children of “essential workers” such as Transit, Healthcare, First Responders, etc. Schools will also be outfitted as “grab and go” locations for much-needed meals. The DOE will also be working to supply technology to as many children as possible.
The DOE lagged behind private schools such as St. Ann’s, Brooklyn Friends, Poly Prep and Packer who all closed their doors last week. The United Federation of Teachers had also threatened a lawsuit if NYC schools were to remain open on Monday.