Of the ten largest school systems in the country, the NYC DOE was the only one with plans to start the 2020-21 school year as originally intended on September 10th. By comparison, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Chicago opted for fully virtual schooling in mid-July and early August respectively. But by now parents are, however painfully, aware New York City has delayed the first day of school.
The first week of instruction is fully virtual and begins on September 16th. For those families who opted for hybrid learning, in-school instruction commences on September 21st. So what happened? Here, to help make some sense of the chaos and bring a smile to your face, is a Tik Tok from our friend and FABulous neighbor, Jose Rolon, aka @nycgaydad.
In all seriousness though, the health and safety of 1.1 million schoolchildren, their teachers, administrators, and staff hung in the balance along with that of everyone’s families and their mental health. The DOE remained adamant schools would open on time. Hizzoner, Mayor De Blasio, and School Chancellor, Richard Carranza faced intense pressure from elected officials, school principals, teachers, and families. (An August 19th PEP meeting stretched from 6:00 pm – 4:00 am with hundreds of speakers voicing their increasing concerns.)
And so, the news changed daily, taking us all on an emotional roller coaster. (Admittedly, your correspondent found it frustrating and difficult to keep up). For a full sequence of events, head over to Chalkbeat which has consistently provided excellent re-opening reporting.
How do YOU feel about how the DOE handled re-opening school? Would it have been better if the DOE had made a decision earlier in the summer and stuck with it? Did you choose fully remote or hybrid learning? Or, did you opt for a charter or private school? Do you have child care issues? Do you have children attending different schools? Any lingering concerns? Comment away!
Photo Credit: Creative Commons Avolor/Flickr
Disclaimer: SongBirdNYC is the parent of an elementary-age child who has attended public school. The views expressed in this post are their own.