The city’s Department of Education has released more details on who will be teaching remote learning as the deadline for the city to finalize its school reopening plans draws near.
Students in remote learning will be taught by teachers from their schools, according to the DOE.
“The vast majority of students who participate in fully remote learning will be taught by teachers from their school. While there may be some limited exceptions on a school-by-school basis, parents can expect their children to be assigned teachers from their school when they receive their full schedule before the school year begins,” said Danielle Filson, spokesperson for the DOE, in a statement Wednesday.
The plan is to offer students in remote learning some form of daily live instruction, which can be done with the whole class, in small groups, or with individual students. “Every class will include live instruction. The amount will vary by grade, depending on what is developmentally appropriate,” according to the DOE.
For students in the hybrid “blended learning model” where they attend in-person schooling on a part-time basis, the DOE plans to offer “both synchronous and asynchronous instruction” by their teachers -- “on in-person days, students will attend classes in their school building and have the opportunity for whole class, small group, and individual work and collaboration with classmates and teachers.”
New York City is a rarity among the country’s largest school districts in planning to re-open in-person schooling at all during the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Week is tracking school district plans nationally and reports that "as of July 29th, 11 of the 15 largest school districts are choosing remote learning only as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 2.8 million students.”
School officials in Chicago -- the 3rd largest school district in America with about 359,000 students -- have yet to announce a decision. Tampa’s Hillsborough County school district -- the 8th largest district with about 220,000 students -- will open in-person learning, though remote learning will be available as well. The Hawaii Department of Education, which covers the entire state, plans to offer a hybrid plan for its 181,000 students.
The city must submit its final reopening plans to the state by Friday. But some teachers and principals unions, as well as Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and City Council Education Chair Mark Treyger, are urging the DOE to revise its hybrid proposal and delay reopening.
Williams called for delaying the first day of school for at least six weeks and that the reopening of schools should occur in stages, with only elementary school students returning to the classroom in October. By allowing older students, who are thought to do better at remote learning, to remain at home, elementary students could make use of the space at empty middle schools and high schools.
Treyger, the council's education committee chair, unveiled his own proposal that called for most high schoolers to engage in full-time remote learning. Like Williams, he has also called for the start of school to be delayed.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday pushed back against delaying the start of the public school year to give education officials more time to install the necessary safety precautions against the spread of coronavirus. "It doesn’t add to the equation to delay," he said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he will decide on approving plans for schools in each district in the state by August 7th.