Exactly one week before the start of in-person learning for NYC public school students, some teachers are intensifying their opposition to the city's plan, staging several "work outs" at schools on Monday.

The coordinated effort by MORE-UFT -- an activist faction of the United Federation of Teachers union -- involved teachers at six schools working outside instead on in their classrooms. The teachers say they decided to do so out of mistrust toward the safety of their schools during the coronavirus pandemic.

At PS 139 Alexine A. Fenty in Brooklyn, where at least one staffer was confirmed to have COVID-19 on Friday, teachers set up folding chairs on a grassy patch outside the Ditmas Park school, saying they needed more evidence that the school is safe enough to work in. They said when they arrived at the school last week, the much-touted electro-static sprayer was still in its box, and classroom vents had not been cleaned. They also worried that city contact tracers moved too slowly after the staff member tested positive on Friday.

"We are teachers that are fully committed to our work. We're dedicated to our community, but the building isn't safe," said Donna Rivera, a third grade teacher at the school, who questions the school's ventilation system and the city's process of approving schools to reopen through School Ventilation Action Teams.

"Ventilation should be calculated by air changes per hour. Right now, what the Department of Education and city of New York are saying [is] that as long as a window is open then there's ventilation, which is not scientifically backed," said Rivera, who's pushing for full remote classes. "And so, for a city and state that has been working around science this entire time...[it's] really disheartening that that is not being extended to the New York City public schools."

In a statement to Gothamist, DOE spokesperson Nathaniel Styer said, “Our students and staff deserve a quick, transparent response to a confirmed case in their community, and we send a letter for confirmed and self-reported cases, which we did for PS 139 last week. All school staff have access to free priority testing, and the positivity rate amongst staff is .32%, and the City’s Situation Room is set up to take quick, decisive action in every scenario. While we continue to navigate the realities of a pandemic, there will be positive cases—we are putting people’s health above everything else by quickly identifying and isolating positive cases, which is a leading effort to prevent transmission.”

Megan Jonynas, a music teacher at the school who doubles as the UFT chapter leader, said UFT leadership are inspecting the school today.

"Things are not getting done the way they need to be," said Jonynas of the school's cleaning protocols. "As of Friday our building had not been sprayed. Our custodians keep running out of time to disinfect."

Teachers at PS 139 are also pressing the UFT and the city for a more robust custodial staff to keep up with cleaning the four-story school.

Juno Turner, the co-president of PS 139's PTA, was also at the Monday morning action.

"I'm concerned that our teachers have been here busting their butts doing everything they can to ensure the classrooms and the school building are safe and it's not," said Turner, who believes more personal protective equipment, cleaning, and staff is needed for a successful reopening. "There's a real disconnect between what the mayor and chancellor are saying and what's been happening on the ground."

Monday's "work out" is similar to a strategy utilized by teachers at IS 230 in Jackson Heights on Friday, after determining that their District 75 school is not safe ahead of school reopening.

At a news conference on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that despite calls to keep schools closed, the city will press ahead with reopening.

Juno Turner (left) with her son stand outside PS 139 in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, in support of teachers who find the school is not safe to reopen for in-person learning on September 21st.

"This year, extraordinary effort has been undertaken to make sure that schools have what they need. It's never going to be perfect, but it will be what schools need, and this balance between remote and in-person learning is complex; it's unprecedented, but I have faith in our educators will get it done," de Blasio said, announcing that 2,000 more teachers will be dispatched to public schools.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, joining de Blasio, stood by the city's plan to reopen under guidelines he considered the most "rigorous" in the country and has met the state's standards.

"Everything that needs to be signed off on has been signed off on, and more," said Carranza.