This is our daily update following the reopening of NYC schools for Saturday, October 3rd, 2020.
Here's the latest:
- NYC Teachers Looking At Holiday Travel To Virus Hotspots Must Self-Isolate Upon Return, State Says
- City Assures COVID-19 Test Samples Collected From NYC Schoolkids Are Not Being Sold
- Do you have a tip or story to share about schools reopening in NYC? Send us an email at email@example.com (we can keep you anonymous)
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on Monday assured parents that child services will not be called on them if their lack of a functional remote learning device prevents their child from attending remote learning classes during the school year. His comments came in response to a New York Daily News article that reported parents were in fact hearing such threats from school administrators.
"Without any exception, there should be no reporting to ACS of any student that's having difficulty with technology," Carranza said at a joint press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio. "What should be reported is to the school, that they're having difficulty with the technology, and it's our job to follow up and make sure they get the right form of technology. That being said, it's also important to understand that as we look at attendance, it's important for folks to reach out to families where we haven't seen students logged on or we haven't seen a positive history of being online or checking in with us, because we want to know are those students safe."
Parent Regina Alston told the News her two kids have to share a single laptop, which has led to one of her kids missing classes if their schedules overlap. She said the two iPads she received by the city Department of Education have been out for repairs for the last few months. Alston's 9-year-old daughter was reportedly told by officials at the Grant Avenue Elementary School in the South Bronx that child services will be called if her online absences continue.
"I'm angry," Alston told the News. "I think the DOE is trying to put the fault on the parents, but it's not. This whole remote learning is an epic failure."
"We've sent out guidance last spring; we've also updated that guidance this semester to school sites, making it very clear that technology issues should not be one of the reasons for a report to ACS and we'll continue to follow up on those," Carranza said at the news conference. "If parents are getting those kinds of calls, we just need to know about it. Our superintendents in the district should know about it. Principals should know about it, and we will follow up but I want to be very clear that is not the policy of the DOE."
Carranza's comments came as de Blasio revealed on Monday that 280,000 students have reported to schools for in-person learning, far fewer than the 460,419 students who the DOE said are signed up for in-person learning. At the same time, de Blasio said the average attendance for in-person learners is 82.9%, which translates to roughly 381,000 students, not 280,000. (We've asked the DOE to clarify and will update when we hear back.)
The average percentage of attendance for both remote and in-person learners is now at 85%, a figure de Blasio acknowledged is "not a bad number" but that he does want to see go up.