New York City schools begin closing Mondays to slow the spread of coronavirus.
New York City school closings will continue on April 20th.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on the 15th, “To say the least, this is a very troubling moment, a moment where I am just distraught at having to take this action.”
When the school is closed, students start distance learning on March 23rd.
The mayor said teachers will be trained on how to teach children remotely over the next few days.
“It has never been attempted by the city of New York on this scale, to say the least,” de Blasio said. “But they have been working on a wartime footing to prepare it. It will be up and running for children in grades K-12 on Monday, March 23, in a week. It is a system that will improve with each week. And it will certainly take time to make it as strong as it could be and needs to be.”
The mayor went on to say teachers will begin to get trained on teaching remotely over the next few days. The United Federation of Teachers said in a release, in part, “School staff will all stay home on Monday. At this moment, the staff will then report to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to prepare instructional plans for remote learning for their students during this interval.”
“Again, this is going to be a kind of battlefield training. These are not ideal conditions. We’ll have to teach these teachers quickly,” de Blasio said. “This is a point where I can say to all our educators: We need you. We need you. These children need you. These families need you. For so many of our educators it will be an opportunity to take the tools of your profession and use them in a new way, to reach a lot of kids who are going to be dealing with really, really tough circumstances.”
The school will also find alternative places to serve breakfast and lunch to students over the next five days, and then provide meals for students.
New York City will begin its distance learning on March 23, closing dozens of school buildings across the city, which will be used as “learning centers” to support children of vital city workers, such as healthcare workers.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the school will be closed on April 20th after the upcoming spring break, but could be closed longer.
For distance learning, students without computers will lend computers, and the city will help students who do not have Internet access to go online.
School closures can lead to widespread loss of learning as many students become late.
However, closing schools is a necessary step to slow the spread of coronavirus.