City principals claim mayor, DOE have not given enough guidance for safely reopening schools

Principals from across the city formed a petition with hundreds of signatures, and wrote a proposed reopening plan in a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city schools chancellor.

News 12 Staff

Aug 16, 2020, 10:09 PM

Updated 1,381 days ago

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Northern Brooklyn and NYC principals shared concerns ahead of the Sept. 10 reopening of city schools.

Principals from across the city formed a petition with hundreds of signatures, and wrote a proposed reopening plan in a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city schools chancellor.

"We're asking for planning, the state and the city reopening in a phased model. That's all we are trying to do," says Principal Kiri Soares.

Principal Luke Bauer asks, "How are we supposed to have students do indoor dining in our schools this fall if it's not happening in New York City?"
MORE COVERAGE: State of our Schools

The principals say they want to be ready to reopen safely as they stand on the front lines of tough questions from parents.
"I think we are jeopardizing more than just the health and safety of schools communities...that being staff, students and their families. We are also jeopardizing the quality of the education," says Principal Emily Paige.

Principal Amy Rodriguez says, "Parents are terrified, they really want to know we are guaranteeing the safety and well-being of their child."

However, they claim that communication from the Department of Education has been lackluster.

"The global plan for PPE, what does that mean for my site? The global plan for ventilation updates, and checks and fixes, what does that mean at my site?" Paige says.

The DOE told News 12 in a statement that said in part, "We're working around the clock because every school will have the instructional guidance safety supplies they need to reopen."

As principals prepare for a successful school year, whether remote or in person, they say time is needed.

Paige says, "We've been getting trickles of information… which has made it harder… to really have enough information and enough resources and time, to do this really well."


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