Group of teachers call for immediate shutdown of in-person learning as students prepare to return to classrooms

A group of New York City teachers is calling for an immediate shutdown of in-person learning as 3K through fifth grade public school students prepare to head back to the classrooms on Monday.

News 12 Staff

Jan 4, 2021, 12:25 PM

Updated 1,229 days ago

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A group of New York City teachers is calling for an immediate shutdown of in-person learning as 3K through fifth grade public school students prepare to head back to the classrooms on Monday.
Lydia Howrilka, co-founder of the Solidarity Caucus within the teacher's union, says students are not ready for in-person learning.
"We just feel that it is incredibly not wise to reenter school buildings given that we have seen a dramatic increase in positivity rates," she says.
The current COVID-19 positivity rate is 9%, as reported by the city, and it's also the threshold to trigger a school-wide shutdown. The state's trigger is based on its own numbers which are calculated differently and are more than 2.5% lower than the city's.
The positivity rate in schools last month from random testing was only at .68%.
Howrilka says school testing is flawed - it's not every day. Also, she says the tests they give the kids are not highly reliable.
The United Teacher's Federation tells News 12 it trusts the low results saying in a statement in part, "Our experience so far has been that the actual infection rate in schools has been very small, including in hard-hit neighborhoods, but we will be monitoring results closely as in-school testing begins again."
Middle and high school kids are still completely remote, but the faction's online petition calls for the end to in-person learning for all students right now and has more than 2,300 signatures.
Students with disabilities at district 75 schools are also set to go back to the classroom on Monday. Many cannot wear masks, possibly upping the risk of spreading the disease.


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