NYC students pen letter to Gov. Cuomo asking for high school students to switch to remote model

During what is usually a very exciting, busy time for high school seniors, a lot of uncertainty is in the air about what their last year will look like. But a few students have their own plan.

News 12 Staff

Aug 14, 2020, 2:09 AM

Updated 1,373 days ago

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Some New York City high school seniors have an idea for learning during this pandemic, and are making their pitch to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
During what is usually a very exciting, busy time for high school seniors, a lot of uncertainty is in the air about what their last year will look like. But a few students have their own plan.
Rather than the blended model of in-person and remote learning, they think it should be all online, and are making that known by sending a letter to Cuomo.
"We decided to put together a letter and also petition just to get our voices out and express the concerns we have through this letter," says Emma Nguyen, a student at Bronx Science.
The concerns are rooted in the fear of a second wave of the coronavirus, and that a blended model will take up valuable resources, impacting education.
"They would be putting in lots and lots of money into making sure the schools are sanitized and clean, and the social distancing measures taking place ... it looks like it is more of a hassle to deal with that then just having a remote model," says Umutcan Vargelci, a student at Brooklyn Tech.
The plan would keep all high school students virtual, because older students are capable of maintaining themselves and won't require parents to "watch over their kids."
They also say if high schools go remote, the buildings could be repurposed.
"The empty buildings would be able to be repurposed to ensure that local elementary and middle schools, they would be able to effectively social distance," says Bronx Science student Itmar Pres.
Those behind the plan say many teachers are behind their idea.
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza was asked about the plan. He said while it's great the students are involved, "There are wide swaths of our children and young adults in our city that are in temporary housing that are in foster care, there are students with disabilities, that are English language learners, that have one parent households where a parent needs to go out and work. It is difficult to balance those needs against keeping them in a remote learning situation when we know they need the support."
 


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