State of Our Schools: Mayor announces outdoor learning initiative for upcoming school year

The city is coming up with new ways to make the upcoming school year work.

News 12 Staff

Aug 24, 2020, 9:03 PM

Updated 1,363 days ago

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The city is coming up with new ways to make the upcoming school year work. 
An outdoor learning initiative was announced Monday. The program will give schools permission to hold classes in outdoor spaces like schoolyards, adjacent streets, and even nearby parks. 
All types of schools can participate--public, private, and charter. 
The decision will be up to each school’s principal. Schools in neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19 that have no outdoor space on site will be prioritized for the program. 
For the Bronx, this means neighborhoods like: 
- East Tremont
- Highbridge 
- Longwood 
- Hunts Point
- Morris Heights 
- Morrisania
- Crotona
- Mott Haven
- Melrose
- Soundview and Soundview Brucker
- Van Cortlandt Park and Jerome Park
For Brooklyn, this means neighborhoods like: 
- Bed Stuy
- Brighton Beach
- Brownsville
- Bushwick
- Canarsie
- Flatbush
- East New York
- Starrett City
- Sunset Park
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the virus spreads slower when outdoors, but that he acknowledges other roadblocks schools may face with this option. 
"Look, I'll remind everyone: we never know what the weather brings, and that's why outdoor learning -- I've said it before -- is not a perfect solution and it won't work every day, but it will certainly add a lot of flexibility to what we're doing a great alternative for many schools,” said de Blasio. 
The announcement comes with criticism from the Council of School Supervisors and administrators. They say the initiative lacks details and raises serious concerns about safety and security. 
United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew says the mayor’s reopening plan continues to fall short.


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