While the nation’s largest school system hasn’t announced an official reopening of schools in the fall, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) is determined that students will be learning five days a week in September using a blended model where students are in school for a part of the week and learning remotely on the other days of the week.

Acting First Deputy Chancellor Donald Conyers of NYC DOE participated in an online town hall this evening that gave teachers and parents the opportunity to ask Mr. Conyers and DOE staff a variety of questions, such as the measures schools will be taking to keep teachers and students safe and what kind of support will be provided remotely for students with an individual education plan.

The virtual town hall was sponsored by Councilman Keith Powers (D) and co-sponsored by Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright (D) and Community Board 8 Manhattan. 

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“Let’s be clear, all students will be learning five days a week, either in a blended learning model or in a 100 percent remote model. Students will return to school in September either in that blended model or in a fully remote learning model if the family so chooses,” Mr. Conyers said in his opening remarks.

Families have until August 7 to complete a learning preference survey to choose which model they favor. For more information on deadlines and the planning process, please go to:  

https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/return-to-school-2020

To ensure that the schools are providing are a safe environment, schools will be supplied with additional cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer and disinfected wipes, according to Conyers.

“DOE Central will be providing all the necessary cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment to save the school’s budget so that they can focus on other things to improve the teaching and learning experience.”

Additionally, school buildings will be deeply cleaned on a nightly basis with electrostatic disinfectant sprayers and HVAC systems are being upgraded to ensure better ventilation.

Also, all schools will identify a space to be equipped as an isolation room in the unfortunate event that a student or staff member becomes ill while at school.