Starting today, NYC’s public schools will be welcoming a swathe of students after almost one and a half years of closures, and cumbersome virtual learning. This being said, the reopening is still in the middle of a pandemic, and several issues are being kept an eye on.

First things first, with the new academic year kicking off, over 890,000 children will re-enter the schooling system, and children under 12 will remain ineligible to receive the jab. But to ease parental concerns, City Hall, has mandated all city Department of Education employees get at least one shot by Sept. 27 or face possible removal from payroll.

Source: Al Jazeera (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

But as per fresh reports, more than 15,000 teachers were unvaccinated until this past week. Teachers who resign due to refusal to get jabbed won’t be immediately fired. They will be able to take leave without pay and will be entitled to health insurance through September 2022.

Coming to the space crunch and the need for social distancing, many buildings are expected to lack the sufficient space needed to enforce the DOE’s 3-foot separation mandate. To combat overcrowding schools are employing the method of staggering starting times to accommodate students.

Quarantined students will learn remotely, but children who are asymptomatic and vaccinated will not have to quarantine in the event of a positive case in their classroom, according to a school reopening handbook provided to parents.

 

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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