New York City’s Private Jewish schools will continue to host students as per usual, whereas all public schools have shuttered in the Big Apple. As coronavirus cases surge in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio sounded a warning on Wednesday, leading to school closures, yet again, beginning Thursday. This being said, Jewish public schools will continue to function, so as to not hinder education and cause inconvenience to parents as well.
Sporting their own guidelines to combat the coronavirus without shutting schools, Yeshivas in New York will stay open, considering they are private. As of now, following the Wednesday announcement by de Blasio, only public schools are required to be shuttered due to the rising 3% positivity rate threshold, but the rule does not apply to private educational institutions.
Jewish private schools immediately turned to address parental concerns by sending out e-mails to parents, one of which read- “We will continue to stay open as long as we can keep our numbers low, and our community safe, or unless the governor instructs independent schools to close.”
Sara Seligson, managing director of day schools and yeshivot and school food services at the Jewish Education Project, said the city’s departments of education and health have made clear that city services to private schools will continue even as public schools shut down again. The Department of Education provides bus services, meals, and special education services to private schools in the city.
Then again, as cases climb, the fate of Yeshivas hangs by a thread as a possible closure looms. “At any time, the governor could make a different determination or the city department of health could make a different determination,” Seligson said. “But at the moment, the closure of public school buildings does not affect the non-public schools in New York City.”
Meanwhile, de Blasio said New York City’s public schools could reopen “in the next few weeks” after facing harsh criticism, particularly from parents, for closing them. The mayor said there are ongoing negotiations with Gov. Cuomo and state health officials on establishing new safety protocols that might stand as the bedrock for schools to reopen.
De Blasio claimed that he expects the revised criteria to be released in the next few days, but it is speculated that schools will remain shut in New York until after the Thanksgiving weekend.