New York City Schools Are Closed for Rest of Academic Year – The New York Times,

New York City Schools Are Closed for Rest of Academic Year – The New York Times,

New York City’s public schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Saturday, confirming a disastrous scenario that he previously previously of: More than three months of regular schooling for 1.1 million children will be lost because of the ferocious spread of the coronavirus.

Roughly 1, schools across the city’s five boroughs have scrambled to adjust to remote learning since they were initially closed on March , a sudden shift that has presented educators with perhaps the largest challenge of their careers and turned well over 1 million parents into part-time teachers.

The first few weeks of online learning have already transformed the relationship between the city’s students, Parents, and educators, who have come to rely on each other in ways unfathomable even a month ago.

Mr. de Blasio faced enormous pressure from parents and teachers to close the schools as the virus began its spread through New York City in March. After initially resisting, the mayor ultimately shut the system and said, “This is not something in a million years I could have imagined having to do.”

Though New York City is the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak, more than a dozen states and many more local school districts have already announced that their public schools will remain closed through the end of the school year.

In recent days, the governors of California, Pennsylvania and Washington announced schools in their states would be closed for the rest of the academic year.

New York City’s public school system, the largest in the country, is highly segregated by race and socio-economic status, and remote learning has revealed new depths of inequality.

Many students do not have internet access or laptops at home , and the city rushed to lend thousands of devices to children who needed them. About three-quarters of the city’s public school children are in low-income homes and qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, prompting the city to leave some school buildings open for families to pick up meals in the morning, as well as for other struggling New Yorkers to get food in the afternoon.

The city is also home to about , 03 homeless students , who have had to adapt to remote learning in shelters and cramped homes where they might share a single room with five other family members.

New York also has about 401, students with disabilities – or roughly as many total students in some cities’ public school systems. Now, scores of service providers are experimenting with ways to deliver complex physical and occupational therapies remotely.

Despite these efforts, many children with advanced special needs will fall behind academically and socially. Some students with disabilities are in school months per year, but it is not yet clear whether those students will be able to return to school even during the summer .

While New York City’s education leaders have insisted on continuing remote learning even as other districts have stopped classes altogether, no one has argued that online education is an equal substitute for attending a physical school.

The loss of learning and social interaction brought on by the months of school closures are incalculable, and the full consequences of the shutdown will never be completely known. But the virus has already changed the school system even beyond the mass closures: The economic crisis created by the pandemic has led to significant budget cuts for schools.

The city has cut funding for school budgets as well as some professional development for educators, after-school programs, and the expansion of prekindergarten for 3-year-olds. Some activists were particularly alarmed that the city cut funding for its summer youth employment program, which matches thousands of low-income students with jobs.






    Updated April 16,



          When will this end?


          This is a difficult question, because a lot depends on how well the virus is contained . A better question might be: “How will we know when to reopen the country?” In an an American Enterprise Institute report , Scott Gottlieb, Caitlin Rivers, Mark B. McClellan, Lauren Silvis and Crystal Watson staked out four goal posts for recovery : Hospitals in the state must be able to safely treat all patients requiring hospitalization, without resorting to crisis standards of care; the state needs to be able to at least test everyone who has symptoms; the state is able to conduct monitoring of confirmed cases and contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least days.



                How can I help?


                Charity Navigator , which evaluates charities using a numbers-based system, has a running list of nonprofits working in communities affected by the outbreak. You can give blood through the American Red Cross , and World Central Kitchen has stepped in to distribute meals in major cities. More than , (coronavirus-related

      GoFundMe fund-raisers have started in the past few weeks. (The sheer number of fund-raisers means more of them are likely to fail to meet their goal, though.)                            


            What should I do if I feel sick?


              If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.



                  Should I wear a mask?


                    The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms . Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.



                          How do I get tested?


                            If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the CDC recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance – because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance – you won’t be able to get tested.



                              • How does coronavirus spread?


                                It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.




                                    Is there a vaccine yet?


                                      No. Clinical trials are underway in the United States, China and Europe. But American officials and pharmaceutical executives have said that a vaccine remains at least (to

                                        months away.                            


                                              What makes this outbreak so different?


                                                  Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions – not just those with respiratory diseases – particularly hard.



                                                        What if somebody in my family gets sick?


                                                          If the family member does not need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to the guidelines issued by the CDC If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.



                                                          • Should I stock up on groceries?

                                                                Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.




                                                                Can I go to the park?


                                                                    Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.



                                                                      • I should pull my money from the markets?


                                                                          That’s not a good idea. Even if you’re retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year’s worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.




                                                                          What should I do with my 823 (k)?                 

                                                                          Watching your balance go up and down can be scary. You may be wondering if you should decrease your contributions – don’t! If your employer matches any part of your contributions, make sure you’re at least saving as much as you can to get that “free money.”





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