New York City delays first day of school amid teachers' concerns
(CNN) -- New York City students will not start the new school year September 10 as planned, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
The mayor says teachers and staff will return Tuesday, September 8 as planned, but instead of students returning September 10, additional preparation days will be allowed. The three-day transitional period will begin Sept. 16, when instruction begins remotely for all students; they can then return to the classroom beginning September 21 for the blended model previously outlined by the city.
Teachers had raised concerns about the safety of returning to in-person learning amid the Covid-19 pandemic, noting they did not have the supplies necessary and warning of the additional burden on teachers conducting both in-person and remote learning. Some also raised concerns that many of the school buildings are old and do not have sufficient ventilation.
De Blasio also announced that there will be a monthly medical monitoring program in every school and that "anyone who tests positive" for Covid-19 "will be isolated and it will trigger the test and trace apparatus."
The self-swab test will require parental consent if students are under 18, according to de Blasio. If parents do not consent, then administrators will discuss details with them and if necessary, the child may not return to school.
The President of United Federation of Teachers Michael Mulgrew said today's the deal means the largest public school system in the country will be "open, running and safe."
Mulgrew said the city's model is "an example for other places to look at on how people are supposed to get things done."
The delay comes as New York City announces it has a 1.33 positivity rate and that the number of patients admitted with suspected cases of the coronavirus is 52, which is under the threshold of 200.
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