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Outdoor learning begins for some NYC schools

Posted at 6:01 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 18:01:08-04

NEW YORK CITY — Thursday brought a first look at outdoor learning, where the Department of Education has allowed schools to use their courtyards, neighboring parks or streets to hold class outside.

More than 1,100 schools across New York City have outdoor learning plans.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza joined second graders at P.S. 143, the Louis Armstrong School in Corona, Queens for an outdoor gym class.

About 65% of students are enrolled in in-person learning at the school.

Anjelica Sal Gato is a mom of a 9-year-old; she was initially concerned about sending her daughter back to school, but after seeing the safety precautions put in place, and how happy her daughter is, she said she hopes school continues through the winter.

But looking ahead to the winter, ventilation will be a concern when the heat kicks on in school buildings. Plus, not every school has the resources to have heated tents for outdoor learning.

The schools chancellor said the proper filters have been installed, which are the "gold standard," and engineers are guiding the DOE for proper use to have the heat on and still filter the air properly.

According to the cities color coded COVID-19 clusters map, P.S. 143 is in a yellow zone, where schools can remain open for in-person learning, however they must have weekly coronavirus testing to keep an eye on the infection rate.

Testing is expected to begin next week, after it is approved by the state. Anyone attending school is eligible.