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Chancellor discusses city preparedness as elementary schools reopen

Posted at 8:18 AM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 08:24:18-04

NEW YORK CITY — In-person learning is back in session for thousands of elementary school students who will step into a school building for the first time since March.

While kids in grades K-8 move through their reopening phase, parents and educators have said it is too soon.

When asked about the concerns of parents and principals, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza told PIX11 he knows "the pressure principals feel" as children head back to schools, but the city is working closely with health professionals to ensure students and educators heading back to class will be safe.

Over the weekend, a New York City principals union declared a vote of "no confidence" and called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to relinquish control of public schools and get assistance from the state.

Carranza said that parents "have choices" and can opt to put their children into full-remote learning, but 48% of our families have chosen in-person learning as long as it’s safe and secure. He also said the city is working will all unions to make sure they understand and see that there are safety measures in place.

"We have been working hand in glove with our unions," and as much as everyone wants reopening schools to be perfect, "we're in the middle of a pandemic," according to the schools chancellor.

"We have to be able to be flexible," he said.

As certain neighborhoods in the city see an uptick in COVID-19 cases, Carranza reminded New Yorkers to stay home if you don't feel well. He also said the Department of Education is working with the Health and Hospitals and Test and Trace Corps to monitor clusters and cases. Should the citywide infection rate reach 3%, schools will switch to remote learning, but before that, they will continue to monitor and consult with health officials.