Families ask DOE for consistency 1

Adriana Aviles, right, speaks to families gathered in front of PS 49 in Little Neck to call on the mayor and Department of Education to maintain a consistent education model throughout the pandemic.

A small group of parents and their children fed up with the city’s handling of education during the pandemic gathered in front of a Little Neck school Tuesday afternoon to beg for better planning.

“This is a platform for our families and our parents to be heard ... No one seems to be listening to them,” said organizer and candidate for City Council District 19 Adriana Aviles in front of PS 94. Aviles, who also serves as president of Community Education Council 26, said she has heard an overwhelming number of complaints from families struggling to adapt to the Department of Education’s constantly changing approach to learning throughout the crisis.

Public schools shut down for completely remote learning in March, but planned to return to the classroom for the 2020-21 academic year, which was partially achieved — city students were offered the choice between remote learning or a hybrid option in which they went to school a few days a week. The first day of school was pushed back several times, and then last week nearly 50 Queens schools were shut down again following a spike in cases in their respective neighborhoods.

“[Parents] can’t go to work. Their schedules have to be rearranged. To me, there’s no empathy to our families,” Aviles said.

The problem was once again exacerbated the morning of the rally — parents received a letter from their children’s principals requesting permission by Oct. 16 to test the students for the virus on school grounds. If the parents refuse, their children would be ejected from the classroom and limited to remote learning until they sign over permission.

The parents attending the rally said they would not grant permission unless they could be in the room with their child for the test.

“You’ll have to call me to come and get my children if they’re no longer allowed in the school,” said Aviles to the agreeing crowd. “It’s ridiculous to tell me that they have to be tested without me being there. What is that? ... Don’t put anything in my child’s nose or mouth when I’m not there.”

One parent attending the rally said she had to change her entire work schedule to accommodate the changes, especially after she opted for remote learning for her son.

“I had to change my schedule to overnights,” said Alexandra, choosing to leave out her last name. “I’m a healthcare worker. I understand the healthcare crisis, but this is ridiculous. I don’t approve of this.”

Aviles’ two sons attended the rally to show their dismay at the way their education has been handled thus far: Third-grader Nicholas wrote a giant sign that asked, “What about me?” while his older brother Nathaniel, a sixth-grader, bore a report card marked with a red “F” for the system.

“If you have a question while you’re doing your work and your parents are busy, you got to go to the webex and ask, but the teacher might be busy. But in school and in-person, the teacher is always there [for you]to ask questions,” said Nicholas.

Aviles emphasized that the parents would be fine with any education model, whether it be remote learning or in-person or hybrid, but require consistency.

“They can’t reschedule their lives every time the mayor squeaks. It’s insane. Every other day it’s a change,” she said.

(3) comments

BroadwayLION

Well it really is quite impossible for you to get a handle on your schools and school district. There are just too many people pulling on each official to to this or to do that, all contradictory to each other. And of course they do not know what they want or can do yet. Sort of reminds me of the church that held a spaghetti breakfast. Half the congregation wanted a pancake breakfast, the other half wanted a spaghetti dinner. You can not satisfy everyone, especially when many of the biggest wheels want this or that. You are left in the deep end of the puddle, but what can be done about it. Maybe you can vote with your feet and put your children in a private or Catholic school. Or you can move here to North Dakota : ) We have snow in the forecast for the weekend.

Buster57

DOE schools in NYC should never have opened. All resources should have been used to continue our learning to do remote as we had been doing since March 2020 and all summer long (D75). This "it's open" no now "it's closed-RED ZONE" is just ludicrous. Nothing the DOE is easy. Nothing the DOE makes sense. We are all caught up in the battle between Mayor & Gov and it's time to lay out a plan till JUNE 2021 and be done. REMOTE till June 2021 (& including summer school). To be redressed in the summer. Done. Now we can all figure out our lives.

Carmen Arroyo

I 100% disagree with you. You are either a teacher, or a stay home parent.

There was plenty of time between the DOE and the UFT to collaboratively come up with a solution. Schools should be open and should allow more and more students to go in every quarter. There is no doubt that the pandemic still out there. How ever the city bases everything on the "numbers" Well the numbers have been so low for the past 3 months not considering those neighborhoods with large religious believes. restaurants, bars, malls, and everything else is open for the public, so should schools. also the other problem the DOE did was to pledge to the union that during lay off time they will skip teachers. Listen if you can not do the job either take leave of absence or quit simple. The UFT and their members are to blame for what is currently happening. Those teachers claiming to have health issues which everybody and mother have some sort of health issue, are now "scared for their lives". Those teachers are nothing but a bunch of scammers. The union president Michael Mulgrew does not care about the education aspect of things. You know why? because the children do not pay union dues. All he cares is about the members requests. Ever since March our kids were taught by you tube. WE DONT NEED SO MANY TEACHERS! They should start laying off a bunch of you guys and keeping the younger ones who and assign 100 children to each, give those teachers a bonus and that's it. Those who claim to have so many health issues then stay home, collect unemployment and once their health is back to par, apply again.

Schools are more than needed for this society. everyone else works so should the scamming teachers.

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