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New York City released its plan for containing the spread of COVID-19 in public schools on Thursday, outlining its protocols for closing schools in response to cases of infection.
Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza explained in a Friday press event that they plan on taking a “pod-based” approach to thinking about virus transmission. Classrooms with an infected student or teacher will close for 14 days. Entire schools will only shutter if an investigation by the city’s Test and Trace program, which worked closely with the mayor on the plan, uncovers the potential for transmission between multiple classrooms.
All New York City public schools are closed in order to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, Mayor de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo separately announced Sunday.
Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña on Dec. 21 confirmed her intention to retire by the end of the school year, bringing a close to her 50-plus years in the education field.
“I came into this job to be respected and to be understood so that people would then be motivated to do what I think is important for the children of New York,” Fariña, 74, said at a City Hall press conference.
The Panel for Educational Policy, the policy-making body of the city Department of Education, approved seven alterations to schools in Queens on March 20, in a meeting that was far less contentious than the one earlier this month in which two borough high schools were closed.
A state Supreme Court judge in Manhattan blocked Gov. Cuomo from holding back $250 million in state education aid as punishment for the city and teachers unions failing to reach an agreement on teacher evaluations by the governor's Jan. 17 deadline.
A day after the city and teachers union failed to reach an agreement on a teacher evaluation deal, costing the city $250 million in state aid, the Cuomo administration is asking the city to get its act together.
Months upon months of talks over teacher evaluations broke down Thursday afternoon only hours before Gov. Cuomo’s deadline to submit a deal or lose $250 million in state education funding.
As of Wednesday evening, neither the UFT nor the city Department of Education will say if they are close to a deal, but they did not dismiss the possibility of an eleventh-hour deal late on Wednesday or Thursday.