The coronavirus pandemic has been a rollercoaster of regulations and red tape, as our state and local officials look to stay ahead of something truly unprecedented in our modern era.
This is a virus like few others we’ve faced in our lifetimes, with perhaps only the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 to compare it to. Of course, one would think that the advent of immediate communication technology, (social media and the like), would bolster our readiness and ability to learn from the virus, but it truly doesn’t seem to have worked out that way.
Instead, we are on our heels, attempting to pivot at all times in a dizzying dance of preparedness and panic.
In New York City, this has meant whiplash-inducing changes to the public policy regarding schoolchildren.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that the city’s public schools will reopen on Dec. 7 for 3-K, pre-K and kindergarten through fifth grade amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement marks a major policy reversal for the nation’s largest school system, less than two weeks after de Blasio, a Democrat, announced that schools were shutting down because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in the city.
New York City’s District 75 schools, which serve students with special needs, will reopen for all grade levels on Dec. 10.
“One of the things that’s been very clear is folks wanted school to keep moving forward and be open so long as it could be done safely,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Sunday. “One of the crucial things we heard from our union partners is more testing and required consent forms or medical exemptions.”
Mayor De Blasio, as well as New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, have come under intense criticism on account of their actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, which could lead to a bit of apprehension regarding this latest reversal on public schooling.
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