Uncertainty remains over NYC’s plans to reopen schools

School bus passes public school in New York City.
School bus passes public school in New York City.
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock
Even with plans being announced, there are no easy answers for how school reopening will look.

Uncertainty remains over NYC’s plans to reopen schools

Despite planned precautions, parents, teachers, students and staff have apprehensions.
August 6, 2020

Though New York City officials have come up with a reopening plan for schools this year, myriad uncertainties and complications are making the process stressful for parents, teachers, students and staff, The New York Times reports. 

The city unveiled additional details this week on what to expect, such as guaranteed live instruction for students – regardless of whether they are learning entirely remotely or partially in-person – and the creation of a contact tracing team specifically to monitor cases in schools. Students will be required to wear masks and schools are prepared to shutter if the city’s infection rate surges to 3%. 

But conflicting reports over reopening show that even with precautions, there is no way to know for sure how safe it will actually be. Those fears are only heightened by news reports that schools in Indiana and Georgia – where the number of cases have been greater than New York lately – have seen students test positive for the coronavirus on the first day of school. Teachers have begun to push back against in-person learning out of fear that safety measures being taken won’t be enough. 

There are no easy answers for how to approach education this fall. In-person learning may provide important socialization for youth and improve their education, but health risks abound for anyone entering school buildings, given that indoor transmission remains an immense problem. But without access to more robust help, particularly vulnerable students may be more prone to falling behind. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.