Medical Technology

NYC Mayor considering Virtual Learning Plan for Schools

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NEW YORK (AP), Eric Adams, New York City Mayor, is considering allowing the nation’s largest school district to return to some form of virtual instruction. This is a change of his promise a week earlier to keep kids in school.

Adams said at a Thursday news conference that he believes that school is the best place for children. “But we must be honest with you that there are lots of children, for a variety of reasons not going to school.”

Since students returned from winter break, attendance rates have been lower than average. Students are missing anywhere from one-quarter of to one-third of their classes every day. According to data from the city Department of Education, attendance in the district was 76% as of Wednesday. In a district of nearly a million students, that’s about 220,000 who were either out due to illness or were absent from school.

More than 100 schools reported attendance of less than 60%, and more than 50 schools reported less than half of students attending class Wednesday.

After reaching a peak during the first week of January, average number in New York City of new cases has been decreasing in recent days. This suggests that the omicron tide may be receding.

Adams, who is a Democrat who was elected on the first of the year, has taken a bullish stance on the pandemic and is urging New Yorkers to take precautions and get vaccinated, but not to let COVID-19 rule their lives. He repeatedly stated that the city cannot afford to shut down additional schools or businesses.

Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers union representing city’s public school teachers had asked Adams to delay in-person learning during the time Adams was in office.

Adams told reporters on Thursday that he has been working closely with Mulgrew and is open to temporary remote learning so long as it’s a “quality option.”

Adams said, “But my goal is I want my children to attend go to school.”

The mayor said that the city wouldn’t have a similar dispute to that in Chicago which was the site where the nation’s third-largest school district was forced to cancel five days of school due to an unrest with the teachers union over COVID-19 safety protocols.

Adams stated, “This isn’t Chicago.” “We can fix this. These crises are solvable and we’ll be able to educate our children in a safe and secure environment.”

He didn’t give any details about how a remote might look. The messages left with the teachers’ union and the department of education in the city weren’t immediately returned.

After the pandemic in the year 2020 the schools of the city were among the first to resume instruction in person. Schools were closed in March. In the fall of 2020 they devised a hybrid program that allowed students to attend school just one or two days per week and then return to study online the rest of their time.

New York City students returned to full-time in-person instruction this past fall.

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