Against the risks of spreading Covid-19, New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the earlier days has planned to resume the elementary school education in person. On 29 September 2020, the city welcomed roughly 300,000 elementary school students in the classroom which has been a major milestone to achieve. It was the first day of in-person learning for those elementary school students whose families chose the hybrid learning plan.
The reopening of the elementary schools followed by the middle and high schools has come up with officials concerned about recent gush in the virus cases. The size and density of the city make its challenges unusual, but to succeed in both public health and financial crisis the city needs to foster trust. The new normal for the students include wearing a mask and undergoing temperature checks at schoolhouse doors.
But the city’s feeling of attainment was short-lived as after few hours of the children gathered in their school buildings Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that there has been an increase of about 3 percent in the city’s daily rate of positive coronavirus tests. And if the average city’s rate stays above 3 percent for seven days then there would be shut down in person. Not only schools but even the restaurants are at an urge to open from 30 September 2020 which would definitely affect the increase in the number of positive tested cases as a perilous moment. The virus has not only killed many New Yorkers but has also paralyzed the city’s economy. The Mayor further said that the city would be following more strict safety measures like fining people not wearing masks and closing private schools and education centers if they did not stick to the rules. He even addressed the reopening of the schools as “a huge step” while acknowledging the increase in the rate of corona positive tests to be a real concern.
The President of the city’s Teachers’ union, Michael Mulgrew, said that if a drop in the city’s positive test rates would not be noticed this week then almost 80 public schools in the ZIP codes to be shut down where the virus is spreading its wings. In compare to other cities, New York’s positivity is still lesser. The city may even shut down some of the non essential business with the neighbourhood where the virus is at peak.
New York City, the largest public school district has botched it’s school reopening plan and the mistakes done would be taken as a lesson for school systems across the world that are grappling to resume the educational institutions in the midst of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Resuming such educational institutions could cause weary to the parents of the tiny tots as well. Until the arrival of the vaccine, districts should not approve the reopening of elementary schools taking into consideration the safety of the children.