As public elementary and highschools plan to open for the 2020-21 school year the Department of Education (DOE) reports they have developed test and trace protocols for all schools at the start of the school year. They have been developed in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Health + Hospitals, the NYC Test + Trace Corps, and labor. The protocols will apply to all school communities and are done to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In mid-March, New York City schools underwent a historic transformation, closing school buildings in order to protect the 1.1 million students in the public school system.
Looking Ahead past September
As schools look ahead to September, and as the trajectory of the virus continues to evolve, the guidance from City, State, and Federal health authorities DOE follows will also evolve. When it does, we have to be ready, and prepared to adapt. DOE says they received survey responses from over 400,000 from families and students on preferences and concerns for the upcoming year.
Schools will begin the 2020-21 school year in an unprecedented way—including new health protocols, physical distancing, and more.
A program called “Bridge,” with the help and input of afterschool programs throughout the city, students are planned for a full learning curriculum. A major difference for the schools is that education will be delivered through a blended learning model. Blended learning means students will be taught on-site in school for part of the week, and will attend school remotely on the other days of the week.
Investing in the technology is a part of providing a quality online academic experience—including distributing over 300,000 iPads to students who need them; and working with teachers to develop their skills as online instructors. There will be an update to curriculum in order to reflect the blended online and in-person model, and to ensure the guidelines and curriculum include appropriate social-emotional learning and mental health supports.
DOE says any family can also choose all-remote learning, for any reason.