NY teachers union talks school re-opening guidelines

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — While a decision won’t be made until August on fall school re-openings, the state is giving instruction on what should be included in school district plans that need to be submitted to the state by July 31.

As the state issues guidance on school re-openings, New York State United Teahers President Andy Pallotta said things are moving in the “right direction.”

“The key is that the schools are clean, they’re disinfected, that there’s the PPE there for them, the social distancing masks, all these things,” he said.

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Health issued interim guidance, and the New York State Department of Education also discussed the framework for their guidance. Currently, it’s down to waiting for the details as schools prepare their plans to submit to the state. 

Even things that would otherwise be more elementary now require much thought. 

“I think cafeteria, it seems simple, but how do you feed hundreds of children at the same time? So most likely they’re going to have to go into bringing the food from the cafeteria to the classrooms, especially for the younger children,” Pallotta said.

There’s also been talk of different use of space and perhaps hybrid learning, especially for older students.

“Maybe they’re in school in the building one day a week or two days a week and the rest of the time is spent online at home,” Pallotta said.

He said that strengthens the need for reliable internet and technology for teachers and students. School districts will be receiving full guidance from NYSED on Wednesday. It will complement the guidance from the Governor and the Department of Health.

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