COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-04-12

Saturday, April 11, 2020, NYC Mayor de Blasio - A Five Point Plan For How We Get From Here to the Opening of School in September

I'm going to lay out quickly a five point plan for how we get from here to the opening of school in September.

The first point is to make sure that the iPads and all the other devices, that every student who needs one gets one. We will ensure that that happens by the end of April. We knew a lot of kids just didn't have these devices and there would be a lag time. But we've gotten great cooperation from the companies involved and the team at DOE has stepped up. We already can say that 66,000 devices have been distributed. We have to get 240,000 more in the hands of our kids over the next couple of weeks by the end of April.

Point two – we're going to take the helplines and hotlines we already have for parents and that they can reach through 3-1-1. We're going to expand them, we’re going to add more educators, add the ability to get much more coaching and support for parents in multiple languages and expand the hours.

Third, we're going to provide a lot more creative at-home programming. DOE’s been creating new programming. Teachers themselves have been creating all sorts of important new ideas to help our kids. The Parks Department has put together some great new programming online and our Children's Cabinet is doing the same. We're going to be working with a number of media companies here in New York City and creating a variety of free programming to help children and help our families get through this, and more and more compelling options to make that stay at home a little bit easier, but also supercharge the education process in the meantime.

Fourth, we got about 75,000 seniors. They were looking forward to graduation. We do not want to see these seniors robbed of their future, robbed of that joyous moment when they graduate high school. We have no idea, at this point, if there's going to be anything like a graduation ceremony this year, but we do know that so many of our seniors can graduate on time if we support them properly. So that's going to be a very important focus. So, to all the seniors out there we are going to help you and we're going to communicate with you and figure out what you need. We want the maximum number of seniors graduating on time by June.

And then the fifth point, we are working now on a comprehensive plan to reopen the schools in September and as I said, it will be unlike any other reopening of schools we've ever seen because we're going to have to ensure the safety of all our students in a new way. We're going to have to make sure our vulnerable students get maximum support. We're going to have to do so much for the mental health of the whole school community. Our educators have been through so much – everyone who works in the schools. We're also going to need to address the emotional impact on parents and families. This focus on mental health and support for everyone who's been through this crisis will be crucial to our plan to reopen in September. And next school year is going to have to be the greatest academic year the New York City public schools have ever had, because we're going to be playing a lot of catch up.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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