COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-07-27

Monday, July 27, 2020, NYC Mayor de Blasio - Open Schools On Schedule With All Grade Levels

Question: My first question is about schools. Our understanding is that Jumaane Williams, the Public Advocate, calling on a one-month delay in the start of the school year, and then, after that, asking that the DOE open it for kids under 10 only. I'm wondering your reaction to that plan and to clarify when exactly will parents know what the plan is at their school? There's been some confusion about you saying you wouldn't make the call until September.

Mayor: First, appreciate the Public Advocate's suggestions; we'll certainly look at them. Right now, our intention is to open on schedule and to open with all grade levels, but, again, with blended learning some part of the week kids in school, some part of the week kids online, and then for those kids and families who prefer just online, that will always be an option available to all families.

To the bigger point, right now, we have a plan to open in September. Every individual school is taking that basic plan and refining it according to their own space reality, and their ability to accommodate kids. They'll be speaking with their parent community over the next weeks and give them exactly a sense of how the system will go. So, parents will have ample time, weeks ahead of school opening, to know exactly what the schedule will be. We're putting more and more childcare options into play. All of this is moving intensely in a crisis atmosphere. We're creating as we go along. We've got six weeks to put it together and we will.

You heard one percent testing positive. Six weeks from now is a long time. We're going to hear from the State in about 10 days or so, they're going to give the basic decision, then we're going to keep building from there. And then we're going to inform parents of what their specific plan for their school will be. And then, ultimately, we have to see exactly what the health care situation is in the days leading up to school beginning.

Parents should plan very clearly on their kids being in school if they want them to be in school. If they prefer them to be remote, that's great, but we're all going to be watching the data, the science, the health care indicators until we get very close to school beginning, and it would be irresponsible not to. It would be irresponsible to make a decision in July or in August for something that's going to happen to September.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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