The closing of New York City’s public schools in response to the coronavirus pandemic is a major decision that will affect millions of lives — but it need not be a “win-lose proposition,” argues Roberta Lenger Kang in an opinion piece in The New York Daily News.
With a creative plan of action, we can greatly reduce the risk of community spread of the virus, prolong the time period that schools can remain open, and provide targeted support to students and families who need it the most.”
Lenger Kang, who directs TC’s Center for Professional Education of Teachers (CPET, founded by Ruth Vinz, Morse Professor of Teacher Education) — and whose own three children are New York City public school students.
Lenger Kang calls for three steps that will “address virtually all needs and concerns”:
- Daily messaging by the New York City Department of Education and other city agencies to keep adults informed and students connected and engaged in their daily lessons
- Assistance to -- and patience with -- schools as they transition to remote or distance learning. “it will take more than three days for teachers to shift to remote or online learning, and it isn’t clear yet if they will be reporting to their school buildings or working remotely after Thursday,”Lenger Kang notes.
- Opening temporary school zone sites, particularly to help students who lack a secure place to go during the day. Lenger Kang suggests that teachers who are not traveling to the schools where they usually work could help staff these sites in their own neighborhoods.
“With a creative plan of action, we can greatly reduce the risk of community spread of the virus, prolong the time period that schools can remain open, and provide targeted support to students and families who need it the most,” Lenger Kang concludes.
Lenger Kang also appeared on NY1 television to discuss the school closings.