FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 17
DOE looks to hire 2,000 extra teachers
BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELLDOMENECH
Th e city will hire an additional 2,000
teachers to provide extra classroom support
for schools facing staffi ng shortages
due to blended learning, Mayor Bill de
Blasio announced on Monday.
One of the many fears New York City
parents and teachers have over this year’s
blended learning, where students will
take classes both in school and online,
is how teachers are expected to instruct
both in-person and remote students
Th e Department of Education pledged
over the summer hire additional substitute
teachers and certify new teachers to
address the dilemma. Th e new cohort
of educators will be a combination of
Department of Education employees
currently working in “other roles” and
substitute teachers previously working
at the city’s regional enrichment centers
which closed on Sept. 11.
Regional Enrichment Centers opened
in about 170 schools across the city to
provide childcare to essential workers
during the pandemic. About 2,500 DOE
employees worked at the centers, which
served about 14,000 students.
Th e announcement comes a week
before students are set to return to inperson
classes on Sept. 21. Aft er weeks
of pressure from parents, teachers and
principals to delay the start of in-person
classes and the threat of a job action from
the city’s powerful teacher union the
United Federation of Teachers, de Blasio
gave in to demands. Initially, the school
year was scheduled to start on Sept. 10.
But the delay did not impact teachers
and principals, who returned to
buildings on Sept. 8 to plan for the
school year. In the few days since
there return, teachers have reported
returning to unhygienic conditions
and a number of positive COVID-19
On Monday, de Blasio told reporters
that 55 school staff members out 17,000
that received COVID-19 tests tested positive
for the virus.
Success Academy to stay with remote learning this fall
BY BILL PARRY
Th e city’s largest charter school system
has decided against in-person teaching
Success Academy announced to families
and staff that it will rely on remote
learning through December due to uncertain
building preparedness and evolving
regulations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
All 20,000 Success Academy students
have been equipped with personal laptops
or tablets and are receiving a full schedule
of live instruction via Zoom. Classes
started Aug. 4 for high schoolers and Aug.
24 for K-8 students, and all work — from
math and writing to assessments and
homework — is fully digital.
Success Academy had announced in
July that it would open school with a
hybrid plan that combined on-campus
and remote learning, but when the city
restricted building access, the network
had to quickly change its plans.
Within a few weeks, Success Academy
retooled its model, and opened school
with “Remote 2.0,” a plan that includes
core academic subjects as well as electives
such as chess, art, dance and fi tness;
the network’s intent was to transition to
hybrid once buildings were accessible. But
as regulations evolved and with building
readiness still an issue, Success Academy
concluded that continuing to be remote
through at least December would provide
the best learning experience for students.
“Our Remote 2.0 is ‘real school’ with a
full schedule of live instruction fi ve days
a week, and we’re putting all our energy
into making this experience as rich and
engaging as possible,” Success Academy
Founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz said.
“Th e logistical complexities of keeping
our community safe would greatly compromise
the student earning experience
and limit so many of the interactions the
kids love about school.”
She explained that many of the benefi ts
of attending school in person derive from
the ability of students and teachers to
interact closely. With the level of de-densifi
cation required at this time, such interactions
would be diffi cult, if not impossible.
Th e need to practice containment
would also limit recess and make the use
of art rooms, dance studios, science labs
and fi tness spaces very challenging.
Success Academy decided the complex
measures to protect staff and students,
such as having diff erent arrival times to
avoid crowding, eating in classrooms facing
away from each other, and carefully
coordinating bathroom usage, would dramatically
reduce learning time.
Instead, Success Academy’s 2.0 model
means students will have the same teachers
every day and receive at least fi ve
hours of live instruction daily, not only
in their core academics areas but also in
scholar talent electives.
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