30 THE QUEENS COURIER • SEPTEMBER 23, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
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TItle: Con Edison starts $4 million underground pilot
program in Middle Village
Summary: Representatives from Con Edison presented
their pilot program, an initiative called the Juniper
Valley Undergrounding Pilot Program, that will transfer
overhead lines underground in Middle Village to
Community Board 5 on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Reach: 17,518 (as of 09/20/2021)
Reading the classroom
Th ough New York City is in far better
shape than its peers in Texas, Florida
and Mississippi in terms of the spread
of COVID-19 these days, there remain
plenty of reminders that the health crisis
remains far from over here.
Th e latest reminder came on Sept.
18, when the city’s Department of
Education announced the fi rst school
closure, a special needs school in East
Harlem, related to COVID-19 in the
new school year, which only began on
Th e closure should come as a surprise
to no one.
Even with vaccines getting into arms
as young as 12 years of age, and rigid
health and safety protocols in place,
there is no guarantee that infections will
be completely avoided.
It makes the city’s omission of
a remote learning option for public
school students and parents, even for
just the fi rst half of the new school year,
all the more glaring.
Th ere can be no substitute for in-person
instruction. We know from experience
that children have missed the
interaction with their teachers and
peers that only a classroom can provide,
not the isolation of a computer
screen. Th ey’re more focused and higher
achieving inside a classroom than
outside of it.
Yet nothing was done to accommodate
the students who may have been
hesitant to return, or to assuage the
anxiety of parents who feel uncomfortable
about sending their youths back
Th e Roman Catholic Diocese of
Brooklyn recognized that in continuing
its St. Th omas the Apostle Remote
Learning Academy for a second year.
About 150 students are part of the
program, and the diocese says parents
who have enrolled their students in the
remote academy have expressed continued
concerns over COVID-19 and the
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools
Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter would’ve
been wise to follow the diocese’s reasoning
and created a remote option for its
students. Th eir laser focus on reopening
the classrooms completely ignored
the angst of a small, yet sizable number
of parents and children who just aren’t
ready to take that next step.
In short, they failed to read the classroom.
Disruptions like the one in East
Harlem will be repeated oft en this
school year. Th ey will continue as long
as COVID exists on a pandemic scale.
What would the harm have been
off ering parents and children remote
learning as an option from the start?
Photo via Getty Images
Even with vaccines getting into arms as young as 12 years of age, and rigid health and safety protocols in
place, there is no guarantee that infections will be completely avoided.