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Real Estate
August 18, 2020

Return To School — Or Back to the Living Room?

Return To School — Or Back to the Living Room?

I just watched tonight’s DOE presentation about what the fall will look like and wanted to share what I heard. First, I was so impressed with the principals who spoke, they truly have herculean tasks ahead of them. There’s another meeting in a couple of weeks and they said they will have more info to share then. I’ll be tuning in to that.

You can sign up here:  learndoe.org

My notes from tonight:

Check out the DOE website for info and updates: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/return-to-school-2020

  • Principals will be in touch with school-specific info/check-in with parent coordinators

  • Richard Carranza: the goal is safe, strong, and supportive learning – strong education, the school will be 5 days a week whether remote or in schools

  • Important to work together to prepare students about what school will look like, start talking to kids now about mask-wearing – let kids know things will be different, one-way hallways, social distance entering and exiting buildings.

  • Investigations might close schools if there are a number of COVID cases. One case school will be open but that room will close. If there are 2 cases in different rooms school will go remote for 14 days. People with symptoms need to stay home for 10 days.
  • Results of the survey: 26% plan to be fully remote. 700k will be in blended learning programs.

  • Schools will institute different arrival and departure times for students to make sure there’s enough distancing.

  • Teachers will have 30 minutes at the beginning of the day to work together to make sure they’re on the same page.

  • 20 minute teacher time built into school days for one on one support.

  • PE, art, dance, visual arts will be taught in the fall as well. DOE will provide guidelines.

  • 6600 custodians, 3000 plus electrostatic sprayers s, all buildings surveyed for adequate ventilation, some rooms will not be used. 210k signs installed at signs. 4 million face masks and 4 million cloth coverings will be delivered to schools before the school year starts. 

  • If the city infection rate goes up then schools will close. 3% for school to close – NYC hovering between 1 and 2% for 2 months

  • Custodians are being trained for consistency right now. Can clean a room in under 2 minutes
    Filters have been upgraded in schools. 

  • Cleaning logs will be kept to make sure things are happening. 

  • Temperature checks – DOE looking into perhaps buying thermometers for all families so temps can be taken before getting to school.

  • Families have to say goodbye outside and not enter buildings. 

  • Mask questions: masks are mandatory for EVERYONE and must be worn properly. Nonmask wearers will put into remote learning mode. Very limited exceptions. 

  • Seeking all 4 of these conditions for max safety: face-covering washing hands social distancing ventilation

  • Principals in touch with families, especially incoming students, to make sure they have devices to work on.

  • Students are doing the same work whether remote learners or in school buildings. 

  • Schools can use google classroom or learn NYC but can also choose other online systems. 


  • All students in the school will have breakfast and lunch available. Remote learners can pick up meals as well.

  • Days will be slightly shorter to allow for staggered comings and goings from the building.

  • iPads need to be returned when kids graduate so they can be used by other students. 

  • Remote student teachers will hopefully be teachers from that school. 15% of teachers have requested accommodations which means 11,300 teachers will not be in schools. In person staffing will be a challenge.

  • Parent coordinators will be trained to help with technology.

  • Looking on how to use outdoor space more.

  • Some arts can happen in person but things like band cannot and will be remote. 

  • Remote learning will be much better than it was in the spring. 

  • One high school example: Fort Hamilton HS: 400 students a day will be in person so they can monitor when kids move between classes. They have a student body of 2300. Hallways and staircases will be one way. Will be scanning kids into school and checking temps AND social distancing. Lockers: they will not be using. PE will be mindfulness as opposed to physical activity. Subways: monitors will be outside to help with social distancing.

  • There will be opportunities to opt-in or out of remote or blended learning as the school year progresses.



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