“I’m disappointed that New York City didn’t have its plan on time because it’s one of the main areas where there’s a lot of talk and dialogue,” Cuomo said. “And until there is a plan, people won’t feel that there is an informed dialogue and that it will be difficult to have this whole process, to have this discussion and to do it in two weeks. And if the parents are not comfortable and confident, they will not send their child.
However, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Education said Cuomo’s comments were not accurate.
The city’s DOE on Friday submitted plans for a comprehensive reopening to the state, including health and safety protocols and testing and tracing guidelines, according to the spokesperson. The DOE also secured a state extension for its school-specific plans.
These plans, which outline how individual schools will adapt to general district guidelines, should be submitted within the approved extension period.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor of Schools Richard Carranza publicly presented a blended learning approach to reopening schools in the coming school year which includes a mix of in-person and distance learning for all grade levels. .
Earlier this week, de Blasio also explained a new testing and tracing program for the city’s public schools as well as other health and safety protocols.
School districts across the state were invited earlier this month to submit plans to reopen to the state for the next school year.
The governor will review them over the coming week and make individual decisions based on the plans submitted and a formula related to the COVID-19 test data.
Cuomo said on Saturday that he set a deadline of July 31 so parents have time to review their district’s plan and start a dialogue with school administrators.
“That was the goal of this reopening period. Parents can ask questions, parents can provoke discussion, ”the governor said. “This is not a dictatorial decision of the school district. It is a cooperative decision. It is the parents’ choice to send their child. It’s supposed to be more of a dialogue. ”
Cuomo also raised concerns that some school plans were too conceptual without including operational details, especially with regards to testing and tracing protocols.
“The devil is in the details and parents will want to know the details,” he said. “How are you going to test the students? How much per day? How long will it take to perform the tests and where are you going to get that testing capability? ”
The governor said any school screening and screening program must be in addition to the municipality’s existing testing capacity.
“These are the vital questions and these are the questions parents are going to ask,” he said. “And if we don’t have answers for them, then they’re going to conclude that we haven’t thought about the plan and that we won’t send their children.”