Re-Opening Schools in New York City– Board of NYC Department of Health Votes to Re-Open Day Care Centers; Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Carranza Unveil plans to re-open New York City Department of Education Schools in September
After originally issuing an order on April 3, 2020 closing New York City-based pre-school and daycare programs in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and related federal, New York State and New York City emergency declarations, and then shortly after the first order issuing a modified order on April 5, 2020, in response to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.4 and 202.11 requiring provisions for care for the children of first responders and health care workers as well as the desire to provide care for children of essential workers which closed all but 125 of the more than 3,000 child care programs and pre-schools in New York City, yesterday, the Board of the NYC Department of Health voted in favor of re-opening all NYC child care programs and pre-schools beginning July 13, 2020.
While June 7, 2020, Department of Health order permits child care programs and pre-schools to re-open, they must comply with guidelines issued by the New York State Department of Health for the running of summer camps and child care programs as well as other guidelines and checklists issued by the New York State and New York City Department of Health found here, here and here. Such guidance includes but is not limited to social distancing measures, limitations on the gathering of children/adults, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and mandatory face coverings for all adults.
Today, Mayor De Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor unveiled Return to School 2020, setting forth plans to bring students back into NYC school buildings in September under several models, all of which include components of in-person and remote instruction to maintain social distancing. Such plans and the re-opening plans that may be adopted by charter schools, private schools, and other schools are subject to Governor Cuomo’s ultimate approval (for public schools, in order to receive funding for a program that deviates from what we knew as a school before schools were closed on March 13, 2020, the Governor must issue an order; charter schools must also have their plans approved by their authorizer).
There are other considerations in flux, too, including recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, which were updated in mid-May, and which President Trump tweeted today are very tough and expensive and which Vice President Pence thereafter announced that the CDC will be issuing new guidance next week.