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Mayor Closes New York City Schools as COVID Cases Climb and Parents Protest

11.18.2020 | The 74 | The students who have lost contact with their schools also remain a matter of concern for Randi Levine, policy director at Advocates for Children, a nonprofit fighting on behalf of the city’s underserved youth. On Tuesday, her group published a statement saying, “Educating children is one of the most essential services the City provides, and the Mayor should do everything possible to keep schools open while keeping school communities safe.”

While Levine said students are better equipped now than they were in March, she explained that “we’re still very concerned about students who don’t have the technology to participate in remote learning.”

Levine noted that, as in March, the transition to all-remote will disproportionately undermine the learning process of students with special needs. It’s unclear whether Learning Bridges, a program that’s been serving the children of essential workers several days a week since the summertime, will be available to special education students.

“Going to no school would be another big change, and some of these students are just starting to make progress after months of learning loss,” she said. “We hope the city will prioritize getting in-person services for students with disabilities who have struggled with remote learning. But we have not yet heard of any plans for providing in-person services during a systemwide shutdown.” Read article