At dismissal time at P.S. 31 in Greenpoint Brooklyn, some parents worry that in-classroom learning could soon be canceled because of the pandemic.
Willoughby Jenette is a single parent. His four-year-old son gets in-person learning five days a week: two days at P.S. 31, three days at a learning bridges program. He said even though he works mostly from home, remote learning would not work for him or his son.
“It is a lot balancing all that ... but really, for me, he’s four, virtually learning doesn’t really mean anything for him. He needs to be around other children as much as possible,” said Jenette.
So far, the COVID infection rate in schools has been low, but the citywide rate has been climbing. The city’s seven-day average for positive cases is 2.6%. Mayor de Blasio said if it reaches 3%, the city will be prepared to close school buildings the next day.
Humza Bashir is already prepared with a backup plan that includes his family helping out. He’s not worried about his son losing in-person instruction.
“No, it’s the same. It’s all online. Kids nowadays are used to online now anyway so it’s just changing with the times, “ said Bashir.
But one kindergarten teacher at P.S. 31, who did not want to give her name, disagreed.
“I like being in person," the teacher said. "I like coming to school each day. I think it’s the best scenario for kids and for myself. That’s my personal opinion.”
Luke Dahlhaus is a 10th grader at Brooklyn Technical High School. He would rather not go to all remote learning, but understands why it might be necessary.
“If they have to shut down the schools to fight coronavirus than that’s what we’ll have to do," Dahlhaus said.
Now he, and other public school students and their parents, will have to wait and see whether this school year is about to take another unexpected turn.