NEW YORK — Say goodbye to the snow day.
The city's Department of Education (DOE) says that during the next school year, all students will go remote when a severe weather event like a snowstorm hits the city.
The DOE made the announcement Tuesday when it released its public school calendar for the school year starting in September.
The 2021-2022 school year will begin on Sept. 13.
This past winter, students had a preview of the change when in-person classes switched to remote during bad snowstorms. The coronavirus pandemic has proved to city educators that learning can still happen even when students are not in the classroom.
Election Day on Nov. 2 will also be a remote day for all students.
The DOE originally said schools would be closed for Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct. 11, renamed from Columbus Day, and Juneteenth on June 20 of next year. By the afternoon, however, and after some complaints, the education department backtracked slightly, saying Oct. 11 will be known as "Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous People’s Day."
In a statement, the education department said, “Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous People’s Day will celebrate the contributions and legacies of Italian Americans and recognize that Native people are the first inhabitants of the land that became our country. By including these holidays on our calendar we are honoring the past, present, and future contributions of Indigenous communities and Italian Americans.”
Staten Island Republican City Councilmen Joe Borelli and Steve Matteo, and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, who represents south Brooklyn and Staten Island in the 11th Congressional District, had blasted the name-change decision before the DOE statement, and called on the department to restore the name Columbus Day.
"This is just another blatant attempt by City Hall to rewrite history while dishonoring so many of our citizens who are proud Italian Americans and cancel Christopher Columbus, who embodies the immigrant experience and discovery," Malliotakis said in a statement. "I stand with my colleagues in calling for the reversal of this divisive decision. The Mayor should be more concerned about fully reopening our schools and the soaring crime rate than renaming holidays."
The Department of Education says it is working to have all students return to in-person learning this fall and that more information will be released in the coming months.
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