Chancellor Porter hosts five borough-wide online forums ahead of the school’s full reopening this fall

On Monday evening, Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter answered questions from parents in Manhattan during an online forum about the full reopening of public schools scheduled for September 13.

City Hall was the second of five forums organized by the Chancellor to learn about families ‘experiences with distance or blended learning over the past year and to listen to families’ concerns about a full return to school in the fall. Each forum lasts an hour and a half, with the remaining three scheduled to take place over the next two weeks. The DOE will host the Queens Forum on May 27, the Brooklyn Forum on June 7, and the Bronx Forum on June 9.

Here are some highlights from last night’s question-and-answer session:

Q: The mayor said there will be a parent commitment on reimagining the gifted and talented programs. The Ministry of Education is already holding meetings on this subject. When will parents be included in the discussion?

A: “We started conversations but we didn’t start the engagement process,” Porter replied. “I firmly believe in having the voice of parents throughout the process. What I can say is that no decisions are made, the conversations we are having right now are the process of involving parents and including parents in the conversation. So pay attention to more information as we want parents to be at the table for these important conversations. “

Q: What is the plan for next year to provide affordable, quality after-school child care services for children?

A: “We are really looking to create these enrichment activities that become quality after-school child care for many families, but we really believe that when we come out of this pandemic, create enrichment programs during this period. and after school, creating strong after school programs in partnership with our new community and community organizations to create these programs will be important, ”Porter said.

Q: Regarding health and safety, how are we [the DOE] ensure safety in schools? And what measures are taken to ensure a healthy school environment?

A: “We have talked a lot about building schools that provide strong socio-emotional support to students through access to mental health care providers and ensure that socio-emotional practices are part of our rooms. class… but also schools where our students see themselves and experience themselves and their cultures in the curriculum and this is going to be essential for our reopening and our new start, ”said Carry. Kevin Moran, COO of School Operations, spoke at the forum this fall to mention that students and staff will still need to participate in daily COVID-19 presets, masks will still be required in schools, and testing will still be required. will continue. falls. Morar added that the city installed 70,000 air purifiers in schools last year to ensure classrooms receive properly filtered air. This spring, the City will install 70,000 additional air purifiers.

“Effectively the caretakers, in partnership with the managers, are working with the staff and families to know that the building is well ventilated and that our deep cleaning and disinfection systems need to be in place,” said Moran.

Q: What, if anything, will be done to make up for the skills lost in the 2020 program?

A: “I know there has been a gap for all of our students,” Porter said. “That’s why we’re going to invest in high-quality filters and assessments to tell our teachers where our students are, so they can work to fill in the gaps. ”

Harry L. Blanchard