BOROUGHWIDE — With some private schools in southwest Brooklyn, including Poly Prep in Dyker Heights, closing amid fears of the coronavirus outbreak, public schools in the borough have announced that they will be cancelling in-person parent-teacher conferences scheduled for this week, and replacing them with remote options.
On Tuesday, March 10, the United Federation of Teachers in the New York City Department of Education announced that middle and high school parent-teacher conferences scheduled for the evening of Thursday, March 12, and the afternoon of Friday, March 13, will be modified.
“In an effort to keep people safe, the UFT and the city Department of Education have agreed that the middle school and high school parent-teacher conferences in March will be conducted by phone or computer,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
Mulgrew went on to say that UFT members who choose to use their own cell phones or computers may conduct the conferences at home or any other appropriate location.
New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza sent an email to teachers explaining that the DOE “continues to aggressively work to keep our students and families safe, healthy, and informed as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves in New York City.”
While public schools remain open in the five boroughs, Carranza noted that, “In the event that the DOHMH (Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) determines that there is a need for investigation, closure, or other action at your work location, you will be immediately notified.”
Carranza continued, “Per the State, if there is a confirmed case in a school, the school must be closed for at least 24 hours while DOHMH investigates and determines whether additional closure is needed. We are working with the State to provide more information on school closure and guidance to share in the near future.”
So far there has only been one reported case of coronavirus in southern Brooklyn, a 32-year-old healthcare worker who worked at King David Nursing Home on Cropsey Avenue, and is now quarantined at home in New Jersey. “Additional tests are underway for folks that work or reside in the facility,” said City Councilmember Mark Treyger.
As of Wednesday, March 11, the coronavirus has killed 3,882 people worldwide, with more than 111,318 global cases reported.
The U.S. has reported over 1,000 confirmed cases of the virus, with 24 deaths total. There are currently almost 200 cases confirmed in New York State and 46 confirmed cases in New York City.
For more information on DOE parent-teacher conferences, go to https://www.schools.nyc.gov/get-involved/families/parent-teacher-conferences.