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Pandemic Math

You should know that an article published in Politico by Erin Durkin titled “Ventilation teams to inspect all NYC classrooms” begins with the following statement:

“Teams of engineers and ventilation experts will inspect every city classroom over the next week to make sure they’re safe to open during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. The eleventh-hour push comes as the city is scrambling to get buildings ready for the first day of school on Sept. 10, despite resistance from principals and teachers.”

My dear reader: let’s do a little pandemic season math.

This would include 1600 public schools, times the number of classrooms, divided by 2-1/2 weeks which would then be assigned to “100 teams of engineers with two to four of them inspecting each school.”

Does anyone have the answer yet?

Let’s factor in driving time between all five boroughs, keeping in mind that there are only 24 hours in a day.

My scrap paper tally so far shows that’s approximately 124 schools per day, assigned 100 teams of engineers, minus Labor Day. Then there’s overtime, of course.

Ready. Set. Go!

So 25-ish schools per borough per day – every single classroom in the city – if these teams literally all start today and only work on weekdays.

Let’s be certain they will be all out there at 6am to get an early start on the day.

Ms. Durkin’s article states: “Rooms must pass a checklist of requirements, including making sure that windows that may have been sealed shut over the years can open. For rooms with no windows, air filters must be installed.”

These things might also have been important in normal pre-Covid times.

In fact, this report makes perfectly clear that none of these remedial things are required or checked on a regular basis or are considered vital to the health of our children in a normal time.

It is important for you to know that the last day public schools were open was 60 days ago.

What was done for 60 days – never mind since March?

My dear reader some of the poorest countries in the world have prioritized government initiatives so their children will have remote learning programs that are as successful as possible.

Their leaders have had the same time to plan for this, but here in New York, it seems that those at the helm are more interested in how they look on daily live broadcasts instead of being sure that our children are protected and that they receive quality education.

You should know that parents who continue to contact me want to know why Mayor Bill deBlasio and his handsomely paid School Chancellor Caranza have yet to prioritize remote learning and release the remote learning specifics.

As the number of teachers and principals NOT returning to the classroom increases, why does the DOE let parents remain in the dark?

Parents have not been told their children’s schedules – not even for hybrid learning. Isn’t that done by a computer program, or is someone still writing on a stone tablet?

Schools have until Friday, August 27 to submit their outdoor learning plans. How many schools don’t have outdoor space at all?

And what about inclement weather, like rain, hurricanes, snow, or a cold winter?

Ladies and gentlemen, our children deserve MUCH better than this insanity.

I am Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz and this What You Should Know.

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