NEW YORK - New York City's Department of Education will delay reopening 21 schools to teachers and staff for a few days while crews repair ventilation systems in the 10 educational buildings housing those schools.
"Since June 3rd, we’ve been surveying, assessing, repairing, and improving buildings to guarantee proper ventilation, which is defined as the free flow of fresh air in and out of a space, and can, in the vast majority of cases, be achieved by having an open window," spokesperson Nathaniel Styer said in a statement.
Teachers and staff are set to return to work on-site to prepare for in-person classes. Students are expected to return to classrooms on Sept. 21. The city's school system will conduct a combination of in-person classes and remote learning.
Independent engineers were hired to do "building walkthroughs" and assess 1,485 buildings used by the school system. Based on those inspections, the DOE slated 10 buildings for repairs.
"In the meantime, staff of these 10 buildings will temporarily work from home, and we are identifying alternative space for learning if necessary if repairs are not completed by Sept. 21," Styer said.
He added that facilities staff will also install portable HEPA filters in rooms, flush air two hours before and after occupation, and upgrade existing air filters where needed.
The city's plan to restart schools includes requiring everyone to wear masks, staggering schedules to reduce the number of students in rooms, supplying every school building with a nurse, and asking all staff to get tested for COVID-19 shortly before school starts. The mayor and schools chancellor are also encouraging principals to find ways to hold classes or other activities outdoors whenever possible.
These are the 10 buildings and the 21 schools affected:
- P.S. 45 – Horace E. Greene School
- P.S. 45 – Horace E. Greene School (Annex Building)
Building M490: Martin Luther King Jr. Educational Campus
- The Maxine Greene HS for Imaginative Inquiry
- Urban Assembly School for Media Studies
- High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice
- High School of Arts and Technology
- Manhattan / Hunter Science High School
- Special Music School
- P.S. M721 – Manhattan Occupational Training Center
- Harvest Collegiate High School
- Leadership and Public Service High School
- P.S. Q222 – Fire Fighter Christopher A. Santora School
- The Riverview School
- P.S. 110
- P.S. M094
- Sixth Avenue Elementary School
Building M620: Norman Thomas High School building
- Success Academy Charter School – Harlem 1
- Success Academy Charter School – Harlem 3
- Manhattan Academy for Arts and Language
- Murray Hill Academy
- Unity Center for Urban Technologies
- High School of Economics and Finance