Thursday, April 2, 2020
With the shutdown of our schools, I know that many people have questions. Parents, teachers, administrators, students - this has impacted all of us. Here is what our teachers unions are working on and what they have been done since this pandemic broke earlier this month.
1. All teachers' unions and administrations have been in constant contact. There has never been a lapse in communication.
2. Two weeks ago, our teachers unions urged the Governor and other elected officials to close schools to protect students and prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Clearly the message was heard and schools were closed.
3. Remote teaching is a challenge for all of us, but our teachers unions are working with their respective administration to ensure that this new technology works. We have established a set of work rules that assist our educators and give our students the best possible education. The situation is not ideal, but everyone is making the best of it and putting our best foot forward.
4. Many of the school districts have done a good job communicating to parents each step of the way. They have made changes in programs and services very clear. They have also done an effective job of communicating the availability of meals and day care.
5. If we all stick to the quarantine and follow social distancing direction, we can all do our part to stop the spread and flatten the curve. By listening to authorities, by staying home and limiting exposure, we are doing our part to stop this virus.
6. Testing centers have been set up at Jones Beach and Stony Brook University. The site's operate from 8AM to 8PM by APPOINTMENT ONLY. First, call 1-888-364-3065 to schedule an appointment and be pre-screened over the phone. If you suspect that you may have been exposed, please contact your primary care doctor to get checked out.
7. All school districts across Long Island, the state, and the nation are handling things differently. Thankfully all public school teachers on Long Island have collective bargaining. This means that at every step of the way, educators are at the table looking out for our students and protecting the future of public education.
8. It's important that we all remain calm and positive, especially with little ones at home listening. They may not understand what's happening, but they do sense our anxiety and fear. This will eventually pass, and normalcy will return. Try and highlight the positives.