The Department of Education angered parents Monday by announcing that there would only be one opportunity to switch from fully remote to blended classroom learning for the rest of the year.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said at a briefing that families would have to make their final decision over a two-week period beginning on November 2.
Initially, the DOE offered a quarterly window to make the change.
But the agency argued Monday that schools need to finalize their enrollment outlook for the rest of the year to stabilize operations.
Parents blasted the abrupt policy change, asserting that they should have kept the ability to adjust their choice later in the year as the coronavirus crisis played out.
Deborah Alexander, co-president of Community Education Council 30 in Queens, said families in her district were blindsided by the announcement.
“The substance of their rationale makes sense,” she said. “But the mechanics and delivery once again leave parents bewildered and behind the 8-ball.”
Alexander said many parents in her district were delaying a final decision on in-person learning until after the holidays.
“We’re a week away from this period,” she said. “Parents are telling me that we are changing the rules of the game in the middle of the match. Tolerance for that is very low right now. They aren’t willing to give the DOE the benefit of the doubt.”
Roughly 541,000 kids are currently enrolled in a remote only format.
State Sen. Diane Savino also ripped the change a statement Monday.
“We have spoken to countless parents who planned on opting back in as flu season dissipated, people who wanted to send their kids back after the holidays, or those who are still waiting to see if the winter brings a second wave,” she said.