Frontus, Advocates & Parents Rally for Remote Learning Option

Families demand DOE action in response to spread of COVID-19 in schools

(Brooklyn, NY) – Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus was joined yesterday by health experts, education advocates, parents and other public school stakeholders to call on the NYC Department of Education to provide a remote learning option in response to the continuing spread of COVID-19 and the quarantine requirements already impacting students.

Assemblymember Frontus highlighted concerns she has heard from parents and teachers about overcrowded classrooms, inconsistent mask wearing, poor ventilation, lack of consistent testing, and new rules around quarantining and the closing of schools in the event of outbreaks. In addition to concerns about the health and safety of students, teachers and their families, Assemblymember Frontus and others pointed out that there is no plan in place to ensure that students forced to quarantine do not fall behind academically. As a result, they are requesting that the DOE implement a remote learning option immediately instead of waiting until full school closures are necessary.

“I wholeheartedly call on the Department of Education to provide students with a remote learning option now, given the continued spread of COVID in school buildings, and the impacts forced quarantines are already having on students. Parents spent the summer asking the administration what the plan was for families who wanted a remote learning option, and we kept being told there is no plan. School has only been open for two weeks and we have already seen the spread of cases in schools across the city, with students falling behind. I am again asking the DOE to get ahead of this and put protocols in place now to help keep students and their families safe and avoid further disruptions to their learning,” said Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus.

“Each day, thanks to the mandatory rules of the DOE and Mayor de Blasio, children are at risk of COVID-19 and its variants. City government is failing to ensure the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable population. I am urging Mayor de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter to help prevent children from getting sick by providing them and their parents the option of remote learning,” said Dr. Sima Karetnaya, a W.H.O. Certified Health Advisor and mother of a public school student.

“My son was forced to quarantine because he was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. That meant we all had to stay home and I couldn’t send my other child to school either. My wife and I are asking the city to please help us, allow kids to stay home and still learn. That’s all we’re asking for,” said Evans Alcindor, parent of a Coney Island student.

“The reality inside schools is that there is no social distancing in classrooms, there is constant overcrowding in hallways, students and teachers are not wearing their masks, the buildings are not clean or properly ventilated. The remote option is very important and I hope the mayor takes this request seriously,” said Nasim Almuntaser, a public school student-teacher and community activist.

“We need to make sure our sons and daughters are protected in school, and remote learning and help protect their health. I stand with Assemblymember Frontus and my neighbors in calling on the DOE to act now,” said Abu Khaliquzzaman, local interfaith leader and activist.