City Cancels Spring Break

In light of the threat generated by the coronavirus, Mayor de Blasio on Friday instructed Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza to cancel the planned April 9-17 spring break for teachers and city schoolkids.

Mayor Bill de Blasio cancels the planned spring break for city schools. CREDIT: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.

“We are confident that continuing remote learning will help ensure that families adhere to social distancing in the coming weeks, which is imperative to slowing the spread of the virus and keeping New Yorkers safe,” Carranza told educators in a letter sent Friday. 

Chalkbeat reported that United Federation of Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew was outraged by the decision.

“With this step, Mayor de Blasio shows that he does not recognize just how hard you have been working during these stressful and anxiety-filled times,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew wrote in a Friday evening letter to teachers.

Bronx congressional candidate and city councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr. wrote Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to override Mayor de Blasio’s directive that city public school teachers work on Passover, Thursday, April 9 and Good Friday, April 10.  

“With the limited access to houses of worship, especially during this time of national stress and grief, it would be a tremendous blessing to grant the opportunity for our public school teachers and [their] families [to have] these two days off so they can observe these religious holidays in their own homes,” Diaz wrote.

Many teachers took to social media to express their own dismay that schools will remain “open” during Jewish and Christian holidays. On Twitter, Bobson Wong called it “disrespectful to students’, parents’, and teachers’ social and emotional learning.”

Another teacher Patrick Sprinkle tweeted: “The lack of respect for the dignity of our work is what hurts most as a NYC teacher.”

Early last week, the State Department of Education issued guidance that schools should continue instruction even through the previously scheduled spring break.  Regional enrichment centers, which serve the children of first-responders and medical personnel, and grab-and-go feeding program sites will also remain open.

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