Manhattan public school delays reopening due to positive COVID cases; parents outraged

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020
NYC school delays reopening due to positive COVID cases
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A school in Manhattan is delaying their reopening due to positive COVID cases, and parents are not happy about it.

TRIBECA, Manhattan (WABC) -- A school in Manhattan is delaying their reopening due to positive COVID cases, and parents are not happy about it.

Sue Palmer is trying to hold off telling her kids something she knows will disappoint them.

"It doesn't make any sense," Palmer said.

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Another parent called what's happening at PS 234 in Tribeca, downright silly.

"The building is safe, no one has been in the building," parent Jennifer Justice said.

The issue is over when PS 234 is reopening.

Public elementary schools in the city are slated to resume in-person learning on December 7, but not this one.

Two students in separate classes tested positive for COVID-19.

When that happens, the Department of Education temporarily closes a building to do tracing and testing.

In a letter sent home to families, the principal explains a second case, although discovered on November 24, was reported over the holiday weekend and investigated by the DOE on the 30th.

At that time, the closure was announced, and the new reopening was scheduled for December 14.

"The safety of everybody is the most important thing however no one has been in the school since the 19th, so they are applying a rule that has no practical applicability," Justice said.

Remember, as positivity rates in the city inched up last month, all schools shut down and went to remote learning on November 19.

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So by the 30th, when the DOE made its decision about PS 234, the school had been unoccupied for some time.

By December 7, when other little ones head back, classrooms at PS 234 will remain empty beyond the two-week quarantine period.

"In and out of school, it's very disruptive to them, especially the young kids, they need the stability, and the DOE isn't giving them the stability they need," Palmer said.

At this point, the DOE says it will stay in close contact with families regarding a safe reopening as soon as possible.


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