Hurricane Sandy aftermath #2: NYCDOE edition!
Schools are closed to students tomorrow and Friday. Teachers are asked to report on Friday, Mayor Bloomberg just announced.— GothamSchools (@gothamschools) October 31, 2012
The details are clear… yet not at all.
I understand cancelling school until Friday, but here are a lot of questions that pop up that we have no answers to thus far, starting with the reporting to school mandate:
- What do you say to the numerous NYC DOE staff who are commuting out-of-town and can’t pick up two other people to drive into Manhattan? Staff members live all over (see #3).
- What about the staff who are in places without power or without a connecting train to get into Manhattan (or vice versa)? Buses were bananas today and despite the bus bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn, traffic and commutes will both continue to be bananas.
- What about staff members who can’t report due to their own property and loved ones being affected by the storm? Numeorus staff members live in PA, NJ, Long Island, Westchester, and CT, among other places. Is there anything in place that can understand and excuse their absence?
- Will staff members in affected schools be called on to clean up beyond picking up a few items off the ground? Custodial staff at every school handle situations like cleaning up after awful situations. Does that turn into an union issue on both fronts (teacher and custodial)? What are teachers allowed to do and not to do?
- For the schools who were not damaged in the storm, what are teachers supposed to do to “prepare for the arrival of students”? Lesson plans are pushed back a week and professional development is already happening next Tuesday… so what then?
- Most importantly, on Friday/Monday, what happens to the students/staff whose school buildings are without power/water? Where do they report?
On a personal note, my plans for Friday and onward seem to be up in the air. For now, if the HOV restrictions except the George Washington Bridge are in effect as such, my plans with It’s Not Lupus won’t be affected and I can go to work on Friday with no issue. If the restrictions change, however, I will take the day off and see her because she would be the only loved one I have been able to see due to said HOV restrictions coming into the City as well as no NJ Transit buses/trains at all until further notice.
This is for my personal well-being and mental state than anything else. Yes, I have been extremely fortunate this week in terms of damage or lack thereof, but if I have the opportunity to see loved ones, I want to take that advantage and Friday opens that up for me.
Trust me that my class, my co-teacher, and I will have a conversation about what went on over the week and see if there’s anything that we can do as a staff to support our kids.
When it comes to Friday though, do what is best for you, your family, your loved ones, and your well-being before anything else.