April 6, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
There will be no spring break for students and teachers at New York City schools this year and April 9 and 10 – Passover and Good Friday – will not be considered days off either, the Department of Education officially announced Friday.
Spring break was originally scheduled for April 9 – 17 but the city’s schools closed on March 16 in order to combat the coronavirus spread. The city and its teachers then started remote learning on March 23– after students had a week off.
The announcement Friday caught some by surprise since the head of the United Federation of Teachers notified its members early last week that the religious holidays would be observed.
Many expected that schools would be in session for the week of April 13 given the lost days in March– but that Thursday, April 9 and Friday, April 10 would be designated as days off since they are of particular significance to Christians and Jews.
Michael Mulgrew, the president United Federation of Teachers, sent a note to members on March 31 explaining that April 9 and April 10 would likely be given as days off, and that remote learning would resume on April 13, according to the New York Post.
But Carranza announced Friday that remote learning would take place on Passover and Good Friday.
Carranza said that teachers and students were free to take off April 9 and 10 but that those days will not be considered as “days off” for the school system.
“For the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers, the City and the State are in agreement that schools must continue to offer remote learning, including during days that were previously scheduled as breaks,” he said in a statement.
“As a result, our schools will continue with remote learning through the time originally scheduled for Spring Recess,” he said.
The announcement was blasted by the Mulgrew who said it was unfair to his members.
The union leader said that Mayor Bill de Blasio–unlike parents– had failed to recognize how hard teachers have been working during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can assure you that there has been an outpouring of thanks from parents and from first responders and health care workers,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew told Fox5NYafter Carranza’s announcement.
“Meanwhile, the silence from City Hall has been deafening. Never once during this crisis has the mayor thanked [us]. Instead, he diminishes your work by describing it only as a vehicle to keep children at home,” he said.