Yasmeen Khan is a reporter covering education. You can find her stories on the air and on SchoolBook.org, WNYC’s education website.
DOE Presses Ahead With School Openings
Thursday, November 01, 2012 - 08:44 PM
Teachers report to work Friday and students are back in the classroom on Monday. Despite dozens of "severely damaged" school buildings, power outages and transit issues, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the school system was getting back on its feet after a week of cancelled school because of Hurricane Sandy. In a conference call with reporters he provided the following updates:
—Forty-four school buildings are severely damaged, and will not likely be open for business by Monday. That means teachers in those buildings will need to report to alternate sites on Friday, as will students on Monday. The Department of Education will make that information available on Thursday night. Teachers and students should check schools.nyc.gov and @nycschools on Twitter.
—Eight high school buildings will continue to house people who had to evacuate their homes or homeless shelters because of Hurricane Sandy. Walcott said the D.O.E. was working with other city agencies to ensure a safe way to help the two populations. The schools that will remain open as shelters are:
Brooklyn Tech High School
FDR High School
John Jay High School
Graphic Arts High School
Hillcrest igh School
Susan Wagner High School
Tottenville High School
George Washington High School
—About 96 percent of the city’s bus fleet is operational. Chancellor Walcott said there are enough working buses to accommodate students.
—The Specialized High School Admissions Test scheduled for Nov. 3 is rescheduled for Nov. 17.
—The College Board will not administer the SAT in the five boroughs this weekend. Students scheduled to take the test on Saturday can take it Nov. 17; those scheduled to take it on Sunday can take it Nov. 18. Students can also reschedule the exam for a different date through the College Board.
—As planned, students will not be in school on Election Day, Nov. 6. About 700 school buildings are used as polling sites and Walcott said it is not feasible to keep students in school. Therefore, calendar updates to come.
Below is the letter Walcott sent to staff:
This afternoon, Mayor Bloomberg made several announcements related to the City's response to Hurricane Sandy, outlined below. Please review these developments and continue to monitor the news, nyc.gov, @NYCMayorsOffice and @NYCSchools for the latest information about the City's response to the storm.
School Remains Closed to Students on Friday
Schools will remain closed and will reopen to students on Monday, November 5. Due to damage and power outages, some schools will remain closed on Monday. Additional guidance will be provided regarding enrollment of displaced students.
Weekend Activities at Schools Rescheduled
For detailed information click here.
School-Based Staff to Report to Schools on Friday
School-based staff should report to work on Friday to prepare for school opening on Monday. We are making accommodations for staff based at the buildings that we are unable to occupy due to damage or power outages. Later this evening we will send detailed information regarding where staff should report tomorrow. Additionally, this information will be made available on the DOE web site, Facebook, and Twitter.
Central Office Staff: Administrative Offices Open on Friday
In accordance with city policy, if your office is open and you can safely report to work, please do so – but only if you can get in safely. This includes teachers assigned, Supervisors, Educational Administrators, managers and all other staff working in central and field offices.
Administrative buildings in zone A will remain closed with the exception of essential operations. Employees from administrative offices in zone A may be redeployed by supervisors to alternative work sites.
Additionally, the Tweed and 49-51 Chambers Street offices are currently closed due to power outages or damage. Below is a list of administrative office sites where displaced staff may report and have access to a networked computer. These sites will be able to accommodate all non-school based staff who are displaced.
Because of the lingering effects of the storm, continue to exercise caution and allow extra time for travel to work tomorrow morning. If mass transit services have not yet been restored in your neighborhood, and you have no other safe and feasible way to travel to work, then you should use your judgment and delay your arrival. There will be no penalties for transit-related lateness. If you cannot come to work, you should use annual leave, personal leave/CAR time or compensatory time to stay home.
Continue to use your judgment and ensure your safety first. Administrative offices will be open and staff can report to work or take leave. For those who have no applicable leave balance, leave may be advanced for this purpose. For hourly employees who are unable to come to work, offices should make every effort to schedule make up hours within this pay period if at all possible.
Questions about the policy should be directed to Lawrence Becker at LBecker@schools.nyc.gov or Joann Molter at JMolter@schools.nyc.gov.
Difficulty Reporting to Work
To address the issue of staff who have difficulty reporting to work we have created an appeal process whereby you can provide us with the reason you were unable to report and ask that the day(s) not be deducted from your leave bank. To access the appeals form, click here.
If you have difficulty accessing this link please email SandyLeaveAppeal@schools.nyc.gov or contact HR Connect at 718-935-4000. Please note that by submitting such an appeal and showing confirmation to your timekeeper, no deductions will be made to your leave until your appeal is decided. Hourly employees should also use this same process to appeal to be credited with time. Please note that school-based staff were excused from Monday, October 20 through Thursday, November 1 so they do not need to submit an appeal for those days.
Please check the MTA web site at www.mta.info for the latest on mass transit service; also, please be sure to check www.nyc.gov and the Department of Education web site for any additional information. Please distribute this memo to other staff.
We will continue to update you. Thank you for your support and cooperation.
Dennis M. Walcott
Weekend Activities at Schools Rescheduled
The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) scheduled for this Saturday, November 3, has been rescheduled to Saturday, November 17. Accommodations will be made for students with conflicts.
High School interviews, assessments and auditions scheduled for November 3-4 are canceled and will be rescheduled. LaGuardia High School auditions scheduled for November 3-4 will be rescheduled for November 10-11. Reminder: The SHSAT exam scheduled for Sunday, October 28, has been rescheduled for Sunday, November 18. Accommodations will be made for students with conflicts.
The GED Examination that is scheduled for this weekend will be canceled. In addition, all Office of Adult and Continuing Education (OACE) classes for this Saturday are cancelled. Superintendents will be communicating with Principals in District 79/ Alternative Schools and Programs (ASP) and the OACE to update them on disruptions. Please visit our web site for additional information.
The SAT administration scheduled for this weekend (Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4), has been cancelled in the five boroughs of New York City. A makeup date has been scheduled for New York City public schools on Saturday, November 17 for the November 3 test-takers, and Sunday, November 18 for those test-takers who were scheduled to test on Sunday, November 4. Students can also go online and change their test date to a regularly scheduled December administration date.
For ongoing updates, check in with your school guidance counselor next week, visit www.nyc.gov/schools or call 311.
List of Administrative Sites Available for Central and Field Staff to report Friday
Bldg ID Address
02M882 333 7th Avenue, New York, NY
06M048 4360 Broadway, New York, NY
05M808 388 West 125th Street, New York, NY
08X833 1230 Zerega Avenue, Bronx, NY
10X815 1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx, NY
07X807 501 Courtland Avenue, Bronx, NY
08X953 3450 East Tremont, Bronx, NY
15K801 65 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY
15K802 131 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY
22K995 5618 Flatlands Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
23K808 1665 Saint Marks Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
20K98 415 89th Street, Brooklyn, NY
22K997 1780 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
13K986 335 Adams Street, 4th & 5th Floors, Brooklyn, NY
13K986 335 Adams Street, 6th Floor, Brooklyn, NY
13K986 335 Adams Street, 28th & 29th Floors, Brooklyn, NY
13K831 2 Metro Tech, Brooklyn, NY
18K818 1106 E. 95th Street, Brooklyn, NY
13K813 355 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY
25Q859 30-48 Linden Place, Queens, NY
30Q800 28-11 Queens Plaza North, Queens, NY
30Q980 45 -18 Court Square, Queens NY
27Q823 82-01 Rockaway Blvd, Queens NY
28Q732 90-27 Sutphin Blvd, Queens NY
28Q733 90-01 Sutphin Blvd, 2nd Floor, Queens NY
31R080 Petrides/715 Ocean Terrace- “A” Building, Staten Island, NY