Boroughwide

Teacher creates petition to bring spring break dates back for state schools

April 1, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Teacher creates petition to bring spring break dates back for state schools
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Spring break canceled

BOROUGHWIDE–A Brooklyn teacher is fighting to maintain spring break for New York schools.

The State appears set to cancel spring break vacation dates and continue remote learning.

During non-school hours, Brooklyn Technical High School teacher Giancarlo Malchiodi created a petition in an effort for New York students, families and teachers to maintain spring break vacation.

State Education response

“Districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time,” said the New York State Education Department in its statement.

The petition

In the petition, it states students, parents and teachers:

  • Have ALL been working HARDER since schools have physically closed, in part because of the challenges of Distance Teaching and Learning in households with often limited technology and in part because of responsibilities to family balanced alongside this new process.
  • Continue to face great life changes and are under a great deal of STRESS due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the necessary stay-at-home orders.
  • Face tough economic hardships as many have been furloughed or fired or are simply “non-essential” and cannot report to work, making quality family support and time even more essential.
  • Have elderly and sick loved ones in our lives who need our attention, as well as younger children– some not even of school age yet– who require likewise.
  • Must be mindful of emotional and physical self-care during this time of duress or else we as individuals, and potentially our loved ones, will suffer even more.

Looking ahead

However, prospects of bringing back the vacation seem bleak.

A message from UFT President Michael Mulgrew stated, “[The Governor] is using the emergency powers that he legally has to keep schools open during spring breaks throughout the state. Therefore, UFT members will be off from Thursday, April 9, to Sunday, April 12, for the religious holidays, but starting on Monday, April 13, we will be working with the DOE to create a special week of family service and support. We are working now with the DOE to develop plans for that week.”

“This spring break vacation should have been maintained in NYC,” Malchiodi wrote. “This was not to satisfy or pacify the 75,000 educators like myself, plus administrators and support staff, because, frankly we have no place to go anyway and there are greater health concerns to consider. This was far more for our emotionally stressed and academically overwhelmed students and their families.”


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