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We, the parent community of PS889, are writing to ask Governor Cuomo and the Mayor’s Office of NYC to keep our school open, while it continues to be closely monitored, as New York takes measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in South Brooklyn. Our school, PS889, is located at 21 Hinckley Place, placed on the very edge of the “orange zone,” although we have not had any community spread, nor any cases of COVID in our school. Our neighborhood is below the 3% infection rate that was the threshold outlined at the beginning of the year that would trigger a closure. We are writing to ask both of your offices, why aren’t we following that plan now?

We are a small school, with a total of around 150 blended learners in grades PreK through 3rd. Our building is a new facility, with brand new HVAC systems, and ample space in our classrooms to accommodate social distancing. Every precaution is being taken according to the reopening guidelines. Our children, our principal and our teachers worked tirelessly and parents and children have been practicing safe behavior to ensure our school can remain open.

The Mayor’s testing of public schools in the red zone area (over 1100 tests) found only 2 positive cases. Public schools are not contributing to the current spread of COVID. We would like our school to be re-evaluated for opening, based on hard data, not arbitrary drastic decisions that do not take the science into account. The closure of 889 is not going to protect children from COVID and is only harmful to our school community.

These are formative developmental years for our children and the constant change is impacting their development and hurting them emotionally. Not to mention, remote schooling for such young children requires full attention from a parent and gets in the way of us performing our jobs and providing an income to support our family.

When schools reopened, NYC developed a plan for classrooms or schools to shut down based on testing and data. That plan is not being followed and children and families are being punished. We urge you to reconsider the blanket closure of schools in these areas and move forward based on testing and science as was initially agreed.


The Parents of PS889

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