NYC Students Return To School, Health Screening Site Faces Tech Glitch

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : September 16, 2021

A majority of public schools of New York City have returned to traditional schooling. After a long time of 18 months, students are returning to in-person learning. COVID-19 sent students to virtual learning to prevent virus spread.

A temporary dimout was experienced in its health screening website of the country’s largest school district, which has roughly 1,000,000 students. The website is for students, employees, and visitors. Before entering a city Department of Education operated building, they have to sign in every day.

NYC Students Return To School, Health Screening Site Faces Tech Glitch

Responding to this, the agency said that health screenings can be done with paper forms or at the schools. The request asking for further comment was not entertained.

NYC Students Return To School, Health Screening Site Faces Tech Glitch

Parents were frustrated by the technical malfunction, saying it caused delays and queues getting into schools. Some believed that this indicated a rocky academic year ahead.

Katie Pawluk, mother of four children who go to Lower Manhattan’s city public schools, Said the malfunctioning of the health screening website caused havoc at her kids’ schools.

She said that even though the Department of Education has been preparing for this academic year and in-person learning for a long time, schools do not offer enough space for physical distance in students, nor do they have required accommodations. This is so, at least at her kids’ schools.

She added that it is very frustrating that no remote option is being provided to medically delicate children. She said that children from economically disadvantaged schools and those who are too young to get vaccines will be more prone to risk.

She said that she was overjoyed to send her kids back to schools and in-person learning after 18 months, but she is worried about the safety and health of children in New York City public schools as she thinks the matter is not being taken seriously.

The mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, and Meisha Porter, the chancellor of city schools, lessened any snags and tried to make the return normal. They begin the day with fist-bumping students at Bronx public school.

In response to the tech problem, de Blasio told news reporters that 1 million kids during their first day of school will overload things.

In a news conference on Monday, he said that the district schools are in a much stronger place than they were last year. He said that two-thirds of eligible students enrolled in these public schools are vaccinated against the virus. At 700 schools, vaccination sites have been opened, and vaccination mandates will be placed for teachers in two weeks.

Unions that represent janitorial and cleaning services staff tweeted on their account that workers are disinfecting classrooms in full force to make a safe return of students to their classrooms possible. They also wish the NYC students the best of luck.

De Blasio, saying that it was finally time for everyone to get together, announced in May that public schools would reopen without any remote option. He said that it was time to do things how they were done before.

De Blasio initially faced backlash, as the rising cases from the ultra-contagious date variant preyed upon people from all age groups. Many parents and politicians wanted to wait until kids younger than 12 years of age can be vaccinated. More than 600,000 parents chose to keep their children learning virtually during the last academic year.

De Blasio said that if there is any kind of outbreak in any school, vaccinated individuals without any symptoms will not require quarantine. The mayor added that around 80% of adults in New York City have received at least one dose of Coronavirus vaccination.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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