A new type of “report card” is coming to New York schools to provide parents and teachers up-to-date information on the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during a COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, Sept. 8 that he is signing an Executive Order that will require schools, local health departments, labs, and other testing sites to provide the state with information regarding the virus.
The new information being gathered from multiple sources will be posted in an online dashboard and include:
- Positive cases by date of students and staff in each individual school building and district;
- Whether that school or district is in remote, in-person, or hybrid learning models;
- The number of students and staff on-site at the schools;
- Percentage of on-site students and staff that test positive;
- The number of tests administered by schools, the type of test, the lab used, and the lag time between tests being taken and results being returned.
The numbers will be updated daily, and schools or districts that don’t comply could face punishment.
“I’ve received thousands of phone calls from parents and teachers who are confused and anxious, because it's their child and they don’t want their child to get sick,” Cuomo said. “As a parent, your first instinct is to protect your child … parents are nervous, and teachers are nervous.
“School districts will say ‘I have a plan,’ but plans are only as good as your ability to implement a plan,” Cuomo continued. “I’ve seen many a bureaucracy with plans that sound great on paper, but then the rubber hits the road when you go to implement that plan.”
The new COVID-19 “report card” is expected to go live on Wednesday, Sept. 9 when schools provide their first update as many districts return to school. Parents will simply have to go to the website, where they will input their address, which will provide them with a list of data from local districts and individual school buildings.
“It’s a big undertaking, but I think it will give parents and teachers confidence, because they will know on a day-to-day basis on what is happening, confirmed by multiple sources, and it won’t just be (talk) from the schools,” Cuomo said.
"Facts empower people to make informed decisions for the health and safety of themselves and their families," Cuomo added. "The COVID-19 Report Card will give parents, faculty, and students the most up-to-date information on the status of their school and their school district's testing and results.
“I urge our school communities to stay vigilant and be smart."
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