election day

get out the vote

the day after

New York

City lifts short-lived ban on letting charters open on Election Day

A screenshot from the website of Future Leaders Institute Charter School shows that the school had planned to hold classes tomorrow even though Department of Education schools are closed. It no longer has permission to remain open, following two back-to-back policy changes by the city. Reversing a decision made late last week, the Department of Education will provide school safety agents and other supports to dozens of charter schools that want to hold class on Tuesday. But the reversal came too late for some schools that had already canceled classes. On Friday, Chancellor Dennis Walcott decreed that no school housed in public space could remain open on Election Day because school safety agents were needed to fill in for other city workers pulled away to help with Hurricane Sandy relief. "For all schools in DOE space, regardless if you have applied/have a permit, no students may be in the building and no classes may be held on Election Day," Sonia Park, head of the department's Charter Schools Office, told school leaders on Friday afternoon. "Because of the storm, significant resources across the City will continued to be deployed for recovery efforts and therefore can not be available for schools in DOE buildings." The decision brought charter schools housed in district buildings into line with the rest of the city's schools, which were already scheduled to have the day off so that 700 schools could serve as polling sites. But it also snatched away a key element of the privately managed schools' autonomy: the right to set their own calendars. Dozens of charter schools were planning to hold classes to avoid a midweek interruption — particularly after Sandy caused them to miss five days of classes.
New York

City anticipating turmoil as most students resume classes today

The auditorium at P.S. 195 in Manhattan Beach was flooded last Wednesday. Today, the school opened its doors to students and Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott plan to visit and welcome them back. As more than 90 percent of city schoolchildren head to school today for their first day back after Hurricane Sandy, some with extra sweaters to ward off cold, Department of Education officials will have their sights set on the 102 schools that still cannot reopen. The number of school buildings unable to accommodate students fluctuated over the weekend, but by Sunday night, department officials determined that 57 schools were so damaged that they must be relocated and 29 schools still lacked power, down from nearly 200 at the beginning of the weekend. Another 16 schools are housed in eight buildings that have for the last week been used as shelters for New Yorkers displaced from homes and hospitals by the storm. The roughly 73,000 students who attend the schools are expected to return to classes on Wednesday, after the entire city takes another break for Election Day on Tuesday, when many schools will function as polling centers. In the next two days, officials aim for power to be restored to schools that lack it, shelters  closed and cleaned, and damaged schools shoehorned into other locations. But Mayor Bloomberg said the transition back to school — coming after students and teachers alike have had their homes and neighborhoods disruption — would likely be rocky. "We just can’t predict who’s going to show up where ... and we’re obviously going to have problems," Bloomberg said during a news conference on Sunday. "We’ll just have to bear it, but we’ll have a day between the first day and the second day of school – namely Tuesday – and we’re going to use that day to straighten things out to the best of our ability."

decision 2008