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How Many Kids are Attending NYC Public Schools?

October 27, 2020 pm31 9:11 pm

Should be an easy question. How many kids are in school? Turns out, schools have been “open” for a month, and no one seemed to know how many kids were in them.

Open? Well, in this weird blended/staggered way, with most instruction taking place through Zoom. That includes kids who opted to stay home all the time. Kids who come in every other, every third, or every nth day, and receive half, two-thirds, or n-minus-one nths of their instruction remotely. And kids who come to school, go sit in a room, and log onto their classes.

But the mayor and the leaders of my union say schools are open… And certainly the buildings are open. And some staff are reporting.

So how many kids? On any given day? NYC public schools have 1.1 million students. But lots have opted for remote. Those who are coming into school are coming in every 2nd day, or every third day, or less frequently than that. And some who are scheduled to come in stay home on any given day.

Two weeks back I took a guess: 50 – 110k.

There’s about 1.1 million students in NYC. About half have moved to fully remote. That leaves 550,000. Some schools are on a 2-day rotation, more are on a 3-day rotation. There are others on 4 or more. Call the average 3. That brings us to about 180,000 students each day. 6% of schools have been shut (Red Zone). 170,000. The City has been hiding attendance numbers. I’ve heard that several large schools have gone de facto fully remote. Bronx Science? Stuyvesant? Dozens of kids each day. What’s the real number? 110,000? 80,000? 50,000?

But now the Mayor has filled in some blanks. In person attendance is 82.9%. And 280,000 students are attending school. We still don’t know how many are on a 2-day cycle, how many 3-day, and how many longer. But at least a third are on 2-day and a third are on 3-day.

That brings us to between 90,000 and 105,000 students in NYC school buildings each day. That’s between 8% and 9.5%. When people in charge note that the virus is not spreading in NYC public schools, they don’t mention that the buildings are under 10% of capacity.

Being elected Mayor, or anything else, gives someone an office. It doesn’t confer superior intelligence.

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Apologies for the pause in posting. I’ve been exhausted by the world, by the country, by my city, and by my union.

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