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NYC Preparing For 1st Day Of School, As Teachers Union Continues To Negotiate Conditions

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- City schools are getting ready to welcome back students in just over a week.

But as CBS2's Hazel Sanchez found out Monday, many parents feel not everyone is on the same page as to how it's all going to work.

MORE: NYC DOE, Teachers Union Reach Agreement On Guidelines For Upcoming School Year

Ibrahim Diop of the South Bronx is enjoying the last few days of summer before sending his 8-year-old daughter back to a public school in Harlem.

"They say they gonna go two days in school and three days at home. So we're trying to balance that, but I know it's not going to be easy," Diop said.

As it stands, the city is planning to start school on Sept. 10. Students will learn five days a week with a choice of a blended learning plan or fully remote.


The city said 324,000 iPads have been distributed to students who need them. Currently, school ventilation action teams are checking the air quality in every classroom and learning space. As of this story, 88% of school buildings have already been inspected.

The Department of Education said it has approved more than 240 outdoor learning plans, with more expected to get the green light as the weeks go on.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Schools: The New Normal

Like many families, Diop is still trying to figure out how he will get his daughter to school.

There's no school busing plan in place, as bus drivers continue to hammer out their contract with the city and potential safety protocols, including 25% capacity on each bus.

"They need to come up with something before school starts," Diop said.

Students and faculty are required to wear masks and check their temperature before going into school buildings, and could be randomly chosen for temperature checks when they arrive.

The teachers union is threatening to strike if the city doesn't start a medical monitoring program, requiring monthly random COVID-19 testing within each school community. A vote could come Tuesday.

"We will not go back unless independent medical experts gave us a stamp of approval. It's not like the mayor is going to convince me not to have a mandated testing program," United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said.

"The mandatory approach has not been the way that's been done in other countries, and it's something that we've looked at, but believe, for a variety of reasons, it is not the best way to get to where we need to go," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The uncertainties have many parents joining teachers in a call to push back the start of school.

"I think it's a bad idea because they're not really prepared," Gigi Gonzales said.

"The city is on top of it, but the people are not together," added Wanda Crockett of the South Bronx.

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