Thursday, December 18, 2014

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NY1 Exclusive: Students' Upcoming Off Days Cause Headaches For Parents

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TWC News: NY1 Exclusive: Students' Upcoming Off Days Cause Headaches For Parents
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Hundreds of thousands of city students have been told they can stay home from school this upcoming Monday and Tuesday. They just need to come back next Wednesday for the last day of school. But NY1 has discovered many schools aren't telling parents the full story. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

The New York City Schools Chancellor is letting 657 schools hold teacher training Monday and Tuesday. Since the city didn't have any snow days this year, kids get the days off. But while students may be celebrating, parents are struggling.

"If they change the calendar, sort of at the last minute, then they have to provide for parents who can't come up with another solution," said one parent.

It turns out the DOE did. The Chancellor made it clear to principals that schools need to stay open for students whose families can't find alternative care. But either schools didn't get the memo or they aren't telling parents.

School after school after school is saying there is no school for students on June 25 and 26. NY1 found dozens not mentioning any alternative and only four noting students can still come.

Other schools, like PS 11 in Chelsea, are letting students come on Monday and Tuesday...for a price. PS 11 Programs Inc., the school's nonprofit arm that runs extracurriculars, is offering a camp. The cost? $85 per student per day.

It's advertised on the school website, above the announcement that school will be closed.

At PS 24 in Riverdale, families are also told they can pay. The price there is $75 a day. Some parents say they can't afford that.

"I have to bring my daughter to work with me because I don't have coverage for it," said parent Sarah Alexander.

One parent told PS 24 it's required to be open, which was met with an email response from the school's parent coordinator.

"We are not required to accept students on June 25 and 26," the email read. "There will be no provisions to supervise children. Therefore, students will not be received.

The parent coordinator told NY1 the same thing on the phone. But the DOE said that's wrong. All schools are required to accept students and no school should be charging.

"There’s schools that need to make sure they communicate with their parents," said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

Parents and principals say the communication failure is coming from the DOE.

"When I make calls to the DOE, to the parents office, nobody could give me any information," said parent Pam Flint.

The DOE says PS 11 and PS 24 will no longer charge but would not answer NY1's questions about the other schools keeping parents in the dark. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP