“#1 in 10 NYC school principals will not be on campus this year: DOE”
August 18, 2020 | 3:08pm | Updated August 18, 2020 | 3:26pm
A total of 157 city school leaders — or 9 percent — have applied for COVID-19 medical exemptions to work from home, according to the Department of Education.
The DOE said that those approved for the medical accommodation will coordinate building operations remotely and that assistant principals will help to fill the breach on-site.
There are 1,693 principals in the nation’s largest school system.
Roughly 100 DOE employees have died from the coronavirus thus far, including Brooklyn principal Dez-Ann Romain.
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators has also been girding for a rush of retirements this year due to pandemic pressures.
Principals generally skew older, a factor that has heightened their concerns over COVID-19 vulnerability.
The DOE said Tuesday that the average age of a city principal is 49, compared to 41 for teachers.
Union officials have noted that 24 percent of school bosses are 55 or older.
CSA president Mark Cannizzaro has consistently critiqued the current state of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reopening plan and cautioned that safety precautions and logistical specifics remain inadequate.
“Health and safety come first and school-based employees, including principals, can request a reasonable accommodation to work remotely,” said DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson. “Less than 10 percent of our principals have made that request and principals working remotely will continue to serve in their roles, working closely with an assistant principal in the school building who will be there to support in person.”
According to the DOE, 15 percent of city teachers have also applied for medical exemptions that will keep them out of classrooms this year.
De Blasio has pressed to reopen schools in September, citing the need to provide scheduling relief for parents who are unable to work remotely as well as the key drawback to remote learning.
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