“We must get our priorities straight. Schools are essential spaces for learning, community building, and services for all of our students. They should not be the first thing to close as the second wave of COVID-19 cases rise around our city. 

“Prioritizing schools means closing indoor dining, gyms, offices, and even non-essential retail before we close the schools. 

“We may well need to close our schools amidst this second wave, but that decision should be based on the best public health data that we have. We did not have that school-based data in March, but we do now and we should use it. School-based testing shows a positivity rate under 0.25% in every borough right now, even as cases rise outside of classrooms. Let’s use the data we have to inform the decisions about our school system. 

“While our schools are open, we should be surging resources there: more testing, more PPE, and more staff to help keep everyone safe, clean, and distant. And no matter what happens with in person learning, we must ensure that all students have the technology and resources they need to learn at home.

“We have a long winter ahead of us and we must focus on the evidence we have about what is and is not risky in order to make smart decisions about how to keep communities safe and supported.”