As the pandemic abruptly turned life upside down around the world, roughly a million public school kids in NYC were thrust into a wildly inconsistent learning environment, with repeated openings and closings of school buildings and systemwide shifts to online learning as COVID-19 rates surge.,While education officials promise to reopen schools this fall for full-time learning again, many New York City parents and students are calling for more than academic recovery, but a reckoning with the disrupted school system’s mental health toll on kids.,A Year Of Anxiety And Turmoil In the short term after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that public school buildings were closing on March 16th, 2020 and students were shifting to remote learning, some kids said they initially celebrated a break from school.,Disparate Impacts For New York City’s public school system, whose enrollment is 41% Latino, 26% Black, 16% Asian and 15% white, the deadly toll of the pandemic has been acutely felt: “During the first five months of the pandemic, an estimated 4,200 of 4 million children in the state lost a parent or caregiver to coronavirus, a rate of more than one out of every 1,000, according to a report by the United Hospital Fund and Boston Consulting Group released at the end of September,” with more than half of those affected children residents of the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens, according to Gotham Gazette, which reported the pandemic has disportionately taken parents away from Black and Hispanic families: 1 out of every 600 Black children, and 1 out of every 700 Hispanic children have lost a parent or caregiver, compared to 1 out of 1,400 Asian children and 1 out of 1,500 white children in New York.,The public school student population is also primarily low-income, a point which was hammered home last spring when the city Department of Education had to scramble to outfit hundreds of thousands of families with devices for remote learning.

While championship banners hang on the walls of East Catholic High School’s gymnasium, its basketball court has been quiet for months.,“I’m more grateful as a coach,” said Hand High School hockey coach Brian Gonsalves.,During this abbreviated season all participants, coaches, and officials will require a mask that must be worn at all times, including during active play.,The CIAC Board of Controls approved a plan for the winter sports season on Thursday.,Ellington High school coach Adam Zylberman said he’s encouraged by the news, after presuming the season would be canceled completely.