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NYC schools need to have real plans to reopen in September



NYC schools need to have real plans to reopen in September

Distance learning for students through city schools has been chancy. It cannot continue in the coming school year; students have lost enough learning time.

When the pandemic struck, schools were not ready to turn to distance learning. Many students do not have the technical equipment and online access needed to get involved. In response, the city has stepped up to provide the technology needed for hundreds of thousands of students. But there is still much to do.

Start with the amazing revelations recently, for example, that the Department of Education cannot say how many students have received online instructions or how long. That is not acceptable.

The school system and its leaders, especially Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza, have an obligation to prepare to face all forms of learning that will take place next year. In September, they must have a functioning distance learning platform that enables real-time teaching, attendance gathering, and distance participation.

The city needs to get clear that teachers will want to be involved in actual interactive learning. It shouldn’t be like this, but if the teacher union pushes back, DOE must leave every teacher who is unable or unwilling to teach online.

Students must also be encouraged to participate in distance learning. In addition to taking attendance, brass schools must explain that traditional grades will be assigned, whether students study at school or distance. The reason must end.

Normalization of distance instruction is needed for two main reasons: One, students have lost enough time to study this spring. There is no reason to proceed to the new school year. Second, it is likely that schools will need a hybrid learning structure next year – with some students physically in the classroom while others study online, to limit the number of people in the building at once. This can take many forms, such as dividing student time at school between morning and evening sessions, alternative days or alternative weeks.

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The city also needs to quickly accept another indisputable reality: simply put, some students can learn from home effectively while others don’t.

This dichotomy is not only about poor and non-poor students. For example, younger students from all social classes have a greater need for supervision in school than older students. Likewise, their parents have a greater need to return to school. The demands of time and attention given by young people make it very difficult for parents to do their own work at home effectively.

Students with special needs also need more instruction at school from teachers and staff who are specially trained to accommodate them.

On the other hand, for students over a certain age, distance learning can work as effectively as learning in school, especially for students with the highest achievements. But to create a hybrid learning system that gives those who need it most in school time, it is very important that the mayor and chancellor prepare a strong distance learning regime for those who learn more from home.

De Blasio and Carranza faced an uphill battle in discussing this dynamic with parents of older and accomplished children, especially given that they had alienated parents in places such as Stuyvesant and Bronx Science. However, they must win, stressing that: one, their children can learn as effectively at home as at school; two, DOE has created a fully functional online learning program to facilitate this; and, three, other students have a greater need for school.

Giving those who most need more teaching in school than achieving is the best way to do the greatest good for all.

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As long as they can trust that leadership is proactive and transparent in their preparation for the coming school year, students and their families will face challenges.

Ray Domanico is a senior colleague and director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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