Various local public schools including the Brooklyn New School in Carroll Gardens have set up a petition to request outdoor spaces for schools for outdoor schooling in the fall. “We, as a City, must prioritize our public education. Our elected leaders must commit by Monday Aug 2nd to:

1. A plan to close streets adjacent to or near each school building in the city and use nearby public space for education

2. Provide all schools with outdoor equipment necessary for success (i.e. tents, water fountains, etc.)

We NYC parents/guardians, teachers, employers know that safe in-person education must be our City’s top priority. To open safely we must open outside. This has been done before and can be done well if we give our schools the resources they need and the time to plan. The science is clear. We know that transmission rates of Covid 19 are massively reduced outdoors. A combination of street closures adjacent to our public schools and a reimagining of our vast network of public parks will provide much of the needed outdoor space to make an outdoor schooling program achievable and successful for all.”

In just two days, City Council Member Brad Lander received proposals from 14 schools from his district (District 15) — stretching from Boerum Hill and Park Slope to Sunset Park and Kensington — to use surrounding streets. He called on the Department of Transportation to establish an “Open Streets: Schools” program to help coordinate and oversee a citywide operation. Read more here.