As principals and teachers grapple with unclear school reopening guidance, their schools will now be subject to surprise safety inspections to ensure that “everything is in place” for the beginning of the school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday.
The unannounced spot checks will begin this month and be conducted by officials from the Department of Education, including the top official, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza. Department reps will continue to monitor schools throughout the remainder of the school year, the mayor added.
During de Blasio’s Monday press conference, the mayor announced that the city would distribute sufficient cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment to schools before the school year begins on Sept. 10. According to Carranza, shipments of 4 million face masks, 3.5 million bottles of hand sanitizer and 80,000 canisters of disinfectant wipes have already begun and will be replenished throughout the school year.
In a brief video that de Blasio played, the city indicated that over 7,350 maintenance staff will disinfect school buildings after classes end each day and clean “high-touch” zones multiple times a day; 3,750 electrostatic sprayers will also work to disinfect buildings; and 210,000 signs and floor markers will be placed in schools to remind students to keep socially distant from one another.
“The message of that video is that whatever our schools need they are going to have,” said de Blasio. “This is about being ready. It’s about moving past fear to resiliency.”
The city is also creating a new hotline schedule to be up and running this week for principals to use to request additional personal protective equipment or cleaning supplies.
This story originally appeared on amny.com.