Hempstead schools delay new school year following safety concerns
While some districts have welcomed students back, the Hempstead school district is delaying the start to the new year.
School district unions say they reached a decision late Tuesday night to delay the opening of schools after officials learned of a number of concerns.
Teachers Association President Nicole Brown says poor ventilation is at the top of the list, along with an apparent lack of PPE and signage.
"We saw dirty vents, we were told that the middle school ductwork had not been completed and the ductwork at the high school hadn't even begun," says Brown.
District officials disputed that claim and gave members of the media a tour of the school Wednesday. The high school's principal says the buildings are cleaned and ready for students and staff to return, but, "We're a district so if there's a district decision - we're going to support that decision."
"I think the work that custodial staff has done over the last five months has been excellent," says principal Stephen Strachar.
Students were supposed to start classes Sept. 8. Officials say staff will return on Sept. 8, but remote learning will be pushed back to the following week, and hybrid learning will begin Sept. 22.