Update: New York Schools to Rename Columbus Day to Italian Heritage Day / Indigenous Peoples Day

The first day of public school this fall for New Yorkers will be September 13, Election Day will not be a holiday but a distance learning day, and June will be celebrated for the first time, announced. Tuesday the Ministry of Education.

Other changes include changing the name of the Columbus Day commemoration. Originally October 11 was going to be known as Indigenous Peoples Day, but the DOE sent another update on Tuesday afternoon stating that Columbus Day would in fact be renamed Italian Heritage Day / Day. indigenous peoples.

“Italian Heritage Day / Indigenous Peoples Day will celebrate the contributions and legacies of Italian Americans and recognize that indigenous people are the original inhabitants of the land that has become our country,” the DOE spokesperson said, Danielle Filson, in a statement. our calendar, we honor the past, present and future contributions of Indigenous communities and Italian-Americans.

When asked the reason for the change, a DOE spokesperson referred to the statement. Two Democratic senators said Tuesday they were “incredibly disappointed” with the decision to remove Columbus’ name from the holidays.

In a statement from Diane Savino, who represents parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, and Joe Addabbo of Queens, they said the city’s “callous decision to eliminate Columbus Day, which is a legal and federal holiday of their calendar, and replacing it with that of the indigenous peoples (D) has done a very disservice to a difficult and complex conversation. In a decision taken at the head of a bloc, they harmed both communities and stoked them. flames of the division. “)

The Juneteenth will be celebrated on June 20, 2022; Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in June 2020 that it would become a school holiday, and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last fall that it would become a public holiday.

The DOE said the 2021-2022 school calendar reflects its contractual obligations to have 180 school days while observing various holidays and providing staff with four days of professional development. The Election Day curriculum, which is subject to state approval, is only for next year, a DOE spokesperson said.

As de Blasio previously announced, the adoption of distance learning during the pandemic also means there will be no more snow days. The school will be held remotely in extreme weather conditions, the DOE said.

“Over the years, the DOE has introduced additional statutory holiday celebrations as part of the school calendar, and has contractual obligations that limit the number of possible school days. The pandemic has also created the opportunity to seamlessly transition to distance learning, and DOE powerhouse and schools have distributed hundreds of thousands of devices to ensure that learning can continue remotely for school closures, ”DOE’s Sarah Casasnovas said in a statement.

Students will be able to keep their DOE-provided devices throughout the summer and into the next school year unless they leave the system, school officials said.

Read more: Number of black and Latino students admitted to specialties high schools in New York City drops to lowest level in 3 years

“We know there is no substitute for face-to-face teaching, and we currently have more students learning in our schools than in any other city or system. Our goal for the fall is for all of our children to safely return to a school. full-time in-person learning Sept. 13, and we look forward to sharing more information over the spring and summer, ”Casasnovas said.

The last day of school will be June 26, 2022, a Monday.

This story has been updated to reflect the Department of Education’s decision to call Columbus Day “Italian Heritage Day / Indigenous Peoples Day”.


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