School Starts Today

by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML via flickr

New York City public schools, as well as most private schools, begin classes today.

But why on a Thursday?!

According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, a compromise between union officials and the Department of Education is the reason behind the school year starting one day late. The extra day was decided on in order to give city teachers more time to prepare for a new, reportedly tougher, curriculum.

From the Eagle:

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said teachers will be aligning their instruction with a set of higher expectations over the next few years. Students will be expected to read and understand more difficult texts, to do more writing, and to apply math to the real world. Other changes this year include mandatory sex education classes, a new 9/11 curriculum, and new sexual harassment regulations.

Budget cuts will also be affecting city public school students this year, with 780 employees, most school aides and parent coordinators, getting pink slips today. 2,000 teachers will also be losing their permanent positions.

Classroom sizes are expected to be larger as well, with cuts to preparatory programs for poor students taking effect.

The article additionally reminds readers that high school students who have not yet registered for classes, still have time to do so at one of 12 Department of Education student registration centers throughout the city.

To find your closest zoned schools, the nearest Student Registration Centers, or Special Education Enrollment Sites, please call 311 or visit the DOE’s website at