City officials announced Monday that New York City will provide health checks for the social, emotional and academic behavior of public school students from kindergarten through the end of high school in the communities hardest hit by Covid-19.
The initiative will start in 27 communities identified with the highest case and death rates since the start of the pandemic. The city will also employ 150 additional social workers and will add a community school in each of the 27 boroughs. A press release from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office stated that this first phase will serve about 380,000 students in around 830 schools.
De Blasio’s wife, Cherlene McCray, led the initiative, describing the additional checks as “an extended health check-up for students”.
“Every student in New York City will experience last year in a different way,” said McCray, adding that no scores or posters will be used in the performances. The goal is to help adults provide the best mental health support to students who need it. ”
Richard Carranza, a counselor to New York City schools, said the initiative would allow officials to assess students’ general well-being and craft personalized care for them, with the consent of their parents.
The effort will also include expanding the school system’s partnership with city healthcare providers to provide direct mental health resources to students, Carranza said.