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New York City officials lay out safety plans for new school year starting next week

NYC leaders planning changes for 2023-24 school year
NYC leaders planning changes for 2023-24 school year 01:58

NEW YORK --  New York City public school students should expect some changes when classes begin next Thursday.

Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks spoke on Friday about plans for the upcoming school year, highlighting two top questions from parents -- will my kids be safe, and what's new for the curriculum?

NYC officials discuss safety plans for upcoming school year 25:23

City educators will do more to prioritize reading and math.

Identifying learning problems will include more and enhanced dyslexia screenings. The mayor said this one is close to his heart.

"No child should go through what I went through, waiting until college before identifying that I had a learning disability," Adams said.

Brought in to Friday's City Hall discussion was NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban to talk about the weekly Zoom calls for 1,800 principals and corresponding NYPD precinct commanding officers.

"We share information about corridors ... congregation points where kids like to hang out," Caban said.

That's where Project Pivot will come in. Launched last year, it now expands to 250 schools.

Organizations are brought in to provide workers for tutoring and to help give kids safe passage to and from school.

Identified as the most urgent rollout of technology is the Department of Education's door-locking system, already installed in 744 elementary schools.

"It's not meant to keep parents away. It's a door locking system and a camera system," Banks said. "So after the school day has begun and that front door locks, anyone who shows up at the school will press the buzzer, they will be seen on camera by the school safety agent at the front door. They will be able to communicate with them. They will present their ID and the reason for them being there before we gain entry."

By spring, all the elementary schools will have the lock system, then installation begins for middle schools and, after that, the high schools.

The mayor briefly mentioned the thousands of incoming asylum-seeking students. He said schools are hiring extra staffers with the necessary language skills.

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