MediterraneanGrocery Wholesalers in New York City, NY

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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in New York City

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in New York City, NY. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market – to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of New York City’s leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you’re looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in New York City. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it’s easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in New York City, NY. We’re proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We’re here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That’s why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in New York City,
what are we talking about?

Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.



If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in New York City, NY, you won’t want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it’s no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.


This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It’s best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party – you’re almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.



We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason – this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in New York City, NY.



Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That’s because it’s considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there’s one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you’re looking to make some positive changes in your life, this “diet” is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures’ foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke – especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery – we’re always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips


Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It’s refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.


Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn’t have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.


Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don’t start with meats and sweets.


They’re tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.


Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.


Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you’re essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That’s great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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Latest News in New York City

New York City to go under winter weather advisory as more snow is expected to fall Thursday morning

Sign up for our amNY Sports email newsletter to get insights and game coverage for your favorite teamsThe New York City Emergency Management Department has issued a travel advisory for Thursday, Jan. 20 as more snow is expected to fall on the city.According to the weather forecast, light rain is expected late Wednesday night with a transition to light snow early Thurs...

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The New York City Emergency Management Department has issued a travel advisory for Thursday, Jan. 20 as more snow is expected to fall on the city.

According to the weather forecast, light rain is expected late Wednesday night with a transition to light snow early Thursday morning through the early afternoon, resulting in a total of 2 inches of snow, and possibly higher amounts possible in some areas. A Winter Weather Advisory for New York City, issued by the National Weather Service, will be in effect from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 20.

“As more snow heads our way, New Yorkers should prepare for slippery road conditions and a messy commute on Thursday,” said NYC Emergency Management Acting Commissioner Christina Farrell. “We urge New Yorkers to exercise caution. If you must travel, we encourage the use of mass transit and please allow for extra travel time.”

The snowfall could lead to snow-covered roads for Thursday morning. The city’s Sanitation Department is pre-deploying over 700 salt spreaders to pretreat roadways ahead of the snow and is prepared to dispatch plows in areas where more than two inches of snow accumulates.

“Rain-to-snow events such as this present unique challenges, and slick, icy roadways are possible at any time Thursday. We urge New Yorkers to stay off the roads, and to give plows and salt spreaders the space to do their jobs,” said New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson.

The Emergency Management Department urges New Yorkers to use public transportation and allow for extra travel time on Jan. 20, and if you must drive, drive slowly using major streets or highways whenever possible. Vehicles take ling to stop on snow and ice, so drivers should be mindful of this if they choose to drive.

Pedestrians are cautioned to avoid slippery surfaces, sturdy boots that provide traction and heightened awareness of cars, particularly when approaching or crossing intersections. Older adults in particular are urged to take care when walking outside in the snow to avoid falls.

For more safety tips, visit To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit, call 311, or download the free app for your Android or Apple device. You can also follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

NY Breakthrough Infection, Unvaccinated Case Rates Both Halved Week as Omicron Recedes

New COVID infection data released by New York Thursday shows in the clearest terms yet the across-the-board retreat of the omicron wave, with both breakthrough and unvaccinated rates plunging by half since the last weekly report, which marked the first time either dipped since omicron emerged in the state.The latest week of data, which covers the Jan. ...

New COVID infection data released by New York Thursday shows in the clearest terms yet the across-the-board retreat of the omicron wave, with both breakthrough and unvaccinated rates plunging by half since the last weekly report, which marked the first time either dipped since omicron emerged in the state.

The latest week of data, which covers the Jan. 10 week, shows 125.5 per 100,000 fully vaccinated New Yorkers were infected, nearly half the rate (243.5) from the prior week. For unvaccinated New Yorkers, the risk more than halved -- from 2,009 COVID infections per 100,000 to 996.4 in the latest period of study.

Hospitalizations, which lag increases in cases, are now starting to trend down from the omicron peak. The dropoff is slower than the case descent -- with 5.17 per 100,000 fully vaccinated New Yorkers and 72.42 per 100,000 unvaccinated New Yorkers being admitted for COVID in the Jan. 10 week of data, the latest available.

Still, it's the first dropoff on that metric for both groups since the data period ending Nov. 1, when omicron was likely already circulating in New York City and the U.S. And it again shows the unparalleled power of vaccination, as one Manhattan ER doctor put it a day ago, to prevent severe COVID-linked illness and death.

Daily hospital admissions over time by vaccination status

Unvaccinated New Yorkers are still at least 14 times more likely than fully vaccinated New Yorkers to be hospitalized for COVID (last week's differential was about 13-fold, perhaps another indication of the vaccine-evasive variant's retreat).

They're about eight times as likely to get infected. Omicron, known for its heightened ability to infect vaccinated people, closed the gap on that metric by any account, but the risk remains markedly higher for people who aren't immunized.

The latest vaccine effectiveness data from the state supports the overall trends in core viral rates: Daily cases have fallen dramatically, hospitalizations are generally declining. Deaths, the ultimate lagging indicator, are holding at their recent high.

According to Gov. Kathy Hochul's most recent update, the rolling seven-day case average is down 43.6% from the prior rolling average, while new cases per 100,000 residents are declining in every one of the state's 10 regions.

New York City, which saw record-breaking daily cases regularly earlier this month, now has the lowest rolling positivity rate of the 10 regions (12.70%), followed by the other two highest vaccination rate regions of Mid-Hudson (14.07%) and Long Island (16.68%).

New statewide hospital admissions, meanwhile, are down 18.4% from the prior seven days, Hochul's office said.

The clear trend lines may indicate New York's statewide mask-or-vaccination order for businesses may soon be lifted. Hochul was asked last week, as she confirmed the downward trends, if she planned to let the order lapse on its set Feb. 2 expiration date. She said she wanted a bit more time before making a decision.

Omicron was probably in N.Y.C. well before the first U.S. case was detected, wastewater data suggest.

Omicron was probably present in New York City’s wastewater more than a week before the first case of the new variant was detected in the United States, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and researchers across the country.The samples suggest that someone in New York City may have had the Omicron variant as early as Nov. 21, four days before...

Omicron was probably present in New York City’s wastewater more than a week before the first case of the new variant was detected in the United States, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and researchers across the country.

The samples suggest that someone in New York City may have had the Omicron variant as early as Nov. 21, four days before South African scientists first announced cases of the variant and ten days before the first U.S. case was reported. Researchers in California and Texas also found evidence of Omicron in wastewater samples from late November.

The findings suggest that at the time, the Omicron variant was more widespread in the United States than the case data alone would indicate, and provide more evidence that wastewater surveillance can serve as an early warning system about the spread of new variants.

“At first it was uncertain whether this variant was going to come to the United States,” said Alexandria Boehm, an environmental engineer at Stanford and an author of the paper. “The wastewater answered that question way before the clinical samples could, and the answer was yes.”

The research does not provide conclusive evidence that Omicron was present in these cities. The virus present in wastewater is fragmented, and while the researchers detected many of Omicron’s telltale mutations, the findings do not prove that they were all present on the same genome.

Still, the results are highly suggestive, and are consistent with what scientists have learned about how quickly Omicron spreads and where it was likely to pop up first, said Amy Kirby, the program lead for the C.D.C.’s National Wastewater Surveillance System and an author of the paper.

“I don’t think anyone is surprised to see a new variant show up in a major city like New York first,” she said.

A team of scientists from several institutions — John Dennehy at Queens College, Monica Trujillo at Queensborough Community College, Davida Smyth at Texas A&M University and Marc Johnson at the University of Missouri — have been tracking the coronavirus in New York City’s wastewater since the summer of 2020. The team typically collects samples weekly and then sequences the virus they find.

The scientists collected one of their routine samples on Nov. 21 and sent it for sequencing two days later. By the time they got the results, in early December, the Omicron news had broken, and they “immediately recognized” the new variant’s distinct mutations, Dr. Dennehy said.

Dr. Boehm’s team took a different approach in California, using P.C.R. tests capable of detecting some of Omicron’s specific mutations. They got their first hit on Nov. 26, from a sample collected in Merced the previous day, Dr. Boehm said. They got another on a sample collected in Sacramento on Nov. 30.

The first confirmed case of Omicron in the U.S. was announced on Dec. 1.

“We have really rapid turnaround and really frequent sampling,” Dr. Boehm said. She added, “This just gives information way earlier than clinical sequencing can.”

Renderings Give 1st Look at ‘Transformative' New NYC Transit Line: What It Means for You

New renderings shared by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday offer a first look at the long-discussed and highly touted Interborough Express, a brand new transit line that could get people from Bay Ridge to Jackson Heights in 40 minutes or less and connect up to 17 subway lines, as well as create more connections to Manhattan.The Interborough Express Line, a major tra...

New renderings shared by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday offer a first look at the long-discussed and highly touted Interborough Express, a brand new transit line that could get people from Bay Ridge to Jackson Heights in 40 minutes or less and connect up to 17 subway lines, as well as create more connections to Manhattan.

The Interborough Express Line, a major transit expansion that would serve nearly 1 million commuters daily and generate significant economic growth, has been a concept in the making for decades. Questions about the feasibility -- financially, structurally and otherwise -- of the "transformative" new line have given pause.

Hochul sought to provide some illumination on that front Thursday, calling the line a "once-in-a-generation" infrastructure opportunity. It comes about two weeks after she said in her wide-ranging State of the State address that she had directed the MTA to begin an environmental review process for the Interborough Express Line.

She said Thursday she has also had an MTA consultant study the feasibility of building the new 14-mile freight line from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to Jackson Heights, Queens. Those findings will be incorporated into the MTA's environmental review and future project stages.

Stops along the way would include Sunset Park, Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, Flatbush, Flatlands, New Lots, Brownsville, East New York, Bushwick, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Maspeth and Elmhurst.

A transit line along this stretch, Hochul has said, would still preserve freight service and capacity will shepherding millions of New Yorkers a week, adding convenience for many and improving the daily quality of life for millions with limited mass transit access along the corridor immeasurably. It's a powerful equalizer, Hochul says.

For context: 7 of 10 residents within a 1/2 mile of the corridor are people of color; 1 in 2 are zero-car households; 3 in 10 households are below 150% of the poverty line; and 1 in 4 residents report speaking English "less than well."

At the same time, the corridor features a high concentration of jobs and people, with extensive growth projected over the next two decades. In 2020, the population was about 900,000 and is expected to be 941,000 by 2045. The 260,000 jobs in the area in 2020 are expected to boom to 275,000 in the same amount of time.

And the Brooklyn-Queens travel demand is undeniable, according to the state, which illustrates that point in the image below.

Determining fares will be the responsibility of the MTA Board when the time comes, but Hochul said they are expected to be equivalent to standard subway fares.

Public transit between Brooklyn and Queens has long been a slow, tedious process, with existing subway lines oriented toward Manhattan and the G subway line the only one that transports riders directly between the two boroughs.

The Interborough Express would supplement Manhattan transit, too, with fast new reliable connections, according to Hochul. She says the corridor would connect up to 17 subway lines, in addition to the Long Island Rail Road, expanding access to jobs for the 85,000 or so daily commuters from those areas who work in Manhattan.

Nearly 130,000 residents who make daily trips within or across Brooklyn and Queens, who now rely on buses that get caught on traffic or that one cross-borough subway line, to reach their destinations would reap extreme benefits, too.

Hochul highlighted six of those in her State of the State earlier this month:

She has established a multifaceted Technical Advisory Committee to assess the best commuter option -- conventional or light rail or bus rapid transit -- for the job.

Each alternative has its benefits, according to the governor. Conventional rail doesn't require physical separation from freight trains, relies on third-rail power, supports the 45-minute end-to-end travel time goals and looks like the commuter trains New Yorkers are accustomed to.

It would allow for shared freight and commuter rail tracks, supporting two economic components simultaneously, though some spots would need widening.

Light rail, on the other hand, would require physical separation from the freight trains to meet federal regulations. If feasible, it could rely on catenary or battery power -- and it could shave another 5 minutes-plus off the end-to-end time.

Under the bus rapid transit plan, you're looking at rechargeable battery-powered vehicles with a 41 minute end-to-end travel time. That option would also require separation from freight trains in accordance with federal regulations.

There are notable design constraints whatever the plan, Hochul's office says, but the potential benefits outweigh the challenges. Potentially, the line could be extended to the Bronx as well, Hochul said -- and discussed the feasibility of that.

So what kind of timeline are we looking at for a launch, much less a completion, of the project? It likely won't be any time soon. But Hochul says the initial investment is a critical component of the state's path forward.

She outlined the next steps on Thursday:

"It's time to invest in the bold, cutting-edge infrastructure projects that will make a real difference in the lives of everyday New Yorkers," the governor has said. "New Yorkers deserve reliable public transit that connects them from work to home and everywhere in between. The Interborough Express would be a transformational addition to Brooklyn and Queens, cutting down on travel time and helping neighborhoods and communities become cleaner, greener and more equitable."

What’s going on with remote learning in NYC? (Hint: It’s confusing.)

New York City families and educators may be feeling confused by mixed messages over whether the nation’s largest school system is poised to offer a remote option.Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday tamped down any expectations for a robust remote learning option for students. His comments came days after schools Chancellor David Banks told parent leaders that the city was in talks for just such a shif...

New York City families and educators may be feeling confused by mixed messages over whether the nation’s largest school system is poised to offer a remote option.

Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday tamped down any expectations for a robust remote learning option for students. His comments came days after schools Chancellor David Banks told parent leaders that the city was in talks for just such a shift, and after the city quietly changed its attendance policy to give more students access to virtual schoolwork.

The discussion about a remote option comes after COVID cases across New York City spiked to record highs due to the omicron variant. Since the winter break, attendance hasn’t cracked 80%, compared to around 90% typically. That means about a quarter-million students haven’t been in schools on any given day — almost the size of the entire Broward County, Fla. school district, the nation’s sixth-largest.

Here’s where things stand when it comes to a remote learning option for New York City students.

Is there a remote learning option for NYC students?

There currently is no remote learning option for New York City students — but city officials and unions have been in talks over the possibility of one.

“If I could figure out a way to do a remote option starting tomorrow I would,” Banks told parent leaders last week.

The new chancellor has been consistent in supporting a remote learning option, telling Chalkbeat before officially taking the helm of city schools that it’s “critically important” to acknowledge “that some parents are still fearful, legitimately, about the pandemic.”

While leaving the door open to the possibility, the chancellor and the mayor have both stressed that their main goal is to have students inside school buildings.

“We consistently have stated that the safest place for a child is in school,” Adams said Tuesday.

What might a remote option look like?

Any remote option offered to New York City families will likely be limited given city officials’ preference for in-person school, the massive disruptions a robust remote option might cause schools and families, potential challenges from unions, and the preference of many parents to keep their children in classrooms.

Among the big, unanswered questions: Who would be eligible for remote instruction?

The president of the teachers union, Michael Mulgrew, said last week that any shift to virtual learning should be limited. On Tuesday, the mayor suggested it would only be for students who are sick, saying that remote learning “is not for the general population, and we want to be clear on that.”

“Our exploration of anything remote is to target the children who are infected, and we want to isolate them,” Adams said. “Those are our target groups. It is not just to send a signal out if you don’t want to come to school, don’t come to school. No, our schools are open.”

What role might unions play?

Unions will likely play a central role in what, if anything, is rolled out.

To help solve the enormous staffing and logistical issues created by remote instruction, the chancellor had hinted that the city was pushing for teachers to livestream lessons. But the teachers union has been adamantly opposed to live streaming, and the city’s current agreement with the United Federation of Teachers prohibits any requirement to do so.

The Council for School Supervisors and Administrators, which represents principals, sent members an update last week that said leaders were “very surprised” to hear the chancellor’s support for a remote learning option.

The note to members laid out some of the union’s positions on remote learning, including that students who switch to remote learning should be locked in for the remainder of the school year, that principals be given autonomy and time to make adjustments, and that teachers be required to continue to work inside school buildings.

“??We’ve already communicated to the chancellor how disrespected and frustrated school leaders felt when learning about the prior administration’s plans for schools in the press,” the union’s message said. “We anticipate that he and his team will acknowledge and solve for the complex challenges that come along with this sudden and unexpected reversal midway through a school year.”

In the meantime, will students who stay home have access to remote work?

Since the beginning of the school year, teachers have been required to set up virtual classrooms to provide remote work, but some schools only allowed students to access that work if they had a positive COVID test or were quarantining because of positive cases. Students who stayed home because they weren’t feeling well because of some other illness, or for any other reason, could be left without any instruction.

Last week, the education department sent new guidance to principals that clarified that teachers can provide work to students, regardless of why they’re staying home, as long as the teacher and their supervisor agrees. Additionally, students can be marked as present while attending class remotely, even if they didn’t test positive themselves — a move that might help the city’s dismal attendance rates.

Educators and some parents had pushed for the changes, saying they had set up remote classrooms anyways and that it didn’t make sense to leave so many students without access to schoolwork.

“When kids are absent for whatever reason, we need a way to keep them connected and keep them engaged,” said Michael Perlberg, a middle school principal in Brooklyn.

The policy shift gives schools a stopgap measure while cases remain high, but it falls short of the kind of remote instruction made available earlier in the pandemic. Plus, it will only be available on a school-by-school basis — when teachers and principals agree to it — which could mean that many students remain disconnected from school.

Such concerns prompted some from one local district to call for more uniform guidance. Parent leaders and school principals in Brooklyn’s District 13, spanning Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights, drafted a petition calling on the city to guarantee access to virtual learning for students who are at home sick, whether they tested positive for COVID or not.

“It’s an equity issue because right now some schools can do it and some schools can’t,” said Cynthia McKnight, the president of the district’s Community Education Council, a parent-lead volunteer body. “There’s nothing centralized to offer these families remote learning.”


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