New York City public schools will begin to reopen on December 7

Joanna Estrada
Декабря 1, 2020

Councilman Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore) said he would "keep pushing" his two pending lawsuits to make sure schools fully reopen five days a week for the families who request it - shortly after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that preschool, elementary and District 75 special education students would return to school buildings starting next week amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Middle schoolers and high schoolers will continue remote learning for the time being, de Blasio said.

With the reopening of schools next month, to enter a classroom, students must have a signed consent form agreeing to coronavirus testing or a letter of medical exemption from a doctor, de Blasio said.

De Blasio said in a press conference that he is focusing on lower grades "because we know studies consistently show younger kids are having less of a negative experience and there is less concern about the spread when it comes to younger kids". But less than a third of them, around 300,000, returned to face-to-face school in September, with many parents choosing the 100% online option for fear of the virus. "Finally, as we reopen, wherever possible we will move to 5 day a week in-person learning". The most recent 7-day rolling average positivity rate for all of New York City is 3.9 percent, de Blasio said.

The city will also be ramping up the testing in schools by testing students and staff on a weekly basis rather than monthly, as it had been doing for the eight weeks that schools were open. "Even in this school year we have the real possibility of bringing back a large number of kids once the vaccine gets pretty widely distributed".

New York City's teachers union said it supported the plan on the condition of stringent testing. "Our schools never should have closed, and we are thrilled that 190,000 kids will be back in school next week", the group said in a statement.

"We're going to address in the future of middle school and high school, but we're not ready for those yet".

New York City exceeded the 3% threshold early in November, and things have slightly worsened since then. The New York Times reported that parents of the roughly 24,000 children with disabilities in District 75 have long pressed for more in-person learning.

Rates of positive coronavirus tests at school sites have remained low, however.

The governor retains the power to override the city and close schools in neighborhoods where the test positivity rate surges, de Blasio noted.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article