NYC mayor: Public schools will be all in person this fall

Marco Green
May 25, 2021

In a surprise move Monday morning Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that New York City will offer no remote learning option for public school students in the fall, clearing the way for the return to in-person learning at America's largest school district come September 13.

"New York City public schools, one million kids, will be back in their classroom in September, all in-person, no remote", said de Blasio.

Many parents will likely still be reluctant to bring their children back to school, but, de Blasio said, New York City schools will start hosting open houses next month for parents to see what COVID precautions they have taken.

'We're going to be back strong, ready and safe, ' de Blasio told hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

"We're going to set a statewide policy which will govern all school districts". Currently, families can chose between remote or in-person (the "opt-in" period ended in April for the remainder of the school year), and 60 percent of students are still schooling from home.

"It's time for everyone to come back", said de Blasio, a Democrat.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers remarks in Times Square after he toured the grand opening of a Broadway COVID-19 vaccination site meant to jump-start the city's entertainment industry, in New York last month.

"Anyone who has a question or concern, come into your child's school".

At a press conference Monday, the mayor said that he believes schools could make 3-feet social distancing work, but that he expects the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will relax the requirements more by August.

"We can't live in the grip of COVID the rest of our lives", de Blasio said.

Mark Cannizzaro, the head of the union that represents principals, said in a statement that "with the proper resources and support, our schools will continue to be safe, and the return of all staff for in-person instruction will allow schools to properly program in advance".

Officials confirmed to Chalkbeat New York that with De Blasio's announcement, coronavirus-related remote teaching options will no longer be offered to educators in the fall. De Blasio's announcement comes a week after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that there would be no remote option for that state's public school students come September.

De Blasio said city schools would be able to accommodate all students under current guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that call for 3 feet of separation, but he speculated that the standard may be relaxed before the city's public schools open on September 13.

Students and teachers will also have to fill out daily health screenings, and school buildings need to have a nurse, working ventilation system and on-site COVID testing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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