6 DECEMBER 3, 2020 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
NYC public middle, high schools won’t reopen doors until 2021
BY ALEJANDRA O'CONNELL-DOMENECH
New York City public middle and
high school students will not
return to schools for in-person
learning until early next year, Mayor
Bill de Blasio said on Monday.
“The focus will be over the next few
weeks up until the Christmas break,
getting elementary, District 75 special
education and Pre-K and 3-K up and
running … then we are going to come
back aft er the holidays, we are going to
be able to assess the situation then,” de
Blasio told reporters at a Nov. 30 press
On Sunday, de Blasio had announced
that students enrolled for in-person
classes at public schools will begin to
return to recently re-shuttered school
buildings in phases beginning Dec. 7.
The city’s youngest learners, 3-K
and Pre-K students, are the fi rst group
scheduled to return to buildings with
the city District 75 students set to return
to in-person classes on Dec.10.
The mayor issued a systemwide
shutdown of public schools aft er the
city’s COVID-19 positivity rate based on
a seven-day average reached 3 percent
on Nov. 19, which was set as a trigger
for school closures in the mayor’s stateapproved
school reopening plan during
Since the second citywide public
school closure due to COVID, offi cials
have scrambled to come up with a new
reopening plan and de Blasio repeatedly
emphasizing the importance COVID-19
testing will play in allowing students to
return to buildings.
Now, students will need to submit
signed COVID-19 testing parental consent
forms online or to their school’s
leadership before being allowed to reenter
the building. In addition, school
communities will be tested for COVID-19
more frequently once schools re-open.
Beginning the week of Dec. 7, 20 percent
of all children and adults in a school
building are required to be tested at
random for the virus every week.
The city began requiring monthly
testing of 20 percent of all adults
and children in school buildings in
“We are going to keep building up our
testing,” de Blasio said Monday. “I want
us to move on to middle and high school
as soon as we can but we have to do one
step at a time.”
The number of families interested in
sending their children back to public
schools to take part in blended learning
are the minority. Only about 330,000
out of the city’s 1.1 million public school
students are enrolled in blended, according
to the most recent data from
the Department of Education.
On Monday, de Blasio touted that
most of the students who will return
to school buildings next month will be
able to attend in-person classes for fi ve
days of the week.
“For the kids who did choose, for the
families that did choose in-person, we
will be able to move to fi ve days a week
or at least more days a week in a lot of
schools,” said de Blasio.
Even so, the city has not revealed how
it plans to improve remote learning,
which has been plagued with challenges
Instead, de Blasio and Schools Chancellor
Richard Carranza have repeatedly
said that the city is working on
improving remote learning. They’ve
commended teachers for stepping up
to the plate during one of the most trying
school years in the city’s history and
pushed in-person learning as the best
option for students.
Photo via Getty Images
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