Some New York City Schools to Reopen

However, most middle schools and high schools in New York City will continue with distance learning until further notice.

Some New York City Schools to Reopen

New York – Some New York City public schools will start to phase out hybrid learning and resume in-person classes in early December.

On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced that students in 3-K and Pre-K programs, as well as those in grades K-5 who have opted for in-person learning will return to school buildings December 7, and campuses serving students with the most significant disabilities will return on December 10. Middle schools and high schools will continue with distance learning until further notice.

The move comes as city officials faced criticism that their previous COVID-19 policies prioritized indoor dining and other economic activities over children’s education, reports the New York Times.

New York closed its schools on November 19 after its seven-day coronavirus-test-positivity rate reached 3%. However, de Blasio said the city will revise its 3% positivity rate threshold.

He also said the system would work towards giving parents the option to send their children to face-to-face classes five days per week, effectively eliminating the hybrid-learning system, reports the New York Times. However, only students can return to in-person classes if they’ve already signed up for them. That means only 190,000 children would be eligible.

A consent form for testing will be required for all students and staff, and every school will participate in weekly random testing for 20% of their in-person population.

“Our schools are safe, and the most recent positivity rate is 0.28%–453 positive cases out of 159,842 tests,” the mayor and chancellor said in a press release. “The Situation Room will continue to take fast action following established protocol for tracing COVID cases that are reported from both outside and in-school testing.”

Studies haven’t found there to be a link between the reopening of schools and the spread of COVID-19. In early October, Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s top public health official, said his state had not yet seen a link. In late October, two international studies showed no consistent relationship between in-person K-12 schooling and the transmission of the coronavirus, reports NPR. Additionally, a U.S. study showed no elevated risk to childcare workers who stayed on the job.

New York City’s move comes as many other major cities in the U.S. have suspended in-person learning. The nation’s coronavirus death toll is nearly 270,000.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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