May 24, 2021 By Allie Griffin
New York City public schools will reopen in the fall with full in-person learning for all students — and no remote option, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
The announcement is a switch from the current school year in which most students either attend a mix of remote and in-person classes or fully remote classes. The families of nearly 60 percent of the city’s one million public school students have opted to keep their children home to learn online this year.
“I’m very pleased to announce that New York City public schools will fully reopen in September,” de Blasio said. “Every single child will be back in the classroom.”
Students and school staff will still need to wear masks inside schools in the fall and 3-feet social distancing rules will be in place in line with CDC guidance, Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter said.
On-site random COVID-19 testing will also continue in school buildings.
Teachers and school staffers, who currently can work remotely for medical reasons, will not have that option in the fall. All staff will work in person.
“There will not be a remote option, because of that there will be no COVID-related accommodations,” Ross-Porter said. “The last 14 months put a stark spotlight on how nothing can replace the importance of the in-person educator in class with his or her students. ”
The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) welcomed the return of full in-person learning.
“With vaccines now widely available and the COVID-19 numbers dropping, we want and need our students physically in front of us again… We look forward to getting back to a more familiar version of what we do best — educating the children of New York City,” the union said in a statement.
At least half of educators are fully vaccinated at this time and that number is expected to rise by the fall, she said.
Children aged 12 and up can also now receive the Pfizer vaccine as well.
De Blasio said getting all students back in schools will help the city overall.
“This is going to be crucial for families — so many parents are relieved — and it’s also going to help us move this whole city forward,” he said.
Ross-Porter is hosting virtual forums for each borough over the coming days to discuss the next school year with families. The Queens forum will be held this Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Those interested in participating can register here.