NYC Mayor: Schools to Resume In-class Learning (MSNBC)
Monday, 24 May 2021 09:28 AM
New York City's school system, the largest in the country, will offer no remote learning option in the fall, requiring all of its 1.1 million students to attend classes in person after more than a year of disruption caused by the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.
"You can't have a full recovery without full-strength schools, everyone back sitting in those classrooms, kids learning again," de Blasio said on MSNBC. "And that's what's going to happen in September."
The system has been operating on a pandemic-induced hybrid weekly schedule in the current school year in which students are in class for three days and learning remotely for two days, and then reversing the pattern on an alternating basis.
De Blasio said the hybrid option would no longer be offered when classes resume in September, even though most parents have opted not to have their children attend classes even part of the week, preferring all-remote instruction instead.
The move comes as positivity rates for the coronavirus in New York and the country have settled into a sustained period of decline as more people become vaccinated. Nearly half of the U.S. population has had at least one dose of a vaccine, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Given the declining number of new COVID-19 cases, de Blasio said he expected the CDC to relax its current guidelines that require students to maintain social distancing of three feet (1 meter) before the start of the next school year.
"Right now in New York City public schools, we can have every child three feet apart, we could make that work if we had to," the mayor said. "But I actually fundamentally believe by August, the CDC will relax those rules further to recognize the progress that we've made in this country."