Schools in New York City, the nation’s largest school district with about 1.1 million students, will begin phasing out hybrid learning and move toward resuming in-person classes on December 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered, CNN reports.
Public school buildings have been closed since November 19, when the city recorded a seven-day moving average positive testing rate of 3 percent. That number was set by the mayor, and the city is still above that mark.
So much for sticking to a plan, arbitrary as it might be.
— Megan Moskop-Toler (@msmoskop) November 29, 2020
“It’s less concern about the spread when it comes to younger kids,” the network quoted the mayor as saying. “Also the demands that our parents are going through. I feel for all our parents who are experiencing so many challenges right now, how important it is for them to have their younger kids in school, how important it is at that age both educationally, socially, but also in terms of how parents juggle all the challenges in their life.”
The order does not affect middle or high school students, but some elementary (and younger) students can begin returning to their classrooms Monday, depending on the choices they and their parents made regarding remote learning earlier this fall.
“Getting our kids back in school buildings is one of the single most important things we can do for their wellbeing, and it’s so important that we do it right,” Schools Chancellor Richard A Carranza said in a statement.
The reopening is limited to students who have already opted for a hybrid model, and only about 190,000 of the 335,000 students who chose hybrid learning are actually eligible to return to school buildings, the mayor said at a news conference. The other 145,000 students will remain in remote learning with no target date for a return, Mr De Blasio said.
And more than 500,000 students in all grades who chose a fully-remote learning model earlier this fall will continue in that model.