Coronavirus Update New York City: More NYC students can opt into in-person learning, de Blasio says

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Following the CDC announcement that reduces guidance on distancing in elementary schools from six feet to three feet, New York City Mayor de Blasio says the city will announce a plan soon to allow more students to opt-in to in-person learning starting next week.

When New York City public schools reopened to elementary and middle school students parents had a limited window to opt in to in-person learning so each school would know how many students were interested.

"Today I'm announcing there will be a new opt-in period for our public schools," de Blasio said.

The first opt-in period will be for parents of preschool and elementary students and will start next week.

"The guidance from CDC treats the younger grades differently than the older grades so we are confident that we will be able to in the month of April bring back younger students through an opt-in," de Blasio said.

As for middle school and high school students, the mayor said "there are a lot of questions."

Parents of those students will also be asked if they would like to opt in, so the city knows how many students in those grades would be interested, but it is unclear when they will actually be able to return to classes.

The details of the plan will be announced on Monday.

"What we can say is for parents of kids in the younger grades, we are confident that we'll be able to bring back a substantial number of students by the end of April," the mayor said.

"I am excited by this news," Chancellor Meisha Porter said. "Our focus on health and safety will not change. With the updated CDC guidance, we will continue to follow the science and keep a close eye on community transmission."

The United Federation of Teachers was not pleased with the announcement, writing in a statment that they would take guidance from the state, not the mayor.

"This mayor has come out with another proclamation without any plan or authority to proceed. We will wait for new york state to weigh in as we continue to do the real work of keeping our school communities safe and do things properly in these uncertain times," the statement read.

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