As more students return to school, New York City unveils '2021 Student Achievement Plan'

Coronavirus update for NYC
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza presented a 2021 Student Achievement Plan.

The plan aims to provide support for the city's children and their academic and emotional issues caused by the pandemic. It also sets out to give extra support to teachers.

1) Get a baseline of what ground we lost
2) Increasing high-quality digital curriculum available for every school
3) Launching a one-stop digital learning hub
4) Deepening professional development
5) Expanding "Parent University"
6) Confronting the trauma and mental health crisis faced by students

Both talked about the "new normal" for 2021 and said the digital divide is being closed.

"We are fully on track to make sure all the other students that had requested devices will have their devices before winter break, which is December 23rd. So, we are well on our way to making sure every student has their device," Carranza said.

In fact, Mayor de Blasio said a "digital approach" can be beneficial in some ways.

"I don't have any question in my mind that digital, for many many kids, gives them another avenue and a way to extend learning beyond the school day. And a way to, in a targeted fashion, pursue the areas where they need more growth," de Blasio said. "I think it's another tool that teachers can use to expand upon the work they do. Tutoring is great as well. But I think we have a lot of evidence, since March, of how digital can be helpful to kids."

And yet, many parents would argue that the digital components of this year's instruction are the problem.

"I don't think digital tools will be the answer," mother Munira Khapra-Reininger said. "My child just tunes our and dreads logging on."

Reininger says while she loves her son's school, the online component isn't ideal for her kindergartner.

Meantime, District 75 schools for students with special needs reopen for in-person learning in New York City.

The district includes more than 20,000 students.

Grades K through 5, Pre-K, and 3-K reopened on Monday with strict COVID testing policies.

There's still no return date set for middle and high school students.

The city says the testing in public schools has shown much better results than that in the general population.

The mayor didn't addressed summer school or expanded school hours, but he did say tutoring with non-profit partners could be an option.

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Starting on Monday, K-5, Pre-K and 3-K students return for in-person learning. District 75 special needs programs will return on Thursday.



Inside orange zone schools on Staten Island, which reopened on Wednesday, elementary, Pre-K, and 3-K schools must test 25% of each school's campus weekly.

"I am very hopeful, from what I am seeing, that these extraordinary health and safety measures really now have proven there is a very, very effective way to do this for the duration," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "And I believe we are going to have our schools open all the way, to
the point we link up with the widespread distribution of the vaccine."

The re-openings on Staten Island comes as indoor dining remains shut down across the borough's south shore.

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