NYC Chancellor visits Harbor School to highlight importance of in-person learning

GOVERNORS ISLAND (WABC) -- Schools are in their final stretch before summer break and come September, remote learning will no longer be an option in New York City.

To highlight the importance of in-person learning, the City's schools chancellor took a trip to a high school campus.

At this school, lessons roll in with the tides.

"This is a reef sitting just off the shore of Governors Island," _____ said.

Maritime studies and aquaculture are not normally part of New York City's public school offerings or setting, but that's what brought New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter to the New York Harbor School on Governors Island Wednesday.

Porter rode the ferry and then, like so many students, she took the helm of a boat simulator.

"This feeling you can't get from a computer screen you have to be in the moment in the space that we've all had since we've been here this morning," Porter said.

But this past year, so many of the school's 515 students were remote and missing out on tactile experiences, like captaining a boat and helping oysters repopulate the harbor.

"We're actually making a change," one student said. "What the school is doing is important."

The students say they are just so happy to be back in person.

"They teach you life skills that are specific to this industry and they stick with you," junior Jayden Haynes said.

Brien darcy/junior

"It's made me want to come to school every morning which is pretty surprising for most teenagers," junior Brien Darcy said.

There are 1800 schools in the New York City public school system and the chancellor obviously won't visit all of them, but a visit here is a strong reminder of how important experiential learning is.

"Our teachers here have done such an amazing job of remote, making sure students got lessons, but there's nothing that replaces the excitement of being here. It's a totally different learning experience," Porter said.

Which is why the chancellor is full speed ahead for in-person learning in September.

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