Back-to-school NYC: 1st day of in-person learning for middle and high schoolers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- More students across New York City began in-person learning Thursday amid rising COVID cases in some parts of the city.

For the first time in nearly seven months, middle and high schoolers are once again back inside the classroom.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carranza greeted families at One World Middle School in Edenwald.


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Middle and high schoolers in the city began in-person hybrid learning on Thursday.



"We did it! We did it! You did it! New York City did it! It's an amazing moment," Mayor Bill de Blasio said of the opening. "We did something that other cities in this country could only dream of."
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Diana Rocco has more on the first day of in-person learning for middle and high schoolers in New York City.


In this unprecedented year, it's actually the third first day of school in the district.

"It's not going to be perfect right at the beginning, but we will continue to perfect and get better and build capacity as we go. Day one will not look like week one, will not look like what month one, or first semester, we're going to continue to get better," Carranza said.
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Richard Carranza wished everyone a happy "last" first day of school for this school year.



If that doesn't sound complicated enough, the teacher's union says that even after all the delays, they still do not have enough teachers to fully staff schools.

RELATED: Stay informed with ABC7's NYC COVID-19 positivity rate tracker

That means some high schools have a situation where the students are in class, but the teacher will be remote, on a screen.

The pandemic is forcing so many complications.

MORE: More in-person learning in New York City; 110 teachers/staff have tested positive for COVID
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Lauren Glassberg has more on how schools are keeping students safe as they return back to school.



And now, with COVID cases rising in some neighborhoods, some are wondering how long in-person will last.

"We have a very unusual situation here, where we have an uptick in a discrete set of zip codes," said Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday. "And we are not seeing an interconnection to our public school system. So we will watch it very carefully - daily, hourly. If at any point we determine we need to close an individual school, or any number of schools in that area, we will."

On Thursday, the mayor reiterated that their mission is to keep schools open, "all the way through" the school year.

And there are even more complications.

MORE: Gov. Cuomo responds to principals call for state takeover of New York City schools
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The principals unanimously declared a vote of "no confidence" for Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, and Gov. Cuomo responded.



While some are calling for city schools to be fully remote, City Councilman Joseph Borelli on Staten Island says he is suing the city, demanding schools begin in-person learning for everyone.

He is expected to provide more details on his plan at later Thursday morning.

ALSO READ: NYC Back to School: UFT says New York City needs 6-7K more teachers due to remote learning demands


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The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.


RELATED: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut out-of-state travelers quarantine list

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