NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The only "opt-in" period for New York City students wishing to switch from full-remote to blended learning is underway.
November 2 through November 15 is the only time that families will be able to make that change. If they do not, they will be fully remote for the entire school year, according to officials.
For information on opting-in to the blended learning plan the city posted information at schools.nyc.gov/returntoschool2020.
"Now that they've seen school up and running, now that they've gotten a chance to see how schools are running, parents have a lot more information, and I understand parents wanting more information before making that choice," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "Now that we've been able to show how our schools are working, it's time for an opt-in period. It's time to give parents and students a chance to come back into the schools."
As of October, 280,000 students are attending school in-person as part of the city's blended learning option. De Blasio said the city will have a plan in the "next couple days" on how to reopen its schools in red and orange zones, although the mayor indicated he expects those micro cluster zones to soon shrink.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that schools can reopen if they test all students and staff before resuming in person learning and conduct weekly screenings of 25% percent of students moving forward.
In the New York City public school system, 45 school sites remain closed in the Red Zone. There are more than 200 private and parochial schools in that same area.
While the city is formulating its plan to reopen those schools, the mayor said he hoped "in the course of this week, you will see the red zones compress and fewer and fewer areas needing those restrictions."
"You could well see some changes to those red zones in the course of this week," he said. "That's obviously the best solution, to have those red zones turn to yellow, and then the schools reopening protocols are very straightforward."
The city said overall attendance was at 85.3%, lower than they'd like to see. Blended learning students' attendance was 82.9%, while remote-learning students' attendance was 85.5%.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew responded to City Hall's decision to reduce the opportunities for parents to opt-in to blended learning
"City Hall's decision violates the plan New York City filed with the state, and it breaks faith with parents," Mulgrew said. "Families were told they would have an opportunity each quarter to decide whether their child returned to the classroom or remained fully remote. Such a decision undermines parents' trust in the system."
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