NYC's remaining opt-in students return to classrooms for 1st time today

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Today is the first day back in classrooms for thousands of New York City school students.

51,000 students who opted in over the past month will return, marking the first time they will see the inside of their classrooms in more than a year.

This group is among a total 378,000 students who have opted for in-person learning out of 1.1 million New York City school students.

This most recent opt-in session came after the CDC said students only needed to be separated by 3 feet instead of 6 feet.

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The change in distance will also mean more schools can go to 5 days a week as opposed to a blended learning schedule.

Officials say this is all part a "kicking the tires" process as the city looks toward the next school year.

"It is too early to be able to tell you everything about September. But I can tell you this much: We want every child back in the classroom, and we're planning on every child being back in the classroom," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "And you know, a lot could happen between now and September."

"And we don't want to speak for all parents," the may or continued. "We know that some of them may still have tremendous sensitivity and concern, and we're going to work with that. But the goal, the thing we're planning on, is if every single one of our children - one million children - showed up on opening day of school, that we would be ready to accommodate them. And we're going to do whatever it takes to be able to give them a safe, positive environment."

The mayor says he is working towards blended learning not even being an option for parents this fall.

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