NYC Schools will reopen fully in September with no remote option, Mayor de Blasio says

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City Schools will reopen fully in September. There will not be a remote option.

The first day for students is set for September 13.

"It's time, it's really time to go full strength now," Mayor de Blasio said in a televised interview.

By eliminating the remote option, this announcement also means the remote teaching accommodations will no longer be offered.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announces New York City Schools will fully reopen in September.

The United Federation of Teachers says they have been preparing teachers for a return to classrooms in September, and sent this to members on medical accommodations:

"Please be aware that any medical accommodations that have been granted this school year will expire on June 30. With vaccines now available, we do not anticipate that the DOE will grant blanket accommodations for high-risk populations as it did this school year in response to the COVID-19 crisis. DOE employees will be able to apply for individual medical accommodations that existed before the pandemic, and the DOE will look at each individual's situation to determine whether it will grant the accommodation."

UFT President Michael Mulgrew also released a statement Monday morning saying, "There is no substitute for in-person instruction. NYC educators want their students physically in front of them. We want as many students back in school as safely possible. We are glad the Department of Education will hold open houses to show parents how safe our schools are.

"We still have concerns about the safety of a small number of students with extreme medical challenges. For that small group of students, a remote option may still be necessary."

The mayor's announcement comes as more than 60% of the city's one million public school students continue to learn full-time from home.

Mayor de Blasio said parents are welcome to visit the schools over the summer and see the safety precautions.

Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter said the district has heavily invested in nurses, ventilation, and testing to help keep kids safe.

She touted a very low positivity rate in the school system of 0.16%.

"Masks will be required and we will continue to follow the CDC's social distancing guidelines," Ross Porter said.

Principal Melissa Donath has been at PS 22 on Staten Island for 14 years - she heard the mayor on the radio Monday morning.

"Very excited that the whole school community could be back together again," Donath said.

Governor Cuomo said he sees all schools in the state being back full-time for students.

"We have to get back to school. With the current trajectory, there's no reason why we can't open school statewide in September," he said. "I believe it will be all across the state unless something dramatic happens, I don't see any reason why we wouldn't open all schools."

Just last month, 51,000 students returned to their classrooms in New York City after taking advantage of the final opt-in period for this school year.

It was the first time those students had seen the inside of a classroom in more than a year.

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