Mayor de Blasio: NYC public schools to begin phased reopening next month

Mayor Bill de Blasio is holding a news conference to give an update on the coronavirus pandemic in New York City.

News 12 Staff

Nov 30, 2020, 3:14 AM

Updated 1,267 days ago

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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that a phased reopening of New York City public schools will begin on Dec. 7.
During a press conference, the mayor said that buildings will first reopen for: 3-K, pre-K and grades K-5.
District 75 schools at all grade levels will welcome students back on Dec. 10.
There is currently no scheduled reopening date for middle or high schools. The mayor signaled that those students will eventually return as well, but there's no set timetable at this time.
Upon reopening, there will be weekly coronavirus tests instead of monthly tests.
Testing consent forms will also be required for students and the city also hopes to phase out the blended learning model and move to in-person learning five days a week.
"I want to emphasize this," de Blasio said. "Students will not be able to attend school without a consent form on record."
There will also be weekly testing for 20% of the kids in school instead of monthly testing of the same percentage number.
Families can fill out consent forms now on their accounts at mystudent.nyc.
Students that opted for remote learning will remain under the same procedures.
Daily indicators for the city show 130 hospitalizations and a 3.90% positivity rate on the seven-day rolling average.
"We think this approach, using all these measures to make it work, is the sounder approach. I've had this conversation with the governor, our teams have talked. We all agree that we have a different reality than what we had in the summer and that this is now the way forward and the best way to protect everyone," de Blasio said.
And with these changes, parents and teachers say the city is starting to listen to them a little bit, but the communication factor is still missing by not having them involved in these conversations.
"On one hand, he's showing that he's listening a little bit more, so at least testing will be once a week as opposed to once a month. But I still have a problem with the idea of not testing everyone but just 20% of the population, so we know that testing is not prevention," said Farah Despeignes, District 8 CEC president.
In a statement, Michael Mulgrew of United Federation of Teachers said, "While schools in the city's high-impact red and orange coronavirus zones will continue to abide by the state's 3% closing rules, we are supportive of a phased reopening of schools in other neighborhoods as long as stringent testing is in place. This strategy — properly implemented — will allow us to offer safe in-person instruction to the maximum number of students until we beat the pandemic."


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