The bulk of city schools that serve kids up to 5th grade should eventually be able to open on a full-time basis, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.
“Most schools — of the ones that we’ve announced, let’s be very clear, elementary K-5; PreK, 3-K centers, District 75 special ed — most will be able to get to five-day over time, some as early as Monday, December 7th,” Hizzoner said at his daily briefing. “Some will take more time.”
De Blasio unveiled the city’s plans to revive the nation’s largest school system on Dec. 7 after shuttering buildings prior to Thanksgiving.
Currently, a total of 335,000 kids are enrolled in the Department of Education’s blended learning format that has kids alternate between remote and classroom instruction.
Of those, about 190,000 students are in the grade ranges that could return to school full time.
De Blasio said Monday that the city would consider offering parents another opportunity to switch from full-remote to building learning.
Families had a two-week window to make that decision earlier this month and 35,000 kids opted in.
“When the health situation improves — and particularly when we start to see some vaccine distribution on a broader scale and we think we’re in a much better environment — then we’ll do an opt-in because then we’ll be in a position to do an entirely different approach to our schools,” he said. “But, for now, this will be the universe of folks who will be in in-person learning.”
De Blasio has stressed that reopening schools will require more testing of students.
Previously, the DOE screened a random sample of kids on a monthly basis. That process will now take place weekly.
The city is still pressing parents to turn in testing consent forms to enable the testing of their kids.
As of last week, about 171,000 of the 335,000 kids in blended learning had submitted them, according to the DOE.