New York City high schools reopen
New York City high schools reopened Monday for the first time since November for thousands of students who opted for in-person learning.
The U.S.’s largest school district was expected to welcome up to 55,000 students, or about 20 percent of the district’s high school population, this week while the majority continues remote learning, ABC7 New York reported.
The city’s education chancellor, Meisha Ross Porter, announced earlier this month that about half of the city’s high schools would offer in-person instruction five days per week to all or most students, according to CNN.
Porter told families in a letter last week that the high schools would have the same coronavirus safety measures as middle and elementary schools, including wearing masks, social distancing and weekly random COVID-19 testing.
The return of the city’s high school students comes after middle school students came back to schools in February and elementary school students returned to in-person learning in December. New York City schools shut down in November due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Thousands of staff members returned to schools last week in preparation for the high schools’ reopening, Fox 5 New York reported.
As the district prepares for spring break starting on March 29, it is requiring students and staff who travel to a location on New York’s advisory list to quarantine for 10 days or test out based on state regulations.
The reopening to in-person high schools marks a step toward Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) goal to open all schools for five days a week in September, with the understanding some families may continue to opt for online learning.
It also comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) loosened its social distancing requirement for classrooms to 3 feet instead of 6 feet, although gatherings at sporting events, assemblies, lunch and chorus practice still require 6 feet social distancing, Fox 5 New York noted.