State Watch

New York City schools will reopen, limiting attendance to 1 to 3 days a week

coronavirus COVID-19 community spread new york city 7.5 million face masks covering free residents non ppe bill de blasio mayor governor anthony cuomo
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New York City schools will partially reopen this upcoming school year as the nation’s largest city tries to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Wednesday that classroom attendance would be limited to one to three days a week starting in September as he tries to walk the line between reopening schools and maintaining social distancing to protect students. 

Under the plan, there will likely be no more than a dozen people in a single classroom at any given time, including teachers, staffers and students.

“We are planning to reopen @NYCSchools this fall while putting health and safety FIRST,” de Blasio tweeted. “75% of families want to send their kids back to school in the fall. Our job is to make it safe and make it work for every family.”

“Through a mix of in-school and at-home learning we can make more space in every classroom and building. That means most kids coming to school 2 days a week,” he added. “We will do it the right way. We will keep everyone safe.”

Under de Blasio’s plan, laid out at a Wednesday press conference, principals will determine which of three staggered schedule options they will use in their schools, a decision that will hinge on how many students and staff can be in the building while maintaining appropriate distance. Families will be informed in August which days children can be sent to school and which days will be spent learning remotely. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), with whom de Blasio has clashed in the past, has authority over school openings across the state and has the power to change the mayor’s timeline. 

New York City schools were shuttered earlier this year when the city became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. The city and the state have since flattened the curve as other states have seen alarming spikes in COVID-19 cases. 

The local government intends to survey parents to figure out how many plan to keep their children home from school. The vast majority of public school students in the city are low-income, and many of their parents are essential workers who have been reporting to their jobs throughout the pandemic.

The announcement of the partial reopening comes as President Trump launches a pressure campaign to try to get schools to reopen their doors in the fall, threatening Wednesday morning to cut off federal funding for schools if they do not resume in-person learning.

Tags Andrew Cuomo Bill de Blasio Donald Trump Education New York City New York City Department of Education

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