NEW YORK, NY – To reduce the spread of COVID-19, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that schools would not fully reopen in the fall.
New York City has the largest school district in the country, consisting of 1,800 schools and accommodating approximately 1.1 million students. According to the New York Times, NYC is facing extreme pressure as it determines how to reopen schools safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these concerns, Mayor de Blasio announced a hybrid education plan that will employ a combination of face-to-face and online learning.
Under this plan, students will be in the school building between one and three days each week, and they will participate in online classes on days they are at home. The partial reopening plan will significantly decrease the total number of students at the school during a single day, limiting the possibility of a severe COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, this new plan will reduce class sizes to 12 people, including teachers and student aids, to allow for social distancing.
De Blasio explained that a hybrid education plan and staggered school schedules are the best ways to keep students and teachers safe, as they go back to school in the fall. However, many teachers are frustrated by the limitations of online learning systems, and numerous parents are struggling to find childcare and education support when school is not in session.
Nevertheless, Mayor de Blasio anticipates that this partial school reopening will help keep the number of new COVID-19 cases in New York City low. He also hopes that limiting school reopening will prevent a second wave of the coronavirus from overtaking the city.