New York City is moving ‘full steam head’ with reopening of schools in September with a cap on maximum number of children allowed in and ‘every conceivable space’ used to maintain social distancing
- Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday New York City schools will open on September 10
- Mayor said each of city’s 1,866 schools will determine the maximum number of students that will be allowed in the building while practicing social distancing
- Schools that will not be able to accommodate all students at once might have to put in place staggered schedule
- Department of Education surveyed 450,000 families and found 75 per cent want to send their children to school in September
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday morning that New York City is moving ‘full steam ahead’ with plans to reopen public schools in September with social distancing guidelines in place.
‘Each school will have a number, that is the maximum number that can be in that school with social distancing. Using every conceivable space in that school, we are going to convert everything that can be converted into a classroom to accommodate social distancing,’ the mayor said during his daily briefing at City Hall.
‘For schools that cannot accommodate all their kids in the building at one time, by definition, some kind of staggered schedule. That piece will be determined with the schools.’
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday morning that New York City is moving ‘full steam ahead’ with plans to reopen public schools on September 10
Students will be required to wear face coverings and stay six feet apart, and schools will have hand-washing stations and deep-cleaning protocols in place
A staggered schedule could entail having students split into groups, with some attending classes in person, while others learning remotely from home, or having alternate school days, or half-day shifts.
De Blasio promised that the ‘final configuration’ concerning staggered schedules will be announced ‘well in advance’ to allow parents ample time to plan accordingly.
New York City has the largest school system in the nation, with more than 1.1million students enrolled in 1,866 schools.
As coronavirus cases and deaths were climbing in New York City in mid-March, De Blasio shuttered the schools and switched the district to remote learning, which has proven equally challenging for educators, students and parents.
The mayor acknowledged the hurdles facing public schools as the city, along with the rest of the nation and the world, continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
De Blasio closed city schools in mid-March as the number of coronavirus cases and deaths was on the rise in New York City
Schoolteachers Aurora Chen (L) and Melissa Wong (C) give a gift from the graduating committee to a student who just graduated at Yung Wing School P.S. 124 on June 29
‘We know the sheer logistical challenges with schools that were overcrowded before the coronavirus and now have to practice social distancing,’ he said.
The mayor said that a recent Department of Education survey has found that 75 per cent of families supported sending their children back to school in September.
When schools reopen on September 10, students, teachers and staff will be required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing, which will entail staying at least 6 feet apart, although the mayor did not say how that will be enforced.
In addition, hand-washing stations will be set up and school facilities will be deep-cleaned daily to curb the spread of COVID-19.