New York City Delays Return to Classrooms

Mayor cites a shortage of staff and supplies
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 17, 2020 12:50 PM CDT
NYC Delays In-Person School for Most Students
In this Sept. 9 photo, students wear protective masks as they arrive for classes at the Immaculate Conception School in the Bronx. The return to public schools is now delayed.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

New York City’s ambitious attempt to be among the first big cities to bring students back into classrooms closed by the coronavirus suffered another setback Thursday, as the mayor announced he was again delaying the start of in-person instruction for most students due to a shortage of staff and supplies, per the AP. Bill De Blasio announced a new timeline that will keep most elementary school students out of their physical classrooms until Sept. 29. Middle and high school students will learn remotely through Oct. 1. “We are doing this to make sure all of the standards we set can be achieved,” de Blasio said. The plan, which has now been delayed twice since it was announced in July, is for the majority of the more than 1 million public school students to be in the classroom one to three days a week and learning remotely the rest of the time.

About 42% of families have opted for remote-only instruction. The delay came just days before students across the nation's largest school district were set to resume in-person instruction Monday. Now, only pre-kindergarten students and some other special education students will be going back into physical classrooms next week. “It’s not good enough because they’re still just kicking the can down the road,” said Daniel Leviatin, a fourth-grade teacher and school librarian at PS 59 in the Bronx. Leviatin questions what an additional eight days will change, noting that reopening should not be a blanket decision but one driven by school or neighborhood data.

(More New York City stories.)

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