NEW YORK___ Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today announced a plan to safely reopen New York City school buildings for in-person instruction with more rigorous testing protocols in place. Students in 3-K and Pre-K programs, as well as those in grade k through grade 5 who have opted for in-person learning will return to school buildings on Monday, December 7, and schools serving students with the most significant disabilities, known as District 75, will return on December 10th. Middle and High Schools will remain remote for the time being.
“Reopening our buildings is paramount to our city’s recovery from COVID-19,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “That’s why we are doubling down on the safety and health measures that work to make in-person learning a reality for so many of our students.”
“Getting our kids back in school buildings is one of the single most important things we can do for their wellbeing, and it’s so important that we do it right,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “The unparalleled value of in-person learning for students has been evident in the first few months of school, and we will do everything we can to keep our schools safe and keep them open for the duration of this pandemic.”
By the time students return to buildings on December 7th, a consent form for testing will be required for all students and staff, and every school will participate in weekly random testing for 20 percent of their in-person population. Parents can fill out the consent form online using a New York City Schools Account (NYCSA) at mystudent.nyc or print and sign the form and bring it to school on their first day back to buildings.
Our schools are safe, and the most recent positivity rate is 0.28 percent–453 positive cases out of 159,842 tests. The Situation Room will continue to take fast action following established protocol for tracing COVID cases that are reported from both outside and in-school testing.
Schools will also continue to work towards accommodating students in person five days per week. This includes the approximately 300,000 students who have shown up to in-person learning so far, and the 35,000 students who opted-in earlier this month. Superintendents will work with their schools to adjust schedules as needed with the goal of full-time in-person education in the coming weeks for the students who have selected that option.
We will continue to closely monitor transmission in schools and throughout the City, and work closely with public health experts and the latest State guidance to keep our schools safe and open for in-person learning.