In-Person Classes Delayed For Most Students… Again

NYC public schools will not physically reopen for all students on Monday, September 21. Instead, there will be a phased-in reopening by grade levels throughout the next two weeks, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this morning. All students will still be taking online classes on Monday.

Only children in 3K, Pre-K, and District 75 will return to school this Monday, September 21. Kids in K-5 and K-8 schools will return on Tuesday, September 29. And those in middle school and high school will return Thursday, October 1. Regardless of when in-person learning begins, ALL public school students will be remote learning beginning on Monday, September 21.

“We’re in a country right now that’s going through a lot. We’re in a city that’s going through a lot. We’re in a democracy that’s struggling and everyone can see it. The hope… is to protect and preserve public education,” de Blasio said. “Nothing replaces the in-person experience. There are some out there who suggest that remote education should be our future and I want to say, no it can’t be. It is our educators working with children live and inside the classroom, that is where all of our future possibilities spring from. Because that is where children are truly reached and moved.”

When de Blasio was asked what he would say to parents “who are experiencing an absolute whiplash,” especially working parents who need their kids back in school, and if he can guarantee there won’t be another delay, de Blasio said, “I’ve spent so many years talking to parents in this city and I think they understand we are going through a pandemic. They understand that everyone is working nonstop trying to fix these really complex problems and I know they will find a way forward.”

“This plan is the right plan, but we have to make sure it’s implemented properly. And that’s what parents would want of us. They would want us to get it right. So it’s never easy. I do sympathize and I feel for any parent who has to make new arrangements for a few days, come up with something new,” he continued. “It’s always hard. I understand that, and I’ve been in that situation myself. If you’re struggling to find childcare, if you’re struggling to find options, it’s not easy. But I know that people will do what they have to do.”

Last Monday, 2,000 additional teachers were announced by the city. This morning, an extra 2,500 teachers were announced, totaling 4,500 new teachers in public schools.

“Today’s announcement means that all of the planings that our schools have done up to this point will continue. We’re giving schools more staff, more time, and more support, and this helps us to have the strongest possible start to the most unconventional school year any of us have ever experienced,” Chancellor Richard Carranza said. “We’re going to make sure that through all of it, our students have access to guidance counselors, social workers because the learning starts for all students on Monday.”

According to the president of the United Federation of Teachers Michael Mulgrew, this is an unprecedented challenge.

“We must make sure that we get this right. We want our school system up, running, and safe and we want to keep it up running and safe because that’s what the families, the children of this city deserve. This is an unprecedented challenge,” Mulgrew said. “We have a promise to every parent, to every teacher, to every guidance counselor, to every student that walks into our buildings, that we are doing what needs to be done to make sure you have your education, but that it is also safe.”

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Zainab Iqbal

Zainab is a staff reporter at Bklyner who sometimes writes poetry in her free time || zainab@bklyner.com

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