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The NY City Plan to Send Kids Back to School 2 or 3 Days Per Week


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NEW YORK, NY — New York City public school kids will spend two or three days per week in a classroom and the rest of the time learning from home when they return to school in September, the city announced Wednesday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and School Chancellor Richard Carranza gave families the first look at what their children’s schedule could look like when kids return to school with new social distancing guidelines brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan will have schools bring in half or a third of their students in classrooms at a time— depending on how much space is available in the school building — and have kids who are at home each day continue with remote learning, officials said.

“This is very new and different and I know it’s no one’s first choice, but we need to do it to maintain the health and safety of our school communities,” Carranza said.

The schedules are the latest details the mayor and Department of Education have given about their plan to bring kids back to school since announcing last week that public schools would reopen in September.

Mandatory masks for children and staff, nightly deep cleanings, hand washing stations and using outdoor or large spaces like cafeterias, gyms and auditoriums for more social distancing are also part of the plan.

The goal will be to have nine to 12 students at a time per classroom at a time, Carranza said.

Carranza said parents will also have the option of keeping their kids at home for full-time remote learning. Families will be able to sign onto a portal between July 15 and August 7 to make that choice, he said.

For those who opt for their children to return to school, schedules will be given out to each family in August.

The schedule could be one of two models, depending on the school’s space restrictions:

De Blasio has said 75 percent of about 450,000 parents who responded to a Department of Education survey said they want their kids to go back to school in September.

New York City schools have been closed since March 15, when the coronavirus began to take hold of the city.

As with the closure, the mayor has already gotten pushback from Gov. Andrew Cuomo about the decision to reopen schools in September. Cuomo, who says the call is premature, claims reopening schools is a call for the state to make.

Nevertheless, city officials are already deep into the planning stages for the new school year.

Carranza and de Blasio both met with principals on Wednesday to reveal the scheduling options and expect schools give out more details to parents in the next few weeks.