This is our regular update following the reopening of NYC schools for Monday, December 14th, 2020.

Here's the latest:

Despite an ongoing rise in COVID-19 cases in NYC, an increasing number of public schools are now offering five days a week of in-person instruction, with the neediest students prioritized first, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

A total of some 250 public schools now have their doors open five days a week for students who've opted back into in-person learning, up from 161 schools announced last week. Currently, there are 878 public schools open for students from 3K through fifth grade, with middle and high school students who opted for in-person learning expected to return to schools next month. Principals across these open schools were required to assess whether there is enough staffing available to cover all in-person learners. Currently, most schools are offering in-person instruction for upwards of three days in two separate cohorts to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19.

But not all in-person students will be receiving full weekday in-person instruction, with children living in public housing, family homeless shelters, and those with special needs prioritized first. De Blasio did not offer a breakdown of which schools that offer five days a week of instruction will be available to all students.

As the school year progresses, de Blasio said more schools with full-time in-person instruction will be added to the list on January 4th, when students return from the holiday break that begins December 24th.

"My goal, the chancellor's goal: maximum number of schools out of that 878 schools that are up and running [...] go to full five day a week for all their kids,” de Blasio said at a news conference Monday. “The next best category is five days a week for most kids. And the next best category is five days a week, at least for the kids with greatest need."

But even if more schools go five days a week, the resumption of in-person instruction may be reversed yet again. With the second wave of the COVID-19 continuing to sweep across the city, threatening a full closure of the city, public schools could also shut down. Asked whether he agrees with Governor Andrew Cuomo's suggestion that New York City could see a full shutdown soon, de Blasio said yes.

"We need to recognize that that may be coming and we've got to get ready for that now," de Blasio said.

Schools reopened last week to roughly 190,000 in-person students from 3K through fifth grade and District 75 special education students after de Blasio closed them on November 18th, when the city's average seven-day positivity rate for COVID-19 hit 3%. In-person learners must now consent to the city Department of Education's randomized weekly testing program for COVID-19, with students from 3K through kindergarten exempt from getting tested.