This is our daily update following the reopening of NYC schools for Monday, December 1st, 2020.
Here's the latest:
- NYC Will Begin Phased Reopening Of Public Schools On December 7th
- NYC Public Schools Are Reopening Again. What’s Different This Time Around?
As public schools prepare to reopen their doors — following a systemwide shutdown that began November 18th — Mayor Bill de Blasio said in-person learners who fail to show one week after they can return to the classrooms will revert back to remote learning.
"If in the course of the week your child doesn't show up [...] the school is going to say to you is, 'this is your last chance,'" de Blasio said at a news conference on Wednesday. "You have to show up during this week or have a legitimate excuse or communicate with the school what's going on. If you don't the school is going to let you know that your child will be moved to all remote."
The aim for a firm number of in-person students stems largely from de Blasio's desire to see schools go from three days of in-person instruction, currently the maximum number of days schools offer to students, to a full five days. Such a move to revert back to five days is expected to add greater flexibility for parents juggling home and work responsibilities. It also fulfills de Blasio's own belief that students get more quality instruction compared to remote learning.
Some District 75 schools, which offer instruction to special education students, already offer students a full week of in-person instruction.
But achieving that pledge hinges on the ratio of students and teachers per school. A maximum of eight students are allowed in the classroom, socially distant, and with a teacher in the room. Some principals are now determining whether they have enough staff capacity to meet such a demand set. Extra days will be prioritized according to need, de Blasio said.
"These seats are precious. Kids need the seats a seat should not go un-utilized," he stressed. "By the end of next week, we want to resolve this as much as humanly possible once and for all. So we can then finish up reworking our schools to maximize the number of schools in five days a week."
The mayor's remarks came after reminding parents that signed consent forms for the city's randomized testing program will be required on or December 7th, the day schools reopen. The program shifted from monthly to weekly as part of the schools reopening plan that was backed by school labor unions. Twenty percent of a school community is expected to be tested going forward, though young students from early 3K, pre-K, and kindergarten students are exempt. Kids from 3K through fifth grade will be the first to return to classrooms, with middle and high school students allowed to return sometime in January.
"When we get to the first day of school, we're going to be having school for kids who are signed up for testing," de Blasio said. "If they're not, the school is going to reach out to the family and say you got to rectify this right now or your child isn't able to attend school, I want to be very straightforward about that."