Mar 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New York City high schools to reopen for in-person learning on March 22

de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that New York City's 488 public high schools will reopen for some in-person classes on March 22, after months of distance learning.

Why it matters: It's a key pandemic milestone for the biggest public school system in the country, which is made up largely of low-income and minority students, according to the New York Times.

The state of play: New York City reopened its public schools for the first time in the fall, but switched to fully remote learning in November after the city's COVID-19 positivity rate surged.

  • Elementary schools partially reopened in December and middle schools in February. Officials focused on younger students first because online learning is often more difficult for them.
  • About half of the city's 488 public high schools will now offer full-time instruction for the majority of their students, while the other half of schools will have hybrid instruction.
  • The city will also reinstate high school sports for all students — with face masks required at all times.

Between the lines: Students who opted-in to remote learning last fall will be allowed to remain home. Only 55,000 out of the city's 282,000 high school students are expected to return to in-person learning this month, per the New York Times.

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