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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.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 6 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.