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How Long Will NYC Public Schools Be Closed?

How Long Will NYC Public Schools Be Closed?

3k, pre-K, and K-5 schools are reopening today with District 75 schools slated to open Thursday.

After hitting a 3 percent rate in positive COVID-19 cases in NYC, schools chancellor Richard A. Carranza announced that New York City’s public schools would be closed for in-person learning beginning Thursday, Nov. 19. So now the question on every parent’s mind is how long will NYC’s public schools be closed?

In his Monday press briefing on Dec. 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio said 3K preK, and K-5 schools began reopening today with the goal of District 75 schools being open on Thursday. Middle and high school reopening dates are still yet to be determined. Students who already opted for in-person learning will return to the buildings, and those that have not will not be able to opt back in until there is a widely distributed vaccine. 

Schools in Staten Island orange zones are slated to reopen on Wednesday, Dec. 9 and Thursday, Dec. 10.

According to de Blasio, most schools that are reopening this week will move toward five-day-a-week in-person learning. COVID testing will be increased at schools, requiring 20 percent of students to be tested at each school site every week. The goal, according to de Blasio, is to keep schools open until there is a vaccine.

The schools were closed for the safety of everyone, according to de Blasio. “We can and we will bring back our schools,” he added. “And I just want people to understand that from beginning, bringing back to the schools this next time will take an extra effort. It can be done. It will be done.”

So what does this mean for students, teachers, and parents in NYC schools?

Allowing schools to reopen for in-person learning involves a more “aggressive” and “proactive” approach to testing—intensifying the focus of health and safety for all. In fact, the Mayor said students, teachers, and staff will need to be tested before they can come back to class, and more and consistent testing will be done throughout the rest of the school year. 

One thing Mayor de Blasio urges parents to do? Fill out and turn in the COVID-19 testing consent form, which he says, “will be absolutely required for any child to come into the school.”

There are still details that need to be worked out for what exactly the school reopening plan looks like and when exactly it will happen. What we do know so far is schools will reopen in waves, much like they did at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

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Katelin Walling


Katelin Walling is the Editorial Director for NYMetroParents. She can often be found reading, knitting, or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby.

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