(CNN) — New York City is scheduled to reopen its public high schools this Monday, welcoming some students to learning – in person – about a year after schools were closed for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The majority of high school students in the nation’s largest school district will continue remote instruction. But as many as 55,000 students in grades 9-12, who previously opted for in-person learning, are expected to return this Monday. authorities said, earlier this month. That’s roughly the 20% of students enrolled in district high schools, reported WABC, affiliate of CNN.
About half of the city’s high schools will be able to provide in-person learning 5 days a week to all or most of their students, said New York Education Commissioner Meisha Ross Porter, at a press conference on March 8, with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In a message to the families, last FridayPorter said high schools would follow the same protective measures that have been put in place for younger students who have returned to the classroom, such as weekly random testing of students and staff, physical distancing and wearing of masks.
Additionally, with spring break scheduled to begin on March 29, students and staff traveling to certain locations on the travel advisory list must be quarantined for 10 days, depending on the Department of Education, or undergo a COVID-19 screening test, according to state guidelines.
The mayor said that children had experienced increased emotional turmoil in the past year during the pandemic, and said at the press conference earlier this month: “Think of the children who have committed suicide.”
Think of that kid who is feeling a little desperate and lonely right now, what it will mean to them on Monday March 22nd, when they come back through the door of their high school, see their friends, see their teachers, and have hope. again, ”de Blasio said.
Sports and sports practices will return in April
Sports in high schools will resume in April, city officials said, touting the positive impact they can have on the mental health of student athletes. But there will be “strict safety protocols,” said De Blasio, who tried to moderate parental expectations, saying sporting events “can’t have large crowds.”
“We have to protect everyone,” he said, “so it’s about giving children the opportunity to participate.”
Younger students have already had the opportunity to return to face-to-face classes: primary schools reopened in December, while high school students They returned late last month. The push to reopen the school for the younger age groups came because they have had the most difficulties with learning online and appear to have the lowest rate of coronavirus spread.
The reopening of high schools comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publish an updated guide for children in schools. That included relaxing the physical distancing guidelines, recommending that students maintain at least 1 meter of distance, instead of the two meters previously recommended.
New York City’s teachers union, the United Federation of Teachers, told its members in an email on Friday that it was consulting medical experts on the guidelines. The group said the physical distancing rules “would be extremely difficult to implement” in New York City public schools.
Following the release of the updated CDC guidelines, Mayor De Blasio announced on Friday that the city was preparing to allow more students to opt for in-person learning, with an initial focus on pre-kindergarten and elementary school students. More details are expected on Monday.
De Blasio said Friday that he had been told that more than 40,000 educators had been vaccinated, but that he believed the number was much higher.
The mayor has pledged to fully reopen all of the city’s schools in the fall.
– CNN’s Eric Levenson, Elizabeth Stuart and Ralph Ellis contributed to this report.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism