Mayor de Blasio to Re-Open Public Schools in Phases on Dec. 7, Starting with Younger Grades
By Yehudit Garmaise
Starting on Monday, Dec. 7, New York City will reopen younger elementary grades and special needs classes, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced this morning in a press conference.
After announcing a “major reset of the equation” of to reopen the schools, the mayor said this morning that public school students, starting next Monday, will be tested weekly, instead of monthly, parents will be required to keep consent forms on file for their children to attend school, and heath protocol safety measures, such as social distancing and mask wearing will still be in place.
“Getting children into school building is the most important thing we can do right now,” said Mayor de Blasio, who said that some schools can go right to opening five days a week. “We now want to keep schools open for the duration of the pandemic. Studies consistently show younger kids are having less spread of COVID.”
The mayor, who said, “We are taking seriously the demands of our parents who want their children in school,” also added that the city is not yet ready to restart middle and high schools, which should be re-opening soon as well.
“I feel for our parents right now, and I understand how important it is to have our younger kids in school educationally and emotionally,” the mayor said.
“We want to keep everyone safe, and keep everyone moving forward and get as many schools open as soon as possible,” said the mayor, who added that “whatever happens” in terms of COVID, he wants to keep the public schools “going forward.”
To keep schools open, Mayor de Blasio asked New Yorkers to stop the spread of COVID “to do everything possible,” such as limiting interactions, wearing masks, and keeping parental consent forms on file.
“We now know from what works from experience, and that is testing and more health and safety measures,” the mayor said. “Plus, the vaccine could be coming as early as December, and then we can accommodate even more kids.”
Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.
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