NEW YORK — Most New York City students will return to their physical schools two or three days a week and learn online the rest of the time under a plan announced Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said schools can’t accommodate all their students at any one time and maintain safe social distancing.
“Most schools will not be able to have all their kids in school at the same time,” de Blasio said.
De Blasio said parents will have the option of online-only instruction for their children, but he said 75 percent of parents who answered a survey want their children in school in September.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has clashed with de Blasio repeatedly over control of the city’s schools and other issues, said all school districts statewide must submit plans for reopening by July 31 and state officials will decide in the first week of August whether to accept the plans and whether schools will reopen at all.
“They can submit a plan, the plan will be reviewed and then we will accept or deny the specific plan or ask for alterations on the specific plan and then make a global decision as to whether or not any school district will reopen and that will be the first week of August,” said Cuomo, who held a press conference in New York City shortly after de Blasio’s briefing.
De Blasio said the city would work closely “every step of the way with the state of New York.”
New York City’s school buildings were closed in March when nonessential businesses were shuttered to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
De Blasio said online-only instruction “has been really fantastic for certain students,” but many others lacked Internet access or devices to connect to their online classes.
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said new protocols will include face coverings for students and staff, and nightly deep cleaning of schools.
The city’s public school system, with 1.1 million people, is by far the nation’s largest.