July 2, 2020 By Allie Griffin
New York City public schools will reopen for the new school year in September, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
City schools have been closed since March and instruction was moved online given the coronavirus pandemic.
School buildings will reopen for in-person classes on the first day of school.
“We’re full steam ahead for September,” de Blasio said. “The goal, of course, [is] to have the maximum number of kids in our schools as we begin school.”
Each school building will have a maximum capacity of students based on social distancing guidelines.
Any room that can be converted into a classroom to accommodate social distancing will be, de Blasio said. Therefore, many schools will be able to host their full student bodies, he said.
Schools that have smaller capacities will likely implement staggered start times for students when the buildings reopen, de Blasio added.
Workers will deep clean classrooms each day. Everyone — students, teachers, administrators and other employees — will be required to wear a face covering. There will also be hand washing stations and hand sanitizer throughout school buildings.
The Department of Education is working with teachers, school administrators and unions to come up with the concrete details of the reopening plan, which will be released in the coming weeks, the mayor said.
“We are doing the work right now to make the new school year successful,” de Blasio said.
The news is welcome to parents who have struggled to work from home, while ensuring their children engage in virtual classes.
About 75 percent of parents want their kids to return to school in September, according to a Department of Education survey of 450,000 parents, de Blasio said.