More than a million New York City students will return to school in September on a staggered schedule of two- and three-day weeks, officials announced Wednesday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced the “blended model” plan, which involves a mix of in-school and remote learning.
“For the vast majority of kids and the vast majority of schools, you will be going to school either two days a week or three days a week, depending on the week,” de Blasio said at his daily coronavirus press briefing.
The rest of the days, the students will have remote learning — which families can opt into five days a week if they choose, Carranza said. They will also be able to switch back to in-person learning during certain points in the school year.
“For the 2020-2021 school year, it will look different,” Carranza said. “Students will return in September in a blended learning model or an online learning model, if they choose.”
Class sizes will be much smaller come September — with Carranza saying nine to 12 students is the “optimum” size.
He stressed, “New York City students will be learning five days a week, whether it’s in person or at home.”
With both Carranza and de Blasio emphasizing health and safety first, students and teachers will be required to wear face masks and practice social distancing when class is in session.
The DOE will provide schools with disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer and schools will be deep cleaned each night with electro-static disinfectant sprayers, according to Carranza. HVAC systems are also being upgraded for better ventilation.
Hallways will also be one way and larger rooms, like auditoriums, gyms and cafeterias, may be used as classrooms.
New York City’s schools reopening plan must be approved by the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that decision will come in the first week of August.