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De Blasio: New York City schools will reopen to younger students

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  • New York City Public Schools will begin the process of reopening to students for in-person instruction on December 7, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday.
  • The city’s pre-school programs, pre-kindergarten programs, and students through fifth grade will return to classrooms on December 7.
  • All District 75 schools, which teach students who have disabilities, will open to students on December 10, he said.
  • A date for middle and high school students to return to classrooms has not yet been determined, according to the mayor’s office. 
  • Schools went entirely remote on November 18 when the city’s positivity rate passed 3%, the threshold for school closures in the city. 
  • But according to the New York City Health Commissioner, the rolling average for the positivity rate as of Friday remained over 3%.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that New York City Public Schools will begin a return to in-person learning for some students on December 7, less than two weeks after schools went virtual due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in New York.

According to de Blasio, pre-school programs, pre-kindergarten students, and students in kindergarten through fifth grade will return to classrooms on December 7.  On December 10, students in District 75, which educates students who have disabilities, will return to in-person classrooms.

Dates for middle and high school students return to classrooms were not announced Sunday. 

The mayor said Sunday that weekly COVID-19 tests would be administered to students and parents would have to sign a consent form to allow their children to return to school buildings.

 

“Finally, as we reopen, wherever possible we will move to 5 day a week in-person learning,” de Blasio said in a tweet. “We want our kids in the classroom for as much time as possible. Our families do, too. We’ll work to make it happen.”

Schools in New York City were closed for in-person instruction on November 18 when the COVID-19 positivity rate over a one-week period reached 3%, which is the policy set for school closures, according to the New York City Department of Education. Over the past week, the positivity rate in the state of New York was greater than 3%, according to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University. 

But the positivity rate in New York City was 2.6% in New York City over the past week, according to data from the New York State Department of Health. On November 18, when schools closed, the positivity rate in New York City was 2.5%, according to the state date.

New York City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi, however, said Friday that the positivity rate in the city was greater than 3% over the past week. As The New York Times recently reported, the state and city health departments use different methods to determine the rate, sparking confusion about whether schools and other businesses that rely on the number should close.

 

The mayor’s office said Sunday there is no threshold required to determine whether schools should reopen and the city will instead focus on testing to monitor cases in the city, according to the New York Daily News.

The mayor’s office did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment.

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