Over 300,000 NYC students were no-shows on 1st day back amid COVID spike


A parent fills out a form granting permission for random COVID-19 testing for their child outside P.S. 134 Henrietta Szold Elementary School in New York on Dec. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

NEW YORK CITY — Mayor Eric Adams says “zero” schools closed on Tuesday amid another wave of COVID-19 cases, but city data shows almost one-third of students aren’t showing up for class.

The Department of Education released the attendance rate for the first day back to class after winter break. About 67% of students returned to school buildings on Monday, meaning more than 300,000 children did not show up for in-person learning.

When asked about teachers calling out sick, Adams said he’s waiting for an update from new Schools Chancellor David Banks but added that there were no new full closures on Tuesday.

“There was only one school that closed (on Monday) and today zero schools closed, and we’re excited about that,” Adams said.

The city also reached out to retired teachers, asking them to come back to work to fill gaps made by sick calls and school staff absences. 

The city’s new test-to-stay policy also began to rollout this week, with 1.6 million rapid at-home COVID-19 tests sent to schools, according to the mayor.

Adams said he plans to make a video on how to use the tests so parents and students can properly use them at home and report the results to the city.

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