NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City Public Schools, the largest school district in the United States, will pivot to remote instruction on Friday, the Department of Education announced Thursday.

The decision mainly applies to high school students. Elementary and middle schools were already closed Friday for a teacher clerical work day. It will also be a remote work day for staff, including school-based, district, and central staff.

The decision came amid ongoing concerns about hazardous air quality as wildfire smoke from Canada blankets the tri-state area.

All public school early childhood programs with a scheduled service day for Friday have the option of transitioning to remote learning for all children. 

For those working at a New York City public school in a clerical position, work can be done remotely Thursday and Friday. 

All central and district buildings will remain open, including all elementary and middle schools. 

Staff who are essential to in-person operations, including custodial, maintenance, and school food staff, are expected to report in person.