NEW YORK — After days off for the holidays and as COVID surged in New York, students are set to return to their classrooms despite a plea from some for a pivot to remote learning.
The union representing teachers suggested a temporary return to remote learning to Mayor Eric Adams.
“However, he feels strongly that schools need to remain open,” the union wrote in an email to teachers.
Before winter break, a number of schools were closed because of COVID cases.
Adams, in his second day as mayor, sought to ease concerns among parents about sending their children back to city schools as cases of the omicron variant surge.
Appearing on morning news shows after bicycling to work, Adams said his message to parents is to “fear not” and that statistics show the safest place for children is inside a school.
He deferred to Gov. Kathy Hochul on whether to require children get tested before they return to class.
“New Yorkers returning to schools and workplaces on the first weekday of 2022 should take every possible precaution to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Hochul said. “We all know the tools that keep us safe: vaccines, boosters, masks and tests. Let’s all do our part and take these common-sense precautions, so New York can defeat the winter surge and come back stronger than before.”
Adams says his administration’s next move is deciding if city employees should be required to get booster shots. They’re already under a vaccine mandate.
A spokesperson for the city Department of Education said:
“All of the data shows that the safest place for children is inside a school and we’re working with our school leaders to ensure they are fully prepared to welcome back students and staff safely in-person on Monday. We have robust measures in place to immediately address any staffing issues to keep our doors open for the hundreds of thousands of children and families who rely on schools as a lifeline every day.”