‘We’ve got one plan’: De Blasio says no remote option, all kids will return to in-person learning

Reopening Schools
Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to reporters after visiting New Bridges Elementary School in Brooklyn on Aug. 19, 2020.

NEW YORK — Despite concerns over the surge in the delta variant, Mayor Bill de Blasio stood firm on his decision that there will be no remote learning option for the upcoming academic year.

When asked if the city would reconsider a remote option due to growing concerns over the variant, the mayor said Thursday kids need to be back in the classroom.

“There are kids who last saw a classroom in March of 2020. It is not healthy in any sense for our kids to be out of the classroom,” he said.

Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter also previously told PIX11 News it’s important to have students and teachers in the classroom, as the children’s mental health is another risk they must consider.

The mayor also said there is a large number of vaccinated people, so protecting children in classrooms can be done.

“We can do this safely,” he said, reminding New Yorkers the city was able to safely allow children to participate in in-person learning even before vaccines were an option.

“We’ve got one plan,” the mayor said.

New York City Councilmember Mark Treyger, who leads the council’s education committee, said that students who are not yet of vaccination age — under the age of 12 — should have the option to learn remotely.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has also called for the Dept. of Education to create a plan for students to learn remotely.

De Blasio did, however, say local officials will follow up between now and the first day of school to figure out how the city will handle temporary situations for when a child is out for several days.

He also reminded New Yorkers snow days have now been replaced by remote learning days, so “We know we can move quickly if we needed to.”

“Plan A is Plan A and the best way to get to Plan A is to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” he said.

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