More than 50k students returning to NYC classrooms

Reopening Schools

From preschool to high school, 51,000 more New York City public school students are going back into the classroom starting Monday.

Around 378,000 students will attend school in person, according to the latest from the Department of Education, but that’s still less than 40% of the city’s close to 1 million student population. The rest are still choosing to learning online from home.

For some parents who opted in for in person learning the last go round, they say the experience has been disappointing.

“It’s not going back to a teacher in the classroom it’s the same set up at home in a zoom call,” Renata Gomes, a parent of a high school student, told PIX11 News. “Teachers are still on zoom.”

Renata Gomes’ 15-year-old daughter Sophia, a sophomore at Murrow high school in Midwood, went back into the school building two days a week last month.

Gomes, a member of the Murrow Parents Action group, says close to 40 percent of the teachers are on medical leave so her daughter just zooms in a classroom.

“You sit at a desk in a completely silent room and you go into a Zoom meeting,” Sophia Gibbins, Gomes’ daughter, told PIX11 News. “The teachers are upstairs teaching you.”

After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed guidance on social distancing in the classroom from six feet to three, Mayor Bill de Blasio had been hoping more than 51,000 students would choose to opt in.

City Councilmember Brad Lander, a candidate for city comptroller, is already worrying about what will happen in September when all students will hopefully be back to in person learning.

“If we are going to fully reopen in the fall for close to one million students, we have to start planning right now,” Lander told PIX11 News. “We have  to create school reopening councils in each school so we can help all of them get a plan.”

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