Remote instruction plans for NYC still in the works with 18 days left until school starts

Reopening Schools

NEW YORK — The start of the new academic year for New York City students is less than three weeks away, but plans for in-home instruction are still in the works, officials said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter outlined COVID-19 safety guidelines for schools Thursday, which also detailed online, remote instruction for students who are forced to quarantine at any point during the school year and students who are immunocompromised. 

President of the United Federation of Teachers Michael Mulgrew, however, said further details on remote instruction are still in the works.

“The city’s plans for masking, ventilation, social distancing and testing protocols announced today will help keep students and staff safe this year.  At the same time the mayor has finally acknowledged the need for virtual instruction for medically fragile children and for those in quarantine. We still are working out the details of this remote instruction,” Mulgrew said in a statement.

If there were to be a positive COVID-19 cases in a classroom at an elementary school, all students in the class will be instructed to quarantine for 10 calendar days and will be provided with live, online instruction since children under 12 are not eligible to receive the vaccine.

In middle and high schools, those at least 12 years of age who are vaccinated will continue to attend school in-person if they are asymptomatic and are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test three to five days after exposure.

Symptomatic, vaccinated students must quarantine for 10 calendar days and will receive remote learning while quarantined, according to the guidelines.

Unvaccinated students ages 12 and older must quarantine for 10 calendar days.  On the fifth day of quarantine, they may take a COVID-19 test and return to in-person learning after the seventh day with a negative result. 

The first day of class for NYC public school students is Sept. 13.

A DOE spokesperson said the in-home instruction program has been around since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some students with medical conditions that necessitate educational services outside the classroom may be qualified for individual in-person instruction by a certified teacher or individual and small group instruction through digital platforms. 

New York City officials have been consistent with their stance on a full return to in-person learning, making sure parents know there will be no fully remote option in the fall.

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