Mayor Bill de Blasio Declares New York Schools Will Open in September

Empty classroom

New York schools are set to reopen in September, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. The Department of Education surveyed 400,000 families to get insight into how eager parents are to send their kids back to school.

While 25% of survey respondents are still unsure about doing so, 75% percent of those surveyed were in favor of schools opening in the fall. 

“Schools will be opening in September,” de Blasio said. “Each school will have a number that is the maximum number of kids that can be in that school, with social distancing using every conceivable space in that school.”

There are no official plans about how schools will re-open, but safety measures like social distancing, mask-wearing, deep cleaning and hand sanitizing stations, will be in place, de Blasio said. Schools that don’t have enough space to properly social distance will stagger classes, the mayor said. School is set to being Sept. 10.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked each district in the state to submit plans for their return-to-school guidelines ahead of September so parents have time to prepare. De Blasio said plans would be announced well in advance, but it’s not clear how New York will be impacted by the novel coronavirus in the coming months.

"We do not yet know what this virus will look like in September, but we are planning multiple reopening scenarios that will give every child the academic support they need while keeping them safe. Our goal is to provide as much in-person learning as possible,” the Department of Education said in a statement.

On July 1, de Blasio announced the state would not resume indoor dining as previously planned for Phase 3 of reopening that was set to begin July 6. Officials remain worried that increases in coronavirus cases in other states could eventually impact to New York, which was previously the virus' epicenter.

“Indoors is the problem more and more,” he said at a news conference on Wednesday.


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