KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ 8 Mar 2021
New York City high schools are set to reopen on March 22 after months of distance learning, officials announced Monday. The city’s decision to reopen again sets an important precedent, given it is home to one of the largest school districts in the country, the New York Times reported. New York City first reopened its schools last fall but switched to fully remote learning in November when the city’s coronavirus cases soared. The city has phased reopening for its elementary and middle school students, welcoming some elementary school students back to the classroom in December and middle school students in February. Officials prioritized getting younger students back to in-person learning because it is more difficult to conduct remote learning sessions with them. About half of New York City’s 488 high schools will fully reopen for full-time instruction for most, if not all, of their in-person students. The other half will reopen on a hybrid model. High school sports will also resume for students, with masks requirements in place. All schools will test 20 percent of students and staff at random for the coronavirus every week, according to an update from the NYC Department of Education. Students who chose the remote learning option in the fall may continue with the remote learning model. Only 55,000 of the city’s 282,000 high school students will return to in-person instruction. The incoming school's chancellor, Meisha Porter, will be tasked with reopening the high schools when she takes over on March 15. In other city school districts around the country, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Seattle, thousands of high school students have not received in-person instruction in a year and might not see a classroom for several months.