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Monday, November 30, 2020

Reopening Whiplash in New York City - The New York Times

Reopening Whiplash in New York City - The New York Times
Reopening Whiplash in New York City
Schools will reopen as abruptly as they closed — but only for some.

Parents, teachers and children had only a few days to get used to the nation’s biggest school district shutting classrooms before Mayor Bill de Blasio announced another plot twist on Sunday: Students in pre-K and elementary school would return to school after all, starting on Dec. 7.

But — and there is always a “but” in the New York City school system — not all younger school students will be able to go back.

(This story gets a bit into the weeds for New Yorkers. For everyone else, it’s most important to know that by prioritizing young and special needs learners, New York City is adopting a model that is becoming more common across the country and world.)

In early November, the mayor set a deadline for parents to decide if their children would return to classrooms this school year. To date, about 335,000 students have opted into hybrid learning — less than a third of the city’s roughly 1.1 million students in public schools.

Of those, about 190,000 are in pre-K or elementary school, or in a specialized district for students with disabilities. They’re the only kids who will be able to attend class starting next week. Middle and high school students will continue all-remote learning.

“I have to say, I’m not actually surprised at all,” said our colleague Eliza Shapiro, who covers the city’s schools. “The mayor was super clear that he wanted to reopen, that he would do it as soon as he could, and the science from the summer and fall has made elementary schools the safest bet.” CONTINUE READING: Reopening Whiplash in New York City - The New York Times