New York City authorities postponed in-person public school openings for majority of students for more than a week as health concerns over safety and staffing related to the coronavirus pandemic increased.
In-person classes for all students were initially planned to begin on Monday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talk with each other during a press conference. /VCG Image
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the decision was arrived at following consultations with the leaders from the teacher’s union in what he described as a “respectful spirit”.
De Blasio said in-person learning at K-5 and K-8 schools will be delayed until September 29 while in-person learning at middle and high schools will be delayed until October 1.
He added that 3-K, Pre-K, and District 75 schools, which serve special education children, will still open for in-person learning on Monday. Children who are enrolled in fully remote programs and those in blended learning will also commence full-day instruction on Monday, remotely.
"The thing we all came together on and said really had to be nailed was the staffing," de Blasio said of the major concern.
De Blasio further stated that city and union officials feel satisfied for the most part on personal protective equipment, cleaning and ventilation issues.
The decision to reopen for in-person classes in the New York City had sparked criticism from teachers, students and parents with De Blasio acknowledging that it was a complex issue.
(With input from agencies)