Families of only about 2 in 5 students in the New York City public school system have chosen to return their children to in-person learning, according to figures released Monday by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
That means that most city students will do all-remote schooling from home for the remainder of the school year.
De Blasio, speaking at his daily news coronavirus news conference, announced Monday that families of about 50,000 more students have chosen to shift them from all-remote schooling back to in-person classroom learning.
"They are all welcome back," de Blasio said of the students, covering all grades.
All students were shifted to all-remote learning after school buildings closed in March 2020 in the initial surge of the coronavirus pandemic. This past fall, schools reopened with families given the choice to keep their children in all-remote learning, or to send their children to school buildings with an option to leave again if they changed their minds. School buildings closed again in November when the virus surged, and have since all reopened.
The newly opted-in students will return April 26, with two months left for the year. Several weeks ago, the city had opened up an "opt-in" window for students to return to school from all-remote schooling.
City education department spokeswoman Danielle Filson said in an email that the newly returning students bring to about 365,000 the number of in-person students, out of about 960,000 total in the system. That’s less than 40%.
De Blasio blamed the number of new opt-ins on families comfortable with the scheduling status quo, "the continuity" and "what works with people’s lives."
Yet again he declined to disclose how many students who have signed-up for in-school instruction actually show up to a building each day.
As for school personnel being allowed to work from home, de Blasio said "next year’s a really different reality" and "we’ll be resetting all the rules" governing health exceptions for such teachers who are working remotely.
Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter said there are currently 28,000 teachers on such an accommodation.