New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio again delayed Thursday the start of in-person schooling over safety concerns tied to the coronavirus pandemic, just days before children were expected to attend class.
Schooling for all students was to begin on Monday, but de Blasio’s plan has delayed the beginning of in-person learning on a rolling basis. Only students in pre-Kindergarten, as well as schooling for individuals with advanced special needs will begin Monday under the new plan.
Elementary schools will now open Sept. 29, and middle and high schools will not begin in-person learning until Oct. 1. Those students will have to attend class remotely until schools officially open for them.
“I’ve mentioned from the very beginning that we’re taking every precaution necessary,” de Blasio said on Twitter. “That the safety of our kids comes first. And that as we move along, we will rely on expert advice and pivot if needed. This was a promise to ensure we reopen safely, and successfully.”
Thursday’s delay is the second this month, and would be used to add additional staffing amid a shortage of educators need for the city to implement its planned reopening that de Blasio said was his main reason for changing plans at the last minute.
In addition to the 2,000 more teachers that were announced Monday, de Blasio said during a news conference according to Anadolu News that the city would call up 2,500 educators from the City University of New York, substitute teachers, and the education department.