NEW YORK CITY — Thousands of New York City students are slated to return to classrooms next week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic struck.
The unprecedented undertaking to get them back to school hit significant snags along the way but appears ready to move forward Tuesday and Thursday for kindergarten students through high school seniors.
The city’s 3-K, pre-K, and special education students — roughly 90,000 of them — paved the way when they went back to class on Sept. 21 for a week with technology hiccups, smatterings of COVID-19 cases, and other problems.
But students, parents, and educators persevered, setting the stage for the remaining 600,000 to return.
Here’s what you need to know:
Who’s Returning and What Day
Individual student schedules will vary, but in-person learning will begin for these types of schools and students on Tuesday, Sept. 29:
All elementary schools (K-5 and K-8) including students in grades 6-8 in K-8 schools
- All students in K-2 and K-3 schools
- Grades K-8 who attend K-12 schools
- In-person learning begins Thursday, Oct. 1 for all remaining students and schools.
- Middle schools (grades 6-8)
- High schools (grades 9-12)
- Secondary schools (grades 6-12)
- K-12 schools (grades 9-12)
- Transfer schools, Adult Education, evening schools
How Do I Check My Child’s Schedule?
Parents should have received schedules from the Department of Education. They can also check with individual schools for their child’s schedules.
How Many Students Are In Blended Learning?
About 697,000 students, or 54 percent of all enrolled, are counted in blended learning programs. The number has gone down week by week.
What About Technology?
Even if students return to classrooms, a good portion of learning will require technology. They also will have to use devices, teleconference software, and different accounts for remote learning days.
All students have a DOE Student Account. It can be used to sign into the TeachHub portal for quick links to online learning, Zoom, and other commonly-used services.
Students and parents with DOE-provided iPads can click here for help and information. Those who need an iPad can request one here.
What Happens If There’s A Coronavirus Case?
A single confirmed COVID-19 case in a classroom will result in the classroom being closed and all students and staff with close contact to quarantine for 14 days.
The same steps will be taken if there are two confirmed cases in a classroom.
If tests find two confirmed coronavirus cases in the same school, but different classrooms, the entire building will be shut down during the investigation. It will then reopen, except for the individual classrooms affected, which will be quarantined for 14 days.
Two or more separate cases stemming from outside the school also will lead to temporary school closures during the investigation, followed by reopening except for linked classrooms.
If investigators can’t find links for where coronavirus cases came from, the entire school will be closed for 14 days.
Schools citywide will shut down if the city’s coronavirus positive rate climbs to 3 percent or above.
My Child Seems Sick. Should They Go To School?
In fact, parents are required to monitor their child’s health and conduct temperature checks, among other measures, before class. Students will be screened for coronavirus symptoms when they arrive at school buildings as well.
“All DOE employees, students, families, and visitors seeking to enter DOE buildings must complete a health screening before entering DOE facilities,” the health screening website states.
“This health screening must be completed on each day of arrival and results will reset at midnight of each day. Upon entering the facility you will be asked to provide the results of your screening either by showing your phone or a printout of the results.”
How Do I Find Out Information About Coronavirus Cases At My Child’s School?
The state recently unveiled a “COVID-19 Report Card” that provides daily information on coronavirus cases at individual schools.
It didn’t have New York City school information last week — because the state didn’t consider the city’s schools to be officially reopened yet — but should be updated when for the wider reopening.