NYC To Be Fully In Person Starting This Fall

Prashaan Malwana, Staff Reporter, Freshman

Effective next academic year, New York City will not offer the option of remote learning. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that in light of decreasing COVID-19 positivity rates and reported cases going down, fully reopening schools is the first step towards reopening New York. This means that in September, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions, or personal education preferences, all students must be in person. With this being said, fully in-person schools offer not only a more in-depth education for students but mark the commencement of completely reinstating New York facilities. 

These bold first moves towards defying the now declining stages of COVID have been met with backlash from some parents. Inability to accommodate all students with social distancing requirements, and work being done better virtually are some arguments that have been made, yet de Blasio made sure to keep those to rest.Officials confirmed that 90% of New York City schools could fit their students in with respect to three foot disancing. De Blasio also added that in September, the CDC would most likely reduce COVID restrictions as the virus becomes less deadly with more people being vaccinated. Additionally, seven out of ten students stated that they preferred in-person learning over virtual, according to a survey conducted by Top Hat of about three thousand students. Cities like Houston have a nearly 70% increase in fails during virtual learning, and although New York City doesn’t give the option for F’s, in-person learning is obviously more effective.

One setback however, is for students who have pre-existing medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. With the increased student count in the building, it may be easier to catch COVID if not vaccinated, but an easy solution is to just allow specific students to stay home in order to keep them safe. Additionally, in an effort to ease parent’s concerns, de Blasio is inviting parents in June to view safety precautions and measures to keep all students in an environment that is as safe as possible. De Blasio also expects student mental health to improve with reopening as they “see their friends, see their teachers, and have hope again”, which is a very plausible possibility.

Overall, New York City’s decision to fully reopen schools in the fall was the right call, being the seedling of reopening the city. Living in hesitance towards COVID will result in making no progress, but taking calculated risks such as this is a large measure towards overcoming this pandemic.