Mayor de Blasio says update on reopening NYC high schools coming ‘in the next few weeks’

New York City public high schools could be reopening soon if all the pieces fall into place, Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday.

“I’m very hopeful about reopening high schools. I hope to, in the next few weeks, have an announcement on high schools,” Hizzoner said. “Everything is lining up.”

City elementary schools have been open for in-person learning since December, along with preschools and District 75 schools for students with more complex needs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio at City Hall on February 23, 2021 in Manhattan, New York.
Mayor Bill de Blasio at City Hall on February 23, 2021 in Manhattan, New York. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

Middle schools will resume in-person classes Thursday, welcoming an estimated 62,000 students and 16,000 staff back into school buildings, Education Department officials said.

High schools face additional logistical challenges operating in-person classes with pandemic-related safety measures, because students typically have multiple teachers and switch classrooms.

But de Blasio said Wednesday that he’s confident the pieces will fall into place this school year.

“Overall, we’ve certainly seen improvement” in COVID-19 rates citywide, he said. “More vaccinations every day. That number’s going to jump up. But most importantly, we’ve proven how to open school properly. High school comes with some additional complications, but I’m very hopeful we’ll get it done.”

Jeff Thamkittikasem, a de Blasio adviser overseeing city COVID testing, said the city has built up additional capacity to test students and staff in schools each week and respond to positive cases when they arise.

“We will have the capacity” to reopen high schools in-person, he said. “We’ve identified it, we just have to put it in place.”

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.