New York City will welcome high school students back into classrooms starting on March 22, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday, a major milestone in the city’s sometimes halting efforts to resume in-person instruction for some of its one million students.
At a time when instruction in some cities in the Northeast and many on the West Coast remains completely remote for high school and even some elementary school students, New York’s decision to bring back high school students — a vast majority of them low-income, Black and Latino — will be viewed as an important precedent. The city’s public school system is by far the largest in the country.
Reopening high schools will be the first major task faced by the new schools chancellor, Meisha Porter, who will take over from the outgoing chancellor, Richard A. Carranza, on March 15.
About half of the city’s 488 high schools will offer full-time instruction for most or all of their in-person students, while the other half will offer hybrid instruction. The city will also restart high school sports for all students starting next month, including those who have decided to learn remotely. The sports season will run through the summer this year, rather than ending with the school year, and students will be required to wear masks at all times.