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From shutdown to reopening: The New York Metropolis colleges’ trek by way of the pandemic.


It’s been precisely 18 months since public schools in New York City  shut down due to the fast preliminary unfold of the coronavirus. Over that point, college students, dad and mom and workers within the New York Metropolis faculty system, the nation’s largest, have needed to regulate to a sequence of abrupt modifications that disrupted and reshaped the lives of about 1 million youngsters and 1,800 colleges within the district, ultimately resulting in a full reopening on Monday.

Town was not alone in dealing with twists and turns alongside the best way because the pandemic swelled and ebbed, new variants emerged, vaccines had been launched and scientists and policymakers revised their steering. New York was in a position to partially reopen final fall whereas different big-city friends remained all digital for a lot of the yr, and town didn’t expertise important virus transmission in its colleges.

Listed below are key dates and developments.

March 15, 2020

Below immense pressure, Mayor Invoice de Blasio shuts down New York Metropolis’s public faculty system for in-person instruction. The transfer, taken after a number of different main faculty methods had already shut down, comes as attendance is plummeting and nervous academics are organizing sickouts to demand motion. “This isn’t one thing in one million years I might have imagined having to do,” Mayor Invoice de Blasio says.

March 23

College students and academics return to courses just about as an alternative of head to head, as everybody tries to get used to digital instruction. Officers say they hope to get everybody again to in-person instruction later within the spring if the virus outbreak subsides.


Former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo publicizes that colleges in New York State will remain closed through the end of the academic year — confirming what different metropolis leaders, together with Mr. de Blasio, had been predicting for a number of weeks.

July 8

Mr. de Blasio says town’s public colleges won’t totally reopen for the 2020-21 faculty yr. As an alternative, he introduces a partial reopening plan calling for varsity leaders to work out staggered schedules and different measures to assist colleges implement social distance and reduce virus transmission.


Mr. de Blasio announces that New York Metropolis colleges will supply each in-person and digital instruction and permit households to go for both mode.

SEPT. 21

Mr. de Blasio pushes back the start of in-person school for students amid logistical issues and political conflicts with the academics’ union. The varsity yr lastly begins on Sept. 21, 10 days later than initially deliberate.

Nov. 19

With the virus spreading quickly once more outdoors of colleges and town’s check positivity fee climbing above 3 p.c, the edge the mayor had set for closure, New York Metropolis closes its schools after simply eight weeks of in-person instruction.

Nov. 29

Mr. de Blasio abruptly publicizes that all public elementary schools would soon reopen in phases for college students who had beforehand opted for in-person instruction, and that town would abandon the 3 percent positivity threshold for closing colleges. Center and excessive colleges stay closed for now.

January 2021

A surge in virus transmission that took maintain over the vacations drives town’s check positivity fee above 9 p.c, prompting calls for from academics’ unions that town’s open elementary colleges be closed once more.

Feb. 25

In-person courses resume on the metropolis’s center colleges for not less than a part of the week for college students whose households had beforehand chosen that possibility. Together with the elementary colleges reopened earlier, about one-quarter of town’s college students are again at school buildings.

March 22

Town’s staged reopening reaches its excessive colleges, with about half providing full-time in-person instruction for many college students and the others providing a combination of in-person and distant studying.

might 24

Mr. de Blasio announces that when the brand new faculty yr begins within the fall, town will now not supply a distant studying possibility — a serious step towards a full reopening in September.

AUG. 23

Mayor Invoice de Blasio says all employees of the city’s Department of Education should obtain not less than one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by Sept. 27. The requirement applies to each grownup working inside public faculty buildings, together with academics and principals.

AUG. 26

Mr. de Blasio launched guidelines requiring random testing of 10 p.c of unvaccinated individuals — together with grownup employees and college students in first grade and above — each two weeks. When somebody exams optimistic, shut contacts who’re unvaccinated should quarantine, however not essentially complete courses. A adverse check inside 5 days will finish the quarantine early. Parental consent is critical for testing youngsters.

Sept. 13

All New York Metropolis public colleges reopen to full in-person instruction.