New York City reopens 850 public schools after second system-wide shutdown

P.S./M.S. 194 on Waterbury Avenue
Photo via Inside Schools

By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech 

New York City reopened 850 public schools Monday after Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a system-wide shutdown after the city reached a 3% COVID-19 positivity rate based on a seven-day rolling average two-and-a-half weeks ago.

Roughly 190,000 of the city’s 3-k, Pre-K, and elementary school students enrolled in blended learning, in which students take their courses both remotely and in physical classrooms,  returned to buildings for in-person classes. Over 150 of those public schools that reopened Monday morning are offering returning students in-person classes five days a week, City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.

City officials have not finished tallying how many schools reopening Monday will now offer in-person classes five days a week but Chancellor Carranza assured New Yorkers that the Department of Education would release a total number by Tuesday morning.

“It will grow with each week,” Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged during a Monday morning press conference. “There is work to be done to get the final number right and get the staffing alignment right.”

Last week, Mayor de Blasio said that a “substantial number” of New York City public schools reopening after a temporary COVID-19 shutdown this year would offer in-person classes for five days a week. On Monday, de Blasio added that the city is working to have every public school offer five days a week of in-person classes although some will not be able to do so until the beginning of January.

However, de Blasio promised that most reopening schools would be able to provide in-person classes for five days a week, something that public school students have not had since early March.

“We’re pushing every school to go in that direction and the of those schools the vast majority can get to five days a week for either all of their kids or a lot of their kids,” de Blasio told reporters.

This story first appeared on

More from Around NYC