Despite push by officials, many NYC parents opt-out of in-person instruction

Corey Kanterman is opting not to send his eight-year-old son Ethan back to in-person learning at P.S. 196 in Queens.

He and his wife gave blended learning a try but found it lacking.

"We didn't like how disjointed it felt, meaning he has one set of teachers for in-person and one teacher on zoom on the remote days," Kanterman said.

New York City has more than one million public school students and roughly 700,000 decided not to return to in-school learning and learn from home instead.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is trying to encourage more students to return to school buildings allowed families to opt-in again Friday, saying he knows families are hesitant but hoping that next year parents and students will have more confidence.

"By September everyone will be welcome back five days a week, and I think that is crucial for the entire recovery of the city and things are moving really well, but New York City public schools have been the safest places in New York City, and that's going to help make everything else work," de Blasio said.

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Nayelis Arias and Priyanka Gupta are juniors at Beacon High School in Hell's Kitchen. Nayelis lives with her grandmother so she thought it would be too dangerous to return to in-person learning.

"I opted to do remote learning because I live with my grandmother and she is over the age of 60," Arias said.   

"I didn't go in at first because I didn't feel it would have been beneficial I didn't want to pose that risk to exposing myself to covid," Gupta said.

But both students hoping to return to school for their senior year.

"It's our senior year and I really do want to see our friends but only if it's 100 percent safe," Arias said.