In-person learning begins for some NYC public school students

Parents and students across New York City are readying themselves for the return of in-person learning for the first time since mid-March on Monday and a school year that will look drastically different than any in memory.

Under the city’s hybrid learning model, students in 3-K, Pre-K, and all grades in District 75 schools head back to the classroom tomorrow, with mandatory face masks, social distancing, and plexiglass sneeze guards just a few of the changes that will take some getting used to.

Students learning remotely will face some of their own challenges as well.

Each school period will begin with a 20-minute lesson that will be live-streamed, after which students will then break into remote class sizes of 25-30 students for individual instruction and small group work. But many still have questions about class size and staffing shortages. 

“The city made an agreement with the UFT that basically required three teachers for every position that now exists,” said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters. “We already have very large class sizes in New York City, so it was unclear to me as soon as this plan was announced, how they were going to staff it.”

After officials see how things pan out this week, older students will begin their blended learning programs at staggered starts: September 29 for grades K-5 and K-8, and October 1 for middle and high schoolers.

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