NY says school districts are on their own to decide on in-person or remote learning

The state health department says it is up to each local school district in New York to decide whether to provide in-person school.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced on Thursday that local school districts reestablished control over the decision when the state disaster emergency ended on June 25, 2021.

"Schools and school districts should develop plans to open in-person in the fall as safely as possible, and I recommend following guidance from the CDC and local health departments," Zucker said in a statement.

In July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that all students in grades K-12 should wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.

New York City, which runs the nation's largest school district, has been planning to have all students return to the classroom in September.

The district says schools will continue with testing, mask-wearing, social distancing as required, and hand sanitizing.

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A survey conducted by one city councilman in the spring found that 36 percent of New York City families say they are worried about sending their children back into the classroom.

Governor Andrew Cuomo initially ordered schools across the state to close for two weeks starting on March 18, 2020.  Schools across the state then switched to fully remote learning for the rest of the school year.

Last fall, some schools moved to hybrid models.  New York City moved back to fully remote in November when the positivity rate reached 3 percent.

New York City Public Schools reopened classrooms to some students on April 26, 2021, after an extended closure, but a majority of students opted out of in-person learning remained remote.

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