New York City public high schools reopen for first time since November

Hundreds of high schoolers in New York City return to the classroom Monday as public schools reopen for the first time since November.

Roughly 55,000 high school students who have opted-in are expected to return, along with 17,000 staff members. The 488 public high schools have been closed since November when the city saw a surge in coronavirus cases.  

School staff returned to their buildings on March 18.

The school year ends June 25. Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to open all schools five days a week when the next school year starts in September, though he has said he expects many families will still choose online learning because of coronavirus fears.

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High schoolers join the thousands of middle school students who returned to their school buildings on Feb. 25. Elementary schools reopened on Dec. 7 

De Blasio announced Friday that schools in New York City would adjust their physical distancing rules in accordance with new CDC guidelines.

According to the CDC, students can safely sit just three feet apart in the classroom, as long as they are wearing masks, but should be kept the usual six feet apart from each other at sporting events, assemblies, lunch or chorus practice. Officials also emphasized that adults and teachers should remain six feet away from other adults as well as students.