Mayor de Blasio and School Chancellor Carranza held a press briefing discussing the protocol for public schools to reopen in the fall, what happens when a COVID-19 case occurs in a classroom, how fast students will receive test results, what they Mayor thinks about outdoor learning and how lunch will be served:

  • Schools will only reopen if  less than 3% of people test positive for COVID-19 in the city on a 7-day average. Once that number goes above 3%, the school system goes back to remote learning until the benchmark 3% is hit again
  • The city’s child care plan for +100,000 students moves forward in any situation
  • The Department of Education will strategically group students and teachers in PODS, even for middle and high school. This approach is key to isolating everybody in a classroom if a case occurs
  • Middle and High school days where students normally see various teachers a day, will look very different as there too the plan is to keep students together with one teacher as much as possible
  • Read the full protocol on how the DOE will handle COVID-19 cases in public schools here
  • If a classroom experiences 1 laboratory confirmed Corona case, the classroom moves to remote-only learning for 14 days and students and teacher in that classroom have to self-quarantaine
  • If there are two or more cases in one school, the school will be closed for 24h, an investigation is launched and depending on the outcome might close for 2 weeks
  • An isolation room for students with symptoms with a dedicated staff member or health professional will be available at all schools
  • The City will provide and guarantee free priority testing with a 24-hour turnaround at 34 city-run testing locations for students and staff members
  • Teachers will need to get tested right before school starts but not ongoingly
  • Cases in public schools will be made public
  • The mayor expects that when a vaccine is here, people in the public school system will need to get it
  • Outdoor schooling is not a reliable option according to the Mayor but the DOE is planning to enhance outdoor learning wherever they can

  • Lunch will be in classrooms to minimize interaction between groups of students. Grab-and-go meals will be delivered to students in 3K to K classrooms, and pickup points within the school will be designated for grades 1-12.
  • If the cafeteria must be used, schools should maintain appropriate physical distancing.