Schools in New York City opened on Monday (September 1) without the option of distance learning for parents, as the incidence of highly contagious Covid-1 del Delta variants has increased across the country.
According to the Associated Press, the school district is conducting the nation’s largest experiment with private education during the epidemic.
With nearly one million students, the NYC public school system is the largest in the country. It is a majority-minority district where black and Latino students outnumber other ethnic and racial groups.
But students are returning to the classroom without a vaccine mandate, which means about 65 percent of the eligible student population and about 75 percent of school staff have been vaccinated, according to CBS News.
Although .12.1 percent of the city’s population is white, only 15 percent of public school students are white, according to the New York City Council.
Although the city kept schools open for most of the last academic year, most families opted for remote education, while others opted for hybrids of private and distance lessons. They are not an option this year under the mayor’s plan.
“There are kids who haven’t been in the classroom in a year and a half, and they deserve better,” said New York City. Major Bill de Blasio “Children need to return to school for their mental health, their physical health, their ability to develop socially and for many reasons.”
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Many black and Latino families find themselves in a dilemma. Children must return to the classroom during the epidemic, but they are affected by the need for distance learning technology.
At a City Council hearing last October, school officials told lawmakers that black and Hispanic students were lagging behind from March 2020 to June 2020, WPIX reported.
The majority of black and brown students are eight times more likely to have low attendance and low engagement in school. This was attributed to the lack of internet connection and technology.
School Chancellor of New York City Maisha Porter Masks will be needed in the classroom and almost every room has two air purifiers, he told CBS News.
“First, I’m sending my own child to school, to a public school in New York City,” Porter said. “And so, I know parents are panicked. I think what’s important is where we agree. They’re ready, so we can do the most important things for the children.”