Feb. 8, 2021 By Allie Griffin
New York City middle schoolers will be able to return to the classroom later this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.
Public schools that serve grades six through eight will reopen for in-person instruction starting Thursday, Feb. 25, de Blasio said. The schools have been closed since November when COVID-19 cases spiked.
“I’m very pleased to announce that for our children in the middle grades — grades six to eight — you are coming back to school in person,” de Blasio said.
About half of the city’s public middle schools will reopen in-person classes five days a week, NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said. The other half will alternate students from in-person on some days and online instruction on other days.
Teachers and other school staff will return to school buildings a day earlier, Feb. 24, to prepare for students.
Carranza said the city will ensure safety of school staff and students by hiring more staff to do contact tracing and weekly COVID-19 testing at schools.
In-person school employees will also be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at city vaccine hubs from Feb. 12 to Feb. 21, Carranza said.
Meanwhile, elementary schools welcomed back younger students to classrooms in December and public high schools remain closed.