Only 26 pct of NYC public school students attend in-person classes

By Xia Lin

NEW YORK, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- About 283,000 children, or just over a quarter of New York City's public school students, have attended in-person classes since the city's school system reopened last month, Mayor Bill de Blasio told a press briefing on Monday.

"This is a number that needs to be understood as a work in progress," said the mayor. "A lot more kids could be attending in person, and we want to make sure that their families know and they know that school is safe."

Those who started the year remote-only have until Nov. 15 to opt back in to classroom learning, with those children resuming in-person classes on Nov. 30, according to the mayor.

De Blasio said earlier that he pushed for in-person classes because a vast majority of city parents wanted him to do so. Despite his efforts, more than 500,000 of the 1.1 million children in the system, the nation's largest, elected to start the year last month with online classes only.

Now it is clear that even more families than expected have opted out of in-person instruction, The New York Times reported on its website on Monday, adding that "The city is facing a major test: Convincing families that it is safe, and educationally sound, to send children into classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic."

The lastest COVID-19 test positivity rate was 0.15 percent among NYC public school students, the total number of whom stands at around 1.1 million, making the largest school district in the country.

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