Public schools in New York City’s 1.1 million-student district will be shuttered for the rest of the academic year, but online education will continue as the city struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Saturday.
School buildings in New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, have been closed since March 16. A massive effort to move instruction online has met mixed success in the city, where many low-income students lack Wi-Fi and devices for connecting to their virtual classrooms.
De Blasio praised teachers for what he said was a heroic effort to teach their students online, which will now continue through late June, when the school year ends in New York.
“Our educators were asked to learn an entirely different way of teaching,” he said. “And they weren’t given a year to get ready. They weren’t given a month to get ready. They had a week to quickly retool and turn to distance learning, online learning and make it work.”
De Blasio had resisted closing schools as the city recorded its first deaths from the coronavirus, saying he feared that health care workers would have to stay home to care for children and that hundreds of thousands of poor students would go hungry without free school meals.
Authorities in some other locales, including the states of Virginia and Pennsylvania, have previously announced that schools will be shuttered for the rest of the year.
Source: AP NEWS