Mayor Bill de Blasio has tantalized city parents with visions of a return to full-time schooling — but admitted Wednesday that he doesn’t know when kids will be back in class five days a week.
Hizzoner — who on Sunday touted plans for a full-time return for students who are now in blended learning — demurred when pushed by reporters to approximate the number of schools that would fully revive.
“I know it’s New York City and we don’t believe in patience here,” he said. “But I’m going to ask people to be a little patient. There’s a pandemic going on. We’re dealing with a lot of variables here.”
De Blasio said individual school schedules won’t clarify until the DOE gets a truer sense of how many kids actually show up for in-person learning and remain eligible for it.
“We think we’re going to have most of that information in the course of next week,” he pledged.
A total of 335,000 city kids are currently signed up for building instruction, according to the DOE.
Since the reopening will happen in phases, only 190,000 of them are eligible to return to school next week.
But de Blasio emphasized Wednesday that students who are signed up for in-person learning but fail to regularly attend will be switched to remote learning.
In addition, he reiterated that students who do not have completed COVID-19 testing consent forms will be disqualified from building instruction.
“We’re talking about hundreds of schools that will be reopening on Monday,” he said. “A substantial number are ready to go to five days right away. But others need to get more information to do that.”
The Department of Education’s hardened requirement of COVID-19 consent forms has likely set the stage for confrontations at schools next week.
Several parents told The Post this week that they won’t provide the forms but will still attempt to drop their kids off at their schools beginning Monday.
Asked directly if children lacking the paperwork would be turned away from their buildings, a DOE spokesman referred to de Blasio’s Sunday statement.
“We will have a consent forms required for attendance,” he said. “I want to emphasize this. Students will not be able to attend school unless they have a consent form on record period. This is something for everyone’s health and safety.”
Citing the need for widespread and frequent testing of school populations to ward off outbreaks, City Hall and the DOE have been pushing parents to turn in the forms for more than a month.
De Blasio said he didn’t know how many forms were still outstanding as of Wednesday.
As of November 17, the DOE had collected 117,000 consent documents out of the 335,000 blended learning population — but Hizzoner said that the papers were still coming in.
Arguing that schools should limit the number of entrants each day, the DOE has barred parents from being present for the COVID-19 test.
The agency has also disallowed results from private doctors.
Some families have objected to one or both of these restrictions.
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