San Francisco Chronicle

1 million students return to classes at schools in NYC


New York City’s classrooms reopened Monday to roughly 1 million children, most of whom were returning for the first time since the United States’ largest school system closed in March 2020.

While the city reopened schools last fall for part-time learning, the vast majority of students chose to keep learning remotely.

But with no remote option now available to almost all parents, classrooms will be full for the first time in a year and a half.

For months, Mayor Bill de Blasio has forecast the first day of school to be a triumphant coda in New York City’s long recovery from the coronaviru­s pandemic.

But the spread of the highly contagious delta variant has complicate­d the city’s push to fully reopen schools and left many families and educators anxious about what the next few months will hold.

Masks will be required for all students and staff members, as is the case in schools across New York state.

The first day of school in a system as large as New York’s can be chaotic even during normal times. Even before schools opened their doors Monday morning, the city was scrambling to fix the first problem of the new school year: The online health screenings that families are required to fill out each morning had crashed by 8 a.m., as hundreds of thousands of parents attempted to log on at the same time.

That led to long lines outside some schools, as educators were forced to complete their own screenings of how each child was feeling that morning.

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