Original article written by Christianna Silva for NPR.
This past Sunday, just 10 days after closing New York City's schools because of rising coronavirus cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday that the nation's largest school district will begin a phased reopening next week. On Dec. 7, buildings will reopen for elementary school students and on Dec. 10, District 75, which serves students with disabilities, will reopen. Only students who have signed up for in-person learning can return. In total, about 335,000 students out of the 1.1 million in the city have chosen in-person classes. Previously, the city had a rule that schools had to close if New York City reached a 3% testing positivity rate, the cause of the school shutdown on Nov. 19. The mayor said the city will no longer use that rule. "Getting our kids back in school buildings is one of the single most important things we can do for their wellbeing, and it's so important that we do it right," Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said in a statement. "The unparalleled value of in-person learning for students has been evident in the first few months of school, and we will do everything we can to keep our schools safe and keep them open for the duration of this pandemic." Mayor de Blasio announced that weekly COVID-19 testing will be in effect in schools and testing consent forms will be required for our students to return. In response, New York City's teachers union said it supported the plan on the condition of stringent testing.
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