NYC High Schools, Shut Since November, Will Reopen March 22

Αssociated Press

A cyclist passes a closed vaccination center at the George Westinghouse High School, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK — New York City public high schools will reopen for in-person learning on March 22 after being closed since COVID-19 cases began rising in November, officials announced Monday.

The school system's 488 high schools will open for the 55,000 students in grades 9 through 12 who have opted for in-person learning, said Danielle Filson, a city Department of Education spokesperson. The rest of the 282,000 students in those grades will continue to learn remotely.

About half the high schools will provide in-school instruction to all or most of their students five days a week, while the others will offer hybrid instruction, officials said. 

High school sports will also resume, starting with strength and conditioning sessions in early April, the officials said. Competitive play will start in May and will continue through the summer. 

School sports participants will be required to wear masks, and no spectators will be permitted. Students who are learning remotely will be eligible to play sports.

New York City closed its public school buildings in November in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Elementary schools reopened on Dec. 7 for elementary school students whose parents had chosen in-person learning, and middle schools  reopened on Feb. 25.

New York City's school year ends June 25. Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to open all schools five days a week when the next school year starts in September, though he has said he expects many families will still choose online learning because of coronavirus fears.