Mayor Bill de Blasio put out a plea to parents not wanting to send their children to school next week to opt into remote learning so other students can have a chance at a classroom seat.
“These seats are precious. Kids need these seats. A seat should not go unutilized,” the mayor said in a briefing Wednesday.
Grades K through five will begin reporting back to school starting Monday. De Blasio said if over the course of the week a student just doesn’t show up, the school will follow up with parents, and may ultimately remove a child from in-person learning so the seat doesn’t go empty.
"You can't be betwixt and between. You have to choose," de Blasio said.
Part of the mayor's reopening plan involves moving schools to five days a week of in-person instruction. The mayor said he will have a clearer idea of how many schools will be able to meet that goal once he learns how many students return to school next week.
The mayor also urged parents sending kids into school to complete testing consent forms, which he said are crucial to the reopening plans.
“Testing is the key to keeping everyone safe in the school community,” de Blasio said.
Testing at schools will be conducted on a weekly basis.
The mayor said schools are safe, even as the city's coronavirus infection rate continues to climb.
The number of people who tested positive citywide on a seven-day rolling average is 1,809, according to the mayor. The seven-day average for the percentage of people testing positive is 4.8%.
The daily percentage of people testing positive in NYC is 4.76%.
The daily number of people admitted to city hospitals for suspected cases of coronavirus is 146, with a 48.34% positivity level.