NEW YORK - Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza on Tuesday announced the expansion of summer school to help students transition from a spring of remote learning to fall classes, which the officials hope can take place in-person once again.
More than 177,000 public school students, grades three through 12 and students with disabilities of all grades, will have several weeks of remote classes this summer, de Blasio said during his daily briefing. Of the 177,000 students, 102,000 are being required to attend to be promoted - that's up from 44,000 the year before.
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The sessions will be supplemented by “social emotional learning activities” and virtual field trips, he said.
"They're gone through a lot of disruption a lot of challenges,” the mayor said. “Some have even gone through drama. It's not easy for young people. On top of that, they're restless."
He added, “I want to emphasize it's been tough on our kids and it will only get tougher as the summer goes on. We have to be really creative in supporting them."
De Blasio additionally announced he and the city are pushing state lawmakers to authorize line-of-duty death benefits for the families of civil servants who died of COVID-19.
More than 270 city employees, including public health workers, have lost their lives to COVID-19 during the pandemic.
And while the city has extended health insurance for 45 days for the families they left behind, de Blasio wants to continue honoring their sacrifice with “not just words but deeds.”
The benefits via Albany would include health insurance and a portion of the late city worker’s salary.
De Blasio said he was joining the bipartisan effort also advocated by Democratic Council Member Daneek Miller and Republican Council Member Joe Borelli.
The panel of city officials at Tuesday’s daily briefing included Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, who a day earlier apologized again for a heated March encounter with NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan over the distribution of protective masks to police officers.
“We were working under such extreme circumstances,” Barbot said Tuesday.