NEW YORK - About 35,000 students opted in to blended learning during a two-week enrollment period in November, the city says.

Families had from November 2 through November 15 to switch into blended learning, which allows students to attend school in person at least part of the time. The city has said it would be the only opportunity to switch from remote learning to blended instruction, although students attending in person can go remote at any time.

What You Need To Know

  • About 35,000 students chose to opt in to blended learning during an enrollment window this month

  • Schools are now closed to all students - but when they reopen, these students have opted to attend in person

  • The city says it is aiming to increase the number of days students can attend in classrooms

It's now estimated that 335,000 students are enrolled in a mix of in-person and remote classes, which is only about a third of the city's 1.1 million students. 

For now, the numbers are somewhat moot - all students are learning remotely, with school buildings closed after the city’s average positivity rate of coronavirus tests hit 3%.

Of the 35,000 students, 32,000 had previously been enrolled in remote learning. Another 3,000 were students who had not returned learning preference surveys and so had been assumed to want blended learning -- but who have now affirmatively made that choice.

During the same time period, about 6,000 students switched from blended learning into remote instruction.

The Education Department says it hopes to use the new enrollment figures to help increase the number of days each week blended learning students can attend in person - because the option is attracting fewer students than initially planned for, allowing them to attend more frequently.

“We know that nothing can replace in-person instruction and blended learning families deserve as much time in the classroom inside their schools as possible. We will be working with schools to increase the number of days blended learning students are in buildings, and we’re excited for these students to join their peers when we reopen,” DOE spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon said.

News that this would be the only chance to opt in to blended learning upset many parents, because the DOE initially promised there would be opt-in periods throughout the school year.