Closed Since November, NYC Middle Schools to Reopen Soon

NEW YORK (AP) -

New York City’s public middle school buildings will open this month after being closed since COVID-19 cases began to surge in November, officials announced Monday.

The 62,000 students in grades 6 through 8 whose families have chosen in-person learning will be back in their classrooms on Feb. 25, a city Department of Education spokesperson said.

The timing of the return to classrooms will allow officials to prioritize COVID-19 vaccine appointments for affected school staff members during the midwinter school vacation from Feb. 15 to Feb. 19, the spokesperson said.

Families in New York City’s massive public school system were given the choice of all-remote learning or a hybrid system with students in their classrooms part time when when the school year started in September, but rising COVID-19 cases prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to close all school buildings on Nov. 19.

Some elementary school students returned to school buildings on Dec. 7, but middle schools and high schools remained closed to in-person instruction. No plan for reopening the city’s high schools has been announced.