Richard Carranza, chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, left, and Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, carry bins with supplies during a news conference at New Bridges Elementary School in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in New York, U.S., August. 19, 2020.

Jeenah Moon | Reuters

New York City’s public schools will adopt a phased reopening schedule to return students to the classroom, pushing back the start of in-person learning for middle and high school students to October, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. 

The new plan will delay the start of in-person learning for middle and high school students in the country’s largest school district to Oct. 1, de Blasio said. Kindergarten through fifth grade and K-8 schools will begin in-person instruction on Sept. 29, he said. 

All of the city’s public school students were scheduled to return to the classroom on Monday. Only preschools and special education schools will now be allowed to reopen next week, de Blasio said. Remote learning has already started and will continue “as these phases come into play.” 

This is the second time the mayor has pushed back reopening classrooms for in-person instruction, which was supposed to begin on Sept. 10. Earlier this month, de Blasio said the public school system would push back its reopening to Sept. 21 after local union leaders voiced concern about the lack of health measures to protect teachers, students and staff from the coronavirus. 

“We are doing this to make sure that all the standards we’ve set can be achieved,” he said.

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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