The nation’s most extensive school system came back to life Thursday with the start of the new academic year in New York City.
Approximately 900,000 pupils were due to begin classes on Thursday for a key school year defined by ongoing attempts to help students recover from the pandemic’s academic and emotional scars.
The upcoming school year will be the first full year for Mayor Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks, who has pledged to overhaul the way municipal schools teach reading and work to reverse long-running enrollment deficits exacerbated by the global health crisis.
“Today starts the journey,” Adams said.
“180 days of shaping the minds of not the future leaders, but the leaders of today. This is where students gather, learn, meet new friends, eat, exercise, explore and expand their minds,” Adams added.
Thursday was the third first day of school since the COVID-19 epidemic began in 2020, and the city’s method of dealing with the virus in schools has changed considerably in that time.
After the city dropped its face-covering law last spring, students and staff are no longer compelled to wear masks this year, and the in-school testing program that previously swabbed a sample of children each week for coronavirus is no longer in operation.
Instead of automatically sending students exposed to the virus in class home to isolate themselves, the Education Department will distribute fast testing.