NYC Ousts 12,000 Students From In-Person Class Over Virus Test Forms
(Bloomberg) -- About 12,000 New York City students who signed up for in-classroom learning must receive remote lessons because parents failed to sign consent forms for weekly random testing, school officials said.
“Due to the extensive efforts of our staff, 91% of students who need a consent form have one on file,” said Nathaniel Styer, a spokesman for the city Department of Education. “Students without consent forms, and who do not have approved exemptions, are transitioned to remote instruction.”
The students are among 190,000 pre-school, elementary and special education students who returned to classrooms earlier this month. Some 60,000 pre-school and kindergarten children are exempt from testing. That leaves about 130,000 students who must participate in the program, which conducts weekly random tests of 20% of everyone in each school building.
The city had shut down its in-person learning program as a precaution when citywide testing for the Covid-19 virus hit 3%. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza repeatedly warned parents that their children wouldn’t be allowed in school if they didn’t submit consent forms. The students may return if and when parents sign the agreements, officials said.
The largest U.S. school system serves a total of more than 1 million students. All middle- and high-school students receive instruction remotely, and tens of thousands of elementary school parents have opted out of the in-class program and participate in remote online instruction.
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