NYC schools to resume in-person learning outdoors

Olivia Argivay, 4, left, joins her mother on her first day of school to participate in an outdoor learning demonstration to display methods schools can use to continue on-site education during the coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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UPDATED 8:00 AM PT – Thursday, September 3, 2020

New York City schools are preparing to reopen with outdoor learning. So far, more than 300 schools have been approved to teach outside starting September 21.

This comes after months of debate on how in-person learning might safely resume amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Many schools are using playgrounds and parks, while others are setting up in closed off streets.

However, many educators and parents have raised concerns about the safety of outdoor learning amid the recent spike in crime. Mayor Bill De Blasio said school principals can make the judgment call for safety.

“Unquestionably if a principal does not feel good about safety for whatever reason, including consulting with the school safety team, they just don’t have to go forward,” he explained. “If they want to use it, it’s there choice how and when.”

Pre-school teacher Mikki Laugier instructs students as they participate in an outdoor learning demonstration to display methods schools can use to continue on-site education during the coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, at P.S. 15 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Holding classes outdoors presents a safer way to learn in open air, but students and teachers are still expected to wear face masks and social distance as much as possible. Meanwhile, remote learning is set to begin September 16.

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