NEW YORK CITY — More than 10,000 New York City public school students will learn remotely because they never turned in mandatory COVID-19 testing consent forms, officials said Tuesday.
During the citywide public school shutdown, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a mandate on the forms. So far, 91 percent of 131,000 blended learning students have turned in consent forms, leaving about 12,000 students whose parents or guardians have not agreed to coronavirus testing, a Department of Education spokesman said.
"Students without consent forms, and who do not have approved exemptions, are transitioned to remote instruction," the spokesman said.
Middle and high school students also continued remote learning as of Tuesday. Officials have not yet set a date on when they'll return to in-person learning, but de Blasio said midle school students could possibly return to classrooms in January, depending on "what's happening with the larger health care reality."
They'll also be required to submit coronavirus test forms when they return.
Michael Mulgrew, president of the union representing teachers, praised the testing plan when it was announced.
"The road to re-opening New York City’s public schools in the face of the coronavirus has been a long and difficult journey, but we now have in place a testing process that should permit us to keep schools open for our youngest and neediest children until the new vaccines bring an end to the pandemic — if all New Yorkers can pull together and follow medical safety guidelines." he said when students returned to class.