NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that New York City Public Schools will be conducting summer school through remote learning.
"For so many kids, this summer will be a chance to keep learning either because they need a little extra learning, a little extra time, or because it's something they want to keep building up their academic strength," de Blasio said.
The mayor said 177,700 students have enrolled in summer learning programs. That includes 67,000 3rd-8th graders, 83,000 9th-12th graders, and 27,700 special education students.
To get some sense of the magnitude, last year 44,000 students were required to go to summer school, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported.
"It's going to be a huge effort, an unprecedented effort," the mayor said. "The greatest challenge I'd say this school system has ever faced."
"Learning will take place remotely," Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said.
Kramer asked Carranza how learning strategies would be adjusted to deal with the needs of students who had problems with the sudden closings of schools.
"We've already instituted a number of changes. We're going to just build on that. The whole point is not to recreate a whole new system from the summer, but to build upon what we've learned and continue to make it better," Carranza said.
For students in grades 3-8, summer learning will take place four days a week for a total of six weeks.
"Teachers will communicate with families whether their student is required to participate in summer learning in order to be promoted in August or recommended to participate to ensure they've achieved mastery of the standards," Carranza said.
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Students will also check in with guidance counselors.
For grades 9-12, the schedule will be five days a week for six weeks. Students will have up to five hours of instruction daily and occasional check-ins with staff.
For students with disabilities, students will have five days a week for six weeks. There will also be check-ins with staff.
WEB EXTRA: See the mayor's presentation slides (.pdf)
The mayor said 284,000 iPads have been delivered to students.
"The goal is to give every student the ability to learn," he said.
The mayor said it is "too early to predict" what will happen in the fall, but the "number one factor" is safety.
There was a last-minute hiccup in the city's summer program plan. The principal's union was furious its had not been consulted, saying having classes end on Aug. 21 was too late as many had already made vacation plans, Kramer reported.
"We're working through some of those obstacles, but summer school will happen," Carranza said.
Officials said the city will hire 6,000 teachers and will start accepting applications next week.
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"They need to know their futures will be secure," he said.
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