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Parents, Teachers Concerned About Returning To Classrooms In Fall Without Remote Learning Option

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- In another step toward recovery, New York City's public schools will return to 100% in-person learning in the fall.

There won't be a remote learning option available and, as CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported Monday, that has some parents and teachers concerned.

Eight-year-old Mariama Touray and her mother are excited for the new school year with everyone returning full-time.

"We have fun and do more lessons," Mariama said.

Mariama started hybrid classes this year and doesn't want to return to that.

Right now, 60% of New York City's public school students are learning from home.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, come fall, more than 1 million students are expected back in the classroom - with no option for remote learning.

De Blasio said there will be accommodations for students with health issues.

Watch Mayor Bill de Blasio's Monday, May 24, 2021 Press Conference

Dermott Myrie, a teacher, said he's still concerned.

"What if there's an outbreak of some strain? Do we still have in-person learning," Myrie said. "There has to be something. That's why I said there is no P-L-A-N."

"If some absolutely unexpected circumstance occurred, could be move quickly to remote? Of course," de Blasio said.

Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter says the Department of Education has invested in nurses, ventilation and testing, and will keep mask mandates in place.

The teachers union says there are about 100 schools that cannot accommodate all of their students, based on the CDC's current 3-foot social distancing guidelines.


"Those schools are just so crowded that, even if there is no distance requirement, we think there should be some ability to program in ways that haven't been done before," said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.

Just more than 50% of teachers are vaccinated and not all students may qualify by the start of the new school year, leaving some parents on the fence about the return.

"I'm a little iffy with that because, I think, regardless of us getting the shot, it's safe for us, but with the children, I'm not really comfortable with her getting a shot," one mother told Sanchez.

This summer, all schools will be hosting open houses so families can see the safety measures already in place.

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