The New York City Department of Education reported earlier this week that less than half public school students are enrolled in hybrid learning, in which students take classes in school buildings two or three days a week.
Out of the city’s over 1.1 million public school students, 48 percent are returning to school buildings for instruction with the number of families requesting fully remote instruction for their children jumping by over 20,000, according to DOE data from Oct. 9.
“Look, I think when you talk about seven-plus months of parents of people being bombarded with news about COVID-19, of course, parents are going to be very careful,” de Blasio told reporters on Wednesday. “I think it makes a lot of sense that a lot of parents are going to bide their time, watch what’s happening, wait to see what happens, talk to other people that they know.”
But enrollment numbers are following a pattern. In mid-August, the DOE began releasing weekly updates on the number of students enrolled in the city’s hybrid learning model and those choosing to study fully remotely. Department officials reported that about 70 percent of public school students were set to return to school buildings in September and that only 304,880 students chose to continue fully remote learning.
Parents and teachers have taken issue with the department’s data claiming that it paints a distorted picture given the DOE automatically enrolled students in hybrid learning before classes began unless their families filled out a department survey choosing remote learning. Now, the department says that 525,520 students are enrolled in fully remote classes and that 24 percent of those students identify as Asian, 21 percent are Black, 39 percent identify as Hispanic and 12 percent as white.
Every week the number of families choosing fully remote for their children goes up by the thousands to no surprise to many parents and teachers. Trust in the city’s ability to safely open schools has steadily diminished among many school community members due to city officials’ opaque answers on staffing, class instruction, personal protective equipment supplies and school air quality.
Some believe that those numbers will continue to rise now that the city has had to shutter some schools again because of COVID in some Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods.
Here is the latest enrollment breakdown by district:
|District||% Remote Learning Requested||Economic Need Index|
This story originally appeared on amny.com.