Success Academy, New York City’s largest charter school system, is offering its students the option to attend classes this fall fully remotely until Oct. 8.
About 90% of Success Academies’ students are attending classes on campus this fall and on Monday, the charter school system welcomed back 23,000 k-12 students across its 47 schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
“There’s no question students learn best in person, and their mental and emotional health benefits as well,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy in a statement. “The pandemic continues to challenge us, but we’ve done everything humanly possible to make our classrooms safe and inviting.”
Success Academy’s choice to offer students a remote option and vaccination requirement for its 2,700 teachers and staff are a stark contrast to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s policies for public schools reopening this fall.
De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter are determined to fully reopen all public schools for in-person learning this fall without a remote option despite some families, particularly in the Bronx, expressing fear over sending their children back into classrooms.
And although the mayor is encouraging students, teachers and staff to get vaccinated against the virus, he is not mandating it. Late last month, de Blasio announced public school teachers and staff would need to be vaccinated before the first day of school on Sept. 13 or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
In addition, de Blasio is requiring masks to be worn by all children and adults in school buildings this fall.
De Blasio has remained adamant that no remote option will be offered this upcoming school year, but the city’s teachers’ union, The United Federation of Teachers, which helped the mayor’s school reopening plan last year, has been pushing for a remote option.
“We are not going to say remote only until this pandemic is out unless our doctors tell us that,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew told 21,000 union members during a meeting Tuesday night. “We still believe and are still advocating and pushing the city that there needs to be some sort of a remote option.”