As the number of vaccinated people increases and cases of COVID-19 decrease, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York City schools will return in September—full in-person. There are currently no plans to offer a remote, distance learning option to students in the city. Mayor de Blasio explained why he's all in favor of all students returning to learn in person on MSNBC's Morning Joe. During the interview, de Blasio also said that the increase in vaccinations, decrease in cases and layering of health measures will make the classroom move possible.

This means that approximately 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools will be returning to the classroom this fall for the first time since March 2020.

"It's just amazing the forward motion right now, the recovery that's happening in New York City," he said. "But you can't have a full recovery without full-strength schools, everyone back sitting in those classrooms, kids learning again." Naturally, parents may feel hesitant or anxious about their children returning to school for in-person learning without at least the distance learning option. Beginning in June, parents will be able to visit their student's classrooms to see safety measures and precautions put in place to reduce COVID-19 transmission. During the spring of the 2020-21 school year, an estimated 582,000 New York City students have been relying on distance learning. For parents who may be raising concerns over the dramatic shift in learning, Mayor de Blasio noted that the city has worked to set a "gold standard from the very beginning, taking the health and safety measures from around the world that we saw worked in schools." He also noted that mask-wearing, cleaning, and improved ventilation make him confident that next school year will be safe for all students to return. "Kids had masks on in all our schools the whole time, lots of cleaning, lots of ventilation," he said. "We layered all these approaches and it worked really powerfully. We've had much, much lower levels of COVID in our schools for months and months, much safer than any other place in the city. And the city has been getting better now for quite a while." Los Angeles also recently announced that city schools will be returning in person for the upcoming school year, but will still be able to take advantage of a remote option. COVID rates are declining across the country, but children under the age of 12 aren't currently eligible to receive a vaccine. Pfizer did recently announce plans to seek emergency authorization from the FDA to vaccinate kids between the ages of two and 11 as early as September—right at the beginning of the school year.