N.Y. Today: The End of Online Classes

What you need to know for Tuesday.

The End of Online Classes

By Amanda Rosa

Fellow, Metro

It's Tuesday.

Weather: It should get sunnier as the day goes on. High in the low to mid-70s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Monday (Memorial Day).

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Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

This September, New York City's public school students will no longer sit in front of a computer screen for class. Parents won't have to juggle working from home and helping their children through technical difficulties. Teachers won't have to remind students to mute themselves on Zoom.

Schools will fully reopen this fall, and remote learning will be eliminated, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced yesterday. The complete return to in-person classes is a major indicator of the city's economic recovery.

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"It's time to do things the way they were meant to be done," Mr. de Blasio said during a news conference. "All the kids in the classroom together."

Here's what you need to know:

The details

Schools will fully reopen, without a remote-learning option but with safety precautions. Masks will still be required, and schools will follow social-distancing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The city is not yet requiring staff members and students to be vaccinated before returning.

Parents will be able to tour schools during open-house events in June.

The context

Mr. de Blasio said the school reopening was possible thanks the city's low positivity numbers and availability of vaccinations.

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On Monday, he said the city's positivity rate was 1.13 percent, the lowest it had been since last September. Over 7.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in the city, he said, and 50 percent of adults have been fully vaccinated.

Several coronavirus restrictions were lifted throughout the state earlier this month.

"Covid is being run out of New York City," the mayor said.

The reaction

Parents on Monday had mixed reactions.

For Jenn Adams, who is a tutor and has a 5-year-old who attends Public School 319, the announcement was welcome news to both her and her son. She has balanced tutoring students over video calls, scheduling in-person visits and making sure her son was learning in his online classes. It has been exhausting.

"I'll have more time to work," she told Nate Schweber as he reported for The Times. "He will learn better. It's exciting."

Juan Gomez and his wife, Elvia Gonell, who are parents of two children, said they felt conflicted about the end of online learning. Ms. Gonell said she worries about virus variants spreading in schools, especially since her 9-year-old child has not been vaccinated.

"It's good, but I don't feel safe," she said.

From The Times

The Mini Crossword: Here is today's puzzle.

What we're reading

The police were searching for someone who they said had spray-painted over 60 cars in a Queens neighborhood. [NBC New York]

Local leaders are calling for stronger safety measures after a 24-year-old woman fell to her death during a rooftop party in Manhattan. [ABC 7]

A man pulled a knife on a security guard at the Times Square M&M store after shoplifting, law enforcement said. [New York Post]

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And finally: Did you see Andrew Yang on 'Ziwe'?

The Times's James Poniewozik writes:

Years from now, when we look back on the history of pop-political interviewing, we may find it quaint that Sacha Baron Cohen had to disguise himself as Borat and Ali G in order to get public figures into uncomfortable situations.

Turns out all you have to do is ask.

At least that was the case with the New York mayoral candidate and media omnipresence Andrew Yang, who accepted a dangerous offer from the comedian Ziwe to appear on her self-named Showtime program.

The invitation (announced in a tweet that appeared to include a still from an already completed interview) would give many political handlers heartburn. The three-week old "Ziwe," based on the comedian's online show "Baited With Ziwe," is a crucible of cringe.

But cringe, in many ways, has been what the Yang campaign runs on.

In her interviews, Ziwe uses the persona of an extremely online interviewer fond of influencer-speak (everything, and everyone, is "iconic") to set up productively uncomfortable questions about politics and culture. Her signature is to take a softball-question template ("Your favorite ____"), soak it in acid and surround it with mousetraps. She asked the author and celebrated New York grouch Fran Lebowitz, "What bothers you more: slow walkers or racism?"

Sunday's interview delivered. After a cheerful introduction by teleconference — Mr. Yang was, of course, an "icon" — Ziwe asked the candidate to name his four favorite billionaires. (His answer included Michael Bloomberg, whom the Democratic base considers less than iconic; Oprah; Michael Jordan; and a tie for fourth between the possible/potential billionaires LeBron James and the Rock.) His favorite subway stop? The punitive Times Square station.

When Mr. Yang said he was a fan of hip-hop, Ziwe asked his favorite Jay-Z song, a loaded question about a New York rapper for a candidate whose local cred has repeatedly been challenged.

There was a pause.

It's Tuesday — be iconic.

Metropolitan Diary: Friendship test

Dear Diary:

I was at the dry cleaner. A woman came in with an ungainly heavy bundle, which she dumped onto the counter. It was a patterned comforter completely covered with stains.

"My friend's cat threw up all over my bed," she said. "Can you clean this?"

"That will be $50," the woman behind the counter said.

"She must be a very good friend," I said.

"She is not a friend anymore," the woman replied.

— Patricia Rich

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