NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A back-to-school reversal in New Rochelle could lead other districts to follow suit.

The second largest school district in Westchester county canceled plans to start the year with limited in-school instruction.

Milvia Cifuentes told CBS2’s Tony Aiello that she’s worried about her five-year-old son’s upcoming lessons over the computer.

MORE: New Rochelle Superintendent Announces Classes Will Be Held Online For At Least First Month Of School Year

Last month, when New Rochelle had 74 active coronavirus cases, the district announced a hybrid plan: two days in class, three days at home.

On Thursday, when there were just 20 active cases in the city, the district reversed course, going for all remote learning for at least September.


Superintendent Dr. Laura Feijóo and her top deputies got an earful from parents Thursday night.

“We’ve not put off the whole school year. We’ve pushed it back a few weeks,” said Dr. Feijóo.

Dr. Feijóo said she knows it will be tough for many families, and that remote learning is difficult for younger students who don’t yet read.

RELATED STORY: Paterson School District Unsure If All Students Will Be Equipped With Laptops In Time For Virtual Classes

“Is it a concern, educationally, that kids who are not reading are not gonna be there every single minute with us? Sure, but that was true in the hybrid plan. There’s no perfect model here,” said Dr. Feijóo. “We want what we had, and everything after that is just not good enough. And, we’re trying to gauge priorities which, right now, is health and safety.”

Sources told Aiello a number of other districts in the county are likely to follow New Rochelle’s lead, delaying the return to classrooms, while taking a “wait-and-see” approach.

New York state guidelines say schools in communities with low COVID-19 transmission rates are safe to open for in-person teaching.

On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that does not mean the schools must open.

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