The Horace Mann School in the Riverdale section of the Bronx is telling parents that if they want their child to stay enrolled, they’ll need to be back this year, or reapply for next year, according to four parents who spoke to Bloomberg. The school didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Even the most carefully thought-through plans could be demolished by the path of an unpredictable virus, public health officials warn.

“You might invest significant time and resources and do things that are hugely disruptive to yourself and your children, and a month later come to regret it because where you went is worse and has more cases than where you came from,” said Jeff Pothof, an emergency-room physician and chief quality officer at UW Health who is advising school districts in the Madison, Wisconsin, area.

The upheaval is giving hope to some public-school parents looking for a rare spot in private school. Robin Aronow, who founded school admissions consulting firm School Search NYC, said she’s seen about 25% more business than a typical summer, mostly from public school parents.

Schools, which don’t usually enroll many new students over the summer, are more open to speaking with new families. “They hope their own families will be able to return,” Aronow said. “They’re also being realistic that they may have openings to fill.”

Others, however, expect their ranks to remain tight. At the sought-after Trinity School, which dates to 1709 and charges about $55,000 a year, nobody has pulled out for the fall, spokesman Kevin Ramsey said. Enrollment for the 2020-2021 year is 1,058 students, from kindergarten through high school. “If you found that place that is the right fit for your child and your family, you’re going to want to stay there,” he said.

Several schools, such as the Dalton School on the Upper East Side, will provide a completely online-only option. Dalton is only allowing students with “specific circumstances and restrictions” to go fully remote, according to a June 25 letter sent to parents and confirmed by a spokesman.

Parent Yesim Philip said her family was sticking with New York. But they were still figuring out the logistics, such as transportation. So far, they’re comfortable with the existing method of getting from their home on the Upper East Side to school on the far west side, said Philip, the chief executive officer of sportswear firm L’Etoile Sport.

“Usually, a few kids share an Uber there, and going back they actually walk,” she said.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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