QUEENS, NY - It was back-to-school, take two, for students, teachers and staff at Forest Hills High School Monday.

What You Need To Know

  • About 100 schools in former "red" and "orange" zones were allowed to reopen Monday

  • These schools are now located in less-restrictive "yellow" zones because of dropping COVID rates

  • About 45 public schools in "red" zones will continue to be restricted to all-remote learning until the COVID rates in their areas drop further

Ninth-grader Kaylee Candia had some of the first day jitters that come with the first year of high school, all over again.

“I’m starting a new school. I might get in the wrong classroom or I might not make it on time," said Candia.

Forest Hills High was one of about 100 public schools located in the city’s COVID-19 cluster zones that reopened Monday.

They were forced to go to all-remote learning for two weeks because of a spike in COVID infections their neighborhoods.

The school closures were part of the restrictions the state put in place in so called "red" and "orange" zones in Queens and Brooklyn to help contain the spread of the virus. The infection rates where these schools are located have now dropped enough to put them in "yellow" zones, the zones with less severe restrictions, where schools are allowed to stay open.

Despite her nervousness Candia was happy to be back.

“It’s actually pretty good. It’s really good to get out of the house and get outside,“ said Candia.

Her father was also looking forward to the school reopening.

“It’s actually nice. The kids really miss it. You can tell that some of them feel really depressed that they’re not really interacting with kids,” said Gabriel Candia.

Many students at the school were anxious to get back inside their classrooms.

“It feels good technically. It feels good to be out of the house and to go to school,” said 11th-grader Maria Carreon.

Schools in these "yellow" zones must do random weekly COVID testing. So far, the testing has found only a few positive cases in schools. 

“Eventually everything is just going to go back to normal. The city is just trying to do its best to keep everyone as healthy as possible, “ said Gabriel Candia.

There are still about 45 public schools located in "red" zones that will continue to be restricted to all-remote learning until their infection rates drop further.