Distance learning extended through April 15th for NYS schools

Coronavirus

CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — For many Central New York school districts, spring break was supposed to begin next week. But after an executive order from Governor Cuomo, kids will continue distance learning through their break until at least April 15th. 

Dr. Mark Potter of the Liverpool Central School District sent a note to students and staff Tuesday afternoon, breaking the news that they will be hitting the books, or for many, their Chromebooks, throughout what was their scheduled spring break.

“Based on the governor’s executive order, we are following what he has demanded or at least asked us to do,” Potter said.

Another unexpected change for school districts in New York, the governor signed an executive order saying schools will physically remain closed until at least April 15th and until then, districts need to continue instructing, feeding and finding childcare for families.

“He felt that it would basically be a negative for us to go into a week without instruction after just really kind of getting this thing rolling last week for many school districts,” Potter said.

Continuity of learning plan Potter says the Liverpool district has been working tirelessly on, focusing on a curriculum in math and ELA for kindergarten through sixth grade and subject-based learning for the older kids. 

Potter said, “Not many schools districts or students are sitting down in school for 6.5 hours like they would have been in a normal school situation. Because of that, I think people will acknowledge what’s going on at home probably isn’t the best replacement for what we would be doing on-site.”

The governor has removed the requirement that all schools need to be open for 180 days, meaning a lack of classes will not impact state aid. But many districts thought they were in the clear to still have their spring break. 

“It is difficult. I get it we’re all in this together and in the end, we’ll come out stronger as we kind of walk our way through this situation,” Potter said. “But our teachers, our staff, are really going through a little bit of anxiety themselves with this separation from who they have seen for 140 days and whatever we’re at so far this school year and really not seeing those kids is tough on a lot of our adults.”

Potter says they did cancel ELA assessments for grades three through eight, along with science and some of the other required exams. AP exams have been moved to a 45-minute online test given by the College Board. But the big question still remains: What about Regents exams?

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