How students learn virtually now that distance learning is the rule the rest of the academic year

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Students across New York State are starting a new school week knowing that distance learning is now permanent for the remainder of the academic year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that K-12 schools and colleges in New York State would not return to the classroom for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year.

School districts will continue virtual learning and teaching that began in mid-March.

“So I think we’ve learned that it is possible for learning to happen in many, many types of environments,” says Joanna Masingila, Dean of the Syracuse University School of Education.

She says trying to reproduce what’s gone on for years inside a classroom to now inside homes isn’t an exact science and varies from district to district and even teacher to teacher.

“I think teachers have figured out a lot of things, like what might be most helpful for their students, checking in with them. I know my colleagues who have children in school some of them say they have lesson two or three times a week where they’re face to face, there’s also information sent home or students may be doing things online,” Masingila tells NewsChannel 9.

She adds that parents should feel comfortable to reach out to their children’s teachers or other school personnel about assignments and questions on lessons.

“I think it’s important for parents not to put a lot of stress on themselves, like I’m working full time and I’m also trying to teach my kid fulltime, no. Engage with your child, allow the school professionals to give the lessons, and the materials that are going to support your child,” Masingila says.

WCNY’S TV Classroom is very helpful she says for families without internet access. Local educators provide students K-12 with grade-specific lessons in subjects like ELA, math, science, history, and more.

The TV Classroom network will be aired from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays on WCNY’s GLOBAL CONNECT channel (GLOBAL CONNECT is on 24.3 with an antenna, 1276 on Spectrum Digital, and 467 on Verizon FiOS), and will be simulcast from and via a live stream on YouTube. The classes will also be published on-demand at

Masingila adds, “Children are resilient and they’re going to be fine, they’re going to catch up, reading and things like that, if they miss some lessons in mathematics it’s not going to be the end of the world, they’re going to be able to catch up on that. The teachers who greet them next fall are going to know and are going to be able to do what they need to do.”

Coincidentally, this week, May 4 to 8, is Teacher Appreciation Week.

More from NewsChannel 9:

For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9.

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