Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that all New York State schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
Schools were first closed on March 18 and the 180 minimum days of school requirement were waived.
Since then, students and teachers had to adjust to online learning.
“Teachers did a phenomenal job stepping up to do this,” Cuomo said in his daily press conference on Friday.
Throughout the state, from Kindergarten to college, there are 4.2 million students, according to statistics presented by Cuomo. Of those, there are 700 school districts with 4,800 individual schools with almost 2.6 million students.
“The decisions on the education system are obviously critically important,” he said. “We must protect our children.”
Given the situation and the difficulty enforcing social distancing, Cuomo said the State decided to keep schools closed for the remainder of the year. He said summer school attendance will be decided later on.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said that there wasn't enough time to get schools prepared to resume, especially with all the considerations needed to be made like social distancing, PPEs, and making sure buildings were kept disinfected while students were present.
"We saw that the runway for getting all of these things ready was getting shorter and shorter," she said.
Meal programs and childcare services for essential workers will continue.
Cuomo said that schools will be coming up with plans to reopen in the Fall including monitoring of Covid-19 spread, extra-curricular activities, protocols for special student populations, housing meals and gatherings on college campuses, and the possibility of an alternative academic calendar.
“We need schools to come up with plans also to bring those precautions into the school room,” he said.
You can watch the full press conference below (Friday, May 1, 2020):