All week, parents and teachers have been awaiting guidance regarding the fate of the remainder of the academic year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has officially announced that schools will close for the remainder of the semester.

During his press conference on Friday, Cuomo mentioned how the actions of today determine the number of people sick tomorrow.

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"Given the current situation, K-12 schools and college facilities will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year and will continue to provide distance learning for the remainder of the academic year."

The governor says schools will still be required to execute their meal provision plans, as well as assist in child care options for essential workers.

Cuomo said there are questions that need to be answered before opening the schools is considered:

  • How can schools monitor the spread?
  • How do we install parent confidence and reinforce student safety?
  • When and how will extra-curricular activities reopen?
  • Do protocalls for special student population change?
  • On college campuses, how will housing, meals and gatherings work?
  • What steps need to be taken to ensure student mental health?
  • How can colleges best work together to share services and offer opportunities across public and private systems?
  • Would any alternative academic calendars work?

Reopening plans are being required by schools and colleges and need to be approved by the state before they can be carried out. Cuomo said it is not yet clear when a decision will be made on the 2020-2021 academic year, but said that schools should start planning sooner than later.

The decision on summer school programming will be announced at the end of May.