ALBANY — Education leaders across New York are working to shape how exactly learning will look when students return to school in the fall.
New York State School Boards Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel Jay Worona says whether to keep remote options for some students in the fall should be a local decision.
“I think most people who are experts in pedagogy would say that students do best being stimulated within a classroom with all the critical thinking skills that we’re trying to impart,” said Worona.
Kyle Belokopitsky with the New York State PTA believes that, moving forward, it’s time to get children back in seats in school buildings.
However, she says there will be many families and students that may not be vaccinated or may have comorbidities.
“I think the education community is discussing that, discussing what that remote option is going to be for September. What does that look like? Is that school district based, or is it for example, on a regional base hosted by a BOCES, a Board of Cooperative Educational Services?” she said.
Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo said based on the COVID-19 trajectory, schools “will be set to reopen for full, in-person learning.” The New York State Education Department hopes “that as many students as possible will attend school in person this fall” and is having conversations with stakeholders.
While many, like Jasmine Gipper with the Alliance for Quality Education, say in-person learning is “the best high-quality option,” there could be some innovative uses for remote learning.
“Schools that don’t have AP courses could potentially now have AP courses through remote learning and online technology,” she said.
New York State United Teachers would like to see the remote option go away in the fall, and the New York State Council of School Superintendents would like its use to be very limited.