YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Several of the largest districts in Westchester County will start the school year remotely. That includes Yonkers, New Rochelle, and White Plains.
Administrators are promising remote learning will be significantly better this fall than it was in the spring, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Tuesday.
When schools closed in March and remote learning was rolled out in a coronavirus-fueled rush, many parents felt the experience was just adequate, often lacking engagement with teachers working from home.
“It would be nice to see more of the teachers. Not that they didn’t do an excellent job in the spring, but it was tough,” parent Jason Carter said.
Districts say they’ll apply what they learned this spring in the fall.
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In Yonkers, schools are being set up for social distancing, but classes will begin in September with students at home and teachers in the classroom. Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada said that alone will improve the experience.
“We guarantee that we can provide the appropriate professional development to our teachers, timely professional development, because when a teacher encounters an issue, then the principal or the assistant principal or a colleague will be available to assist,” Quezada said.
White Plains is starting the year remotely, too, and is making sure every classroom is wired and equipped to allow teachers to provide real-time remote learning.
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During springtime remote learning, the district realized parents and students were often confused over how to accomplish the learning objectives outlined by the teachers. The fall will bring more structure and focus on real-time remote engagement.
“Class will begin with the teacher taking attendance and presenting the learning objective and a class agenda. The student will know how they’re going to accomplish that learning objective over the course of the period,” said Ernest Spatafore, principal of Highlands Middle School.
Districts are anxious to get kids back full time, but say safety will determine the progress from remote only to a hybrid model before that can happen.
Yonkers is holding a series of technology academies for parents, to help them better understand the platforms and systems students will be using for remote learning.
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