Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave a briefing on the latest on coronavirus during a news conference at the state Capitol on Friday, March 13, 2020.
New York State Team
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An adult at a Yonkers school has tested positive for COVID-19, school officials said Monday as they discussed plans for extended school closings.
Schools Superintendent Edwin Quezada described the person as a “member of the learning community” at one of the district’s schools.
“Under the direction of the Westchester County Health Department, we will notify the staff, students and families of that school. This school will be closed effective today for disinfecting and cleaning,” he added.
Quezada didn’t name the school.
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The announcement of that coronavirus case comes on the same day that Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that all schools in New York state will close for at least two weeks, starting Wednesday.
Yonkers schools are expected to reopen April 1, “with the understanding that schools may have to remain closed beyond March 31,” officials said.
Electronic learning will begin this week. If students don’t have access to the technology, they can get the materials in paper form from several schools.
On Wednesday and Thursday, administrators and teachers will be in schools on a rotating basis to expand electronic learning, distribute instructional material for students who may not have access to technology and collect personal belongings.
Serving around 27,000 students, Yonkers Public Schools is the largest district in the county and has to serve children from across many socioeconomic backgrounds.
More than 50% of students live with food insecurities. To combat hunger, the school district will begins distributing “Grab N Go” breakfast and lunch from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at several Yonkers schools. The district expects to hand out about 5,000 meals a day.
“We want to take care of our children. We will do our very best to ensure that breakfast and lunch is provided. We are ready to go, effective Thursday,” Quezada said.
Districts in the state are required to have 180 days of annual instruction, but Cuomo said Friday that the state would waive that requirement.
Quezada said during the press conference that, “I am hoping and I will continue to advocate working together with our state delegation to ensure that we are not affected by the 180 days rule.”
“This is not something that we want to do. We don’t want to close schools,” Quezada said.
Edwin Quezada, Yonkers Schools Superintendent, photographed at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers on Saturday, September 14, 2019. (Photo: John Meore/The Journal News)
Although Quezada said that the district has been developing school closure plans, he’s still concerned about students who are expected to graduate this year.
“I’m extremely concerned for my eighth and 12th graders. I want them to graduate. I want them to complete all of the requirements of graduation. So, I’m asking my eighth and my 12th graders to please stay in contact with us,” Quezada said.
Schools offering breakfast and lunch
Enrico Fermi School
Eugenio Maria de Hostos MicroSociety School
Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy
Roosevelt High School-Early College Studies, H.S.
Scholastic Academy, for Academic Excellence
School 5 and School 13
Thomas Cornell Academy
Yonkers Montessori Academy
Yonkers Middle High School
Tiffany Cusaac-Smith covers Yonkers. Click here for her latest stories. Follow her on Twitter @T_Cusaac. Sign up today for a digital subscription.
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