Coronavirus in NY: Schools ordered to continue remote learning during spring break

Public and charter schools in New York City and across the state have been ordered to cancel the scheduled April spring break and instead continue to provide remote instruction to students amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Post has learned.

The state Education Department said in a memo sent to school districts Monday, “Districts must continue to provide remote instruction for students, meals for students, and child care for essential workers every weekday between April 1, 2020 and April 14, 2020, even if the district is scheduled to be on spring break during that time.”

In New York City, public school students and teachers were scheduled to be off from April 9 to 17. The state could not immediately answer why the remaining three days of break were not accounted for in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Post.

But state Education Department officials said scuttling spring recess was not their idea. They said they’re merely complying with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 executive order to have educators continue distance learning while keeping physical school buildings largely empty to help stem the viral outbreak.

Cuomo’s executive order said that school districts would not suffer any loss in school aid for failing to meet the 180-day session requirement as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

But the governor’s order also said, “School districts must continue plans for alternative instructional options, distribution and availability of meals, and child care, with an emphasis on serving children of essential workers, and continue to first use any vacation or snow days remaining.”

A city Department of Education spokesperson confirmed the edict, adding, “We are reviewing how this affects New York City.”

But parents are already starting a petition to force officials to honor the spring recess.

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