Locals react with relief to Gov. Cuomo’s plan to keep schools closed


CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local mom Stephanie Delsignore says packing up the school year calendar is bittersweet for her family.

“She was excited to go back to school and you know we’ve been counting down the days, 14 more days you’ll be able to go back to see your friends again. So she was a little sad,” Stephanie says of her 7-year-old daughter Harley.

“Yeah it’s different because you’re not used to doing so much work at home, you wanna just realax and play, so yeah it’s been different,” says Harley.

Governor Cuomo announced Friday all schools would remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year to minimize the risk of coronavirus spreading. Stephanie says even if the state did open schools back up, she still might not have sent her kids in.

“I don’t think I probably would have been comfortable, just if she ever got sick with her asthma and her GI issues, I don’t know if I could have. I don’t know what could’ve happened,” she says. “Also if she ever brought it home, I mean my stepson and I might be able to recover okay, but my other half has a lot of health issues too.”

Folks in charge at the New York State School Board Association and local school districts say they are frankly relieved Governor Cuomo will keep them closed. They say despite all their best efforts, there just wasn’t enough time.

“Conversations are being had about social distancing in school, how do we do transportation safely, how do we configure classrooms,” explains NYSSBA Chief Communications officer David Albert.

“How do we organize the cafeterias or recess, is there no recess, the passing in the hallways, what do all these things look like?” asks Mechanicville City School District Superintendent Bruce Potter. “And then you know, there’s also different types of conversations of if we have to limit the number of kids that are in the building at a certain time what, does that look like?”

Potter says he’s hopeful in Mechanicville at least, their solution may be summer school, a time to plan with far fewer students in attendance. Governor Cuomo said during his press briefing a decision on summer school would be made by the end of May.

“Quite honestly, it would be an opportunity to trial run some of these processes and procedures that we would need to put in place,” Potter says.

He says the Mechanicville City School District is setting up subcommittees for each aspect of coming back to school after coronavirus, including transportation, school nutrition, cleaning, mental health, etc.

“We’re concerned, not only on the effects of regression academically, but also what effect this situation has had on our students social and emotional health, so those are conversations we’re having,” he adds.

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