WXXI AM News

pandemic academics

Brighton High School bcsd.org

For Brighton High School social studies teacher Jennifer Pacatte, it hasn't exactly been a summer of fun and relaxation.  

"I would say it's been this pervasive state of anxiety for every teacher I know," she said.

Much of that anxiety, she said, is because until a few weeks ago, schools in New York didn't even know if they'd be allowed to reopen.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 7 that students can return to the classroom if coronavirus transmission rates stay below a certain threshold.

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The decision to close schools came suddenly nine weeks ago as the coronavirus started spreading in local communities, but the process of reopening will require a great deal of thought and planning.

In the final part of the WXXI News series, "Pandemic Academics," we explore the many challenges facing districts as they contemplate a return to the classroom.

This time of year, kids are usually counting the days until summer vacation, but Marin and Grace Papponetti can't wait to get back to school.

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In the last two days, we've heard from local students, parents, teachers, and administrators about how they are coping with distance learning since schools closed nine weeks ago to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Today, in the third part of the WXXI News series, "Pandemic Academics: Education During the Coronavirus Crisis,"  we look at the effect that all this time away from the classroom could have on students' academic progress.

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Schools were abruptly closed in mid-March as the coronavirus crisis reached local communities. In the second part of a WXXI News series on the impacts of the pandemic on education, we look at how academic performance is being evaluated, with so many variables at play.

 

If the sudden shift to remote learning was an adjustment for students, then it was jarring for educators.

"It was like putting teachers on a very steep slide and just pushing them off," said Jennifer Pacatte, a social studies teacher at Brighton High School.

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The coronavirus crisis has disrupted daily life in countless ways. For schools, the last two months have been an unplanned experiment in remote learning. In the first part of a WXXI News series on the impacts of the pandemic on education, we explore how students' experiences differ based on their schools, teachers, and even their home environments.

Brennae Johnson lives with her mother and two siblings in what they describe as a tiny, two-bedroom apartment.