This week’s high tales
1. Some college students struggling amid want for computer systems
Whereas many Island districts have been capable of concern computer systems to college students amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of others, notably in low-wealth communities, haven’t been capable of fill the necessity. Quite a few college youngsters nonetheless should not have their very own computer systems or entry to high-speed web, educators mentioned. A few of these college students are poor, some immigrants, and nonetheless others are simply caught within the backup of laptop orders that stretches world wide.
Some nonprofit organizations and donors have tried to fill the hole. Not too long ago, the Islip City NAACP, Expertise for Households In Want, the Suffolk Police Athletic League and others put collectively an area charity drive the place they handed out 100 new and refurbished computer systems, laptops and tablets. Amongst those that acquired units was the Rivera household of Central Islip. Mary Rivera, 49, mentioned her 4 youngsters had been sharing two computer systems to do their schoolwork. All of them would take turns, signing on and doing their assignments because the others would wait, she mentioned.
“It is numerous stress,” she mentioned. “A few occasions, they’ve fallen behind.” Three of her 4 children are enrolled within the Central Islip college district, with one other attending faculty. With the assistance of the charity drive, the household now has three computer systems for the 4 youngsters. The Central Islip district has distributed greater than 250 units to college students however has 2,045 Chromebooks on order with a number of distributors relationship to Could and July, officers mentioned.
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2. Report: LI faculties have highest COVID-19-linked bills in NY
Lengthy Island college districts spent probably the most of any area within the state — a median of greater than $1.1 million — on COVID-19-related bills to soundly reopen faculties this fall, as districts needed to buy tools, increase transportation and supply know-how for college kids, a statewide survey discovered.
- Spending totaled greater than $79 million statewide, together with greater than $24 million throughout Lengthy Island, in keeping with the report. Native districts tapped into their reserves and shifted funds from different budgets to cowl the prices, the survey discovered.
- The Malverne district, which has 1,700-plus college students, has spent greater than $829,000 to reopen, Superintendent Lorna Lewis mentioned. That determine doesn’t embody the extra price of hiring substitutes when employees should quarantine. The district bought temperature scanners for all buildings, outside picnic tables for college kids to make use of throughout fresh-air breaks, touch-free bathrooms, and fogging machines to sanitize lecture rooms.
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3. LI college officers alarmed by reimbursement ban on busing meals
On the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the William Floyd college district delivered an estimated half-million meals to homebound college students by way of yellow buses. So native officers grew alarmed final week when suggested by the state that they would not be compensated for prices of these deliveries.
- “If we aren’t reimbursed, you are speaking a couple of potential devastating hit of $3.5 million,” mentioned Kevin Coster, superintendent of William Floyd’s 8,900-student system. Dozens of districts say that any state denial of compensation would “actually go away holes of their budgets,” mentioned Roger Tilles of Manhasset, who represents Lengthy Island on the state Board of Regents.
- The Regents on Monday proposed an modification permitting state-aid reimbursements when buses are used for such functions as delivering lunches and homework packets. The ultimate determination is as much as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state legislators, who face a rising price range squeeze.
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4. Panel: Decrease-income college students face extra challenges throughout on-line studying
College students from low-income backgrounds face vital obstacles that these in higher-wealth districts don’t encounter in getting a high quality training through the pandemic, a panel of specialists mentioned Tuesday.
- “When you concentrate on fairness, how do these youngsters who’ve been writing essays on their cellphone or sharing a tool with their dad or mum, how do they decide in to the training surroundings the identical as different college students who didn’t have to think about whether or not there can be a tool out there?” mentioned Monique Darrisaw-Akil, assistant superintendent of secondary training with the Brentwood college district.
- Monique Powell, a former educator who now’s the director of neighborhood improvement for Lengthy Seashore, mentioned when the pandemic hit, sure households misplaced the protected surroundings college supplied their youngsters. “It was youngster care. It was nourishment. It was socialization. What the pandemic did was take that away,” she mentioned.
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5. Port Washington dad and mom ready to be repaid for canceled softball journey
The Paul D. Schreiber Excessive Faculty varsity softball workforce was presupposed to attend a Florida softball match in April, however the journey was canceled after the coronavirus pandemic struck — and fogeys say they’re nonetheless ready for greater than $25,000 in refunds.
- Doron Nissan, whose daughter is on the workforce, mentioned dad and mom paid $1,800 every for about 14 ladies planning to make the journey. The funds went to the Port Washington college district, he mentioned, which in flip paid KSA Occasions, the Florida firm internet hosting the competition. “We’re nonetheless sitting right here in mid-November and we actually do not know what the story is,” he mentioned.
- Port Washington Superintendent Michael Hynes mentioned the district has been in communication with KSA for the reason that spring, and the college board has authorized the discharge of $17,800 in funds to reimburse the households. “The district will proceed to advocate on behalf of our college students and their households to return to a decision with KSA Occasions, together with the continued pursuit of litigation if wanted,” Hynes mentioned in a press release.
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Assets for you
- The WNET Group and New York Metropolis Division of Training are rolling out new episodes of “Let’s Be taught,” a one-hour, every day public tv collection for grades pre-Ok-2. The episodes characteristic partaking classes with English and Spanish captions led by DOE tutorial leaders and coaches. Go to letslearn.org.
- For straightforward-to-understand solutions and explanations of how the world truly works by way of articles, podcasts and movies, go to HowStuffWorks.com.
Your questions answered
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What steps ought to faculty college students take earlier than heading again house for Thanksgiving?
Universities and schools on Lengthy Island are mandating COVID-19 tests for some college students, and inspiring exams for the remaining, as tens of 1000’s of them put together to journey house for Thanksgiving simply as an infection charges are rising nationwide. Infectious illness specialists say returning college students are potential sources of COVID-19 unfold and will get examined earlier than becoming a member of relations.
“The times the place we will have a big Thanksgiving dinner with the home bustling full of individuals that you simply see a few times a yr over a giant vacation shouldn’t happen this yr,” mentioned Dr. Bruce Farber, chief of infectious ailments at North Shore College Hospital and Lengthy Island Jewish Medical Heart. “Thanksgiving celebrations have to be very small— solely, if doable, with the quick nuclear household.”
Farber mentioned the mix of chilly climate, college students getting back from faculty campuses, the elevated an infection price within the area and the socialization that happens throughout holidays “makes for an ideal storm for the expansion of COVID in the neighborhood.”
If college students cannot get examined earlier than coming house, “they need to do their greatest to keep away from any extra threat of COVID of their final week earlier than returning to households,” Farber mentioned. College students ought to “attempt to isolate, double down on the masks, double down on the social distancing, keep away from teams of individuals … earlier than they return house.”
Spherical of applause
A Mount Sinai High School student has been bringing smiles to these in want through the pandemic.
Devin Beresky, a sophomore, has thus far collected about 1,100 baggage and bins crammed with gadgets starting from clothes to toys to highschool provides. She estimates the baggage and bins contained about 10,000 particular person gadgets.
To gather the baggage and bins, Beresky mentioned she unfold the phrase about her efforts on social media and visited the properties of potential donors to retrieve gadgets. As soon as her household’s automotive was full, the gadgets have been taken to native donation facilities.