Readers Write: Opening Herricks schools full time

On July 10, the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AASA, and the School Superintendents Association issued a Statement regarding the safe return of students, teachers, and staff to schools, citing the relevance of benefits of returning to school, academically and socially, as well as the vital role played by our educators, as most parents realized this recent spring.

On July 13, 2020, Gov. Cuomo issued guidelines for school re-openings in the State of New York.

During the next several days, the Herricks Union Free School District and selected “Task Force” will consider multiple options for the re-opening of our school in the fall of 2020, with the final decision made by the governor.

HUFSD, like many school districts in Nassau County, is in the unique position of utilizing multiple and vast open spaces on each respective campus to aide in reopening schools.

There is no question that the health and well-being of our children and staff is paramount and there is no “one-size fits all category” for how to open our schools.

However, the concept of a “hybrid” or half-school/half online system will further contribute to our children’s academic, social, emotional and psychological deterioration.

A proposed “hybrid” system will further contribute to an undue burden on families as many employers are not allowing for on-line work.  Finally, the HUFSD did not have the infrastructure in place when suddenly forced into “virtual” learning this past spring.

The use of our wonderful open spaces, as linked to the reopening of the schools, with proper climate control, security measures and proper reallocation of funds for teacher’s assistants can allow for social distancing to ensure our children’s and staff’s safety as well as allow our children to resume the road of learning and socialization.

Kostas A. Katsavdakis

Williston Park

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The Island Now

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