The Goshen Central School District will be closed from Monday, March 16, through Tuesday, April 14, Superintendent Daniel Connor announced today.
Connor's decision came after a recommendation by Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus that schools close for two weeks to stem the tide of the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter to parents, he said district officials decided to extend the closure for a third week leading up to spring recess.
Neuhaus said in a statement that, as of today, Orange County has three positive coronavirus cases. He said he was acting in conjunction with Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan to close schools. All three counties have activated a state of emergency.
Neuhaus said schools throughout the state are closing as a preventative.
“After careful and serious discussion with Orange County’s health commissioner, Dr. Irina Gelman, and the county’s school superintendents, we feel that this is the most prudent course of action for our county schools," said Neuhaus. "The intention is to protect our students, faculty and administration from contracting COVID-19, and to mitigate the spread of the virus. The safety of our county residents is our highest priority. We will continue to work vigorously, together with all of our partners, to keep residents safe and protected.”
In his letter, Connor assured parents that teachers "have been working diligently to prepare meaningful, at-home learning activities for students in order to limit any adverse effects on academics during this closure. Many materials have been finalized and distributed to students. Online learning channels such as Google Classroom will be utilized in some instances. Beginning next week, more information will be provided to families regarding the specifics of accessing digital materials."
Goshen plans to continue providing school meals to students who are part of the school's free- and reduced-lunch program. "These plans will be forthcoming as well," Connor said.
SUNY Orange extends spring break
At SUNY Orange, President Dr. Kristine Young said the college will extend its spring break an extra week for students to allow the college time to develop plans for providing alternative distance learning formats and alternate modes of operations.
SUNY Orange’s spring break is scheduled for March 16 to 20 but students will receive an extra week off. They are expected to return on Monday, March 30.
Young said the decision to give students the extra week is in keeping with guidance from Governor Andrew Cuomo and SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson. School facilities will get a deep cleaning while students are away, she said.
Pennsylvania schools also closed
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf said all school districts in the state will be closed for the next 10 school days starting on Monday, March 16, with a scheduled reopening on Monday, March 30.
The Delaware Valley School District in Pike County says that all five days next week will be treated as snow days, so any school work assigned for the extended break does not apply until all snow days are exhausted. The school's website(dvsd.org) and social media outlets will include updates throughout the closure.
The SAT testing scheduled for Saturday, March 14, at Delaware Valley High School will still take place as scheduled.
Pike County has one coronavirus case as of Friday.