Story at a glance
- Many schools are closed through the end of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Now, some school districts are ending the school year early, bringing a close to remote learning.
- Some are concerned that the move could set students back, but others say the challenges of remote learning are simply too high.
Despite reports that President Donald Trump urged some state governors to consider reopening schools for the remainder of the school year during a conference call on April 27, some school districts are doing just the opposite.
“We believe that preserving some time from June and potentially utilizing that time in August, would be the best approach to provide the optimal learning experience for students,” Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said during a recent briefing in D.C.
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Their announcements come as students and teachers across the country are struggling to adapt to remote learning, with many school buildings closed for the remainder of the year. New York City has announced that schools will use a revised grading system for many students, after the city emerged as one of the major epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
“The vast majority of our community was feeling stressed,” Curtis Jones Jr., superintendent of the Bibb County district, told the Wall Street Journal. “There were inequities between schools. I had teachers who were telling me, `I’m trying to figure out how to do my job as well as teach my class.’ It made sense to us to get rid of the stress and get ready for the following school year.”
Bibb County in Macon, Ga., will end school on May 1, three weeks early. Still, some experts are concerned about the potential setback for students, whose lives have already been disrupted by the pandemic. The "summer slide," or the loss in educational gains that students have made throughout the school year, is an established phenomenon that could be exaggerated with early school closures.
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