Olean City School District Superintendent Rick Moore suspects the district’s teachers have been working harder than ever.
"Some are putting in like 10 to 12 hours a day," Moore said. "I mean they really created a whole new way of learning.”
Moore was among area school officials responding to TAPinto Greater Olean inquiries about adjustments in routine after schooling for students in pre-K through grade 12 became an online, at-home experience across New York state in the third week of March.
On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that all schools in New York state will remain closed for the rest of the academic year as a safety measure for combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is the best course of action to keep students, educators and staff safe," Cuomo said.
In Olean, teachers in pre-K to grade 3 teachers are using YouTube videos for instruction and posting review packets on the school’s website. Additionally, students in grades 4 and above were given the use of laptops so they can access and submit work through websites such as Microsoft Teams and Moodle.
“We are all going to be better from this (online learning) at the end,” Moore said. “Through all this hard work we’ve learned so much,” he added.
Students in the Allegany-Limestone Central School District have laptops for completing work, Superintendent Anthony Giannicchi said. Students who do not have internet at home can access it in parking lots at the schools or the Limestone Community Center.
At Southern Tier Catholic School & Archbishop Walsh Academy in Olean, teachers have been posting video lessons and learning material online, President Thomas Manko said. For students who do not have internet but do have access to a computer, the material was downloaded on hard drives for them. For those with neither internet or computers, staff print out packets of work and set times for pickups and dropoffs.
Looking beyond the end of the regular school year in June, TAPinto Greater Olean also inquired about plans in store for summer school.
Manko said Southern Tier Catholic is already offering summer programs for its Montessori program for ages 3 to 5 and for elementary school students up to grade 4. But the school and academy are in the preliminary stages of creating programs for middle and high school students, which would not be mandatory but geared toward students who might need them.
“We would offer it for students so they can sharpen their skills and content knowledge before the school year starts in September,” Manko said.
Allegany-Limestone conducts its summer school through the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, Giannicchi said.
“We know there might be some gaps (in learning) for some students, so we’re definitely for it,” he added.
Though the Olean district has offered summer school in the past, it has not made a decision for summer 2020.
“This year is very unique.,” Moore said. “We'll be kind of watching to see if New York State has funding in line for that... I also believe it could still be remote."
Portville Central School District Superintendent Tom Simon responded to the summer school inquiry.
“If we have summer school, it will be no different than what we have done in previous years,” he said.
TAPinto Greater Olean also contacted the Cuba-Rushford Central School District and the Hinsdale Central School District several times but received no responses.
For more information on the Coronavirus in the Greater Olean area, visit TAPinto Greater Olean's Coronavirus Updates page, which is updated continuously.
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