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School Buildings Stay Closed

Waterville Principal Nick Rauch hands a cap and gown package to one of this year’s 66 seniors in the Class of 2020. Seniors picked up their graduation gear and will get their photos taken this week in their cap and gown in case the ceremony cannot be done in the school.

Any hope for returning to in-class instruction to finish out this academic year ended shortly before noon Friday.

In his daily briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said due to the possibility of spreading the coronavirus, students in New York state will not return to their classrooms this month or next. “We must protect our children, students and educators,'' Cuomo said.

Locally, the decision opened an outpouring of disappointment and sadness from teachers, students and parents on social media. Many of those commenting singled out this year’s senior class.

The New York State School Boards Association issued the following statement: “Too many issues remain unresolved, including how we can safely transport students to and from school, create classroom environments that allow for safe distances between students, and put in place other public health safeguards that will protect our school communities.

“To the graduating Class of 2020, our heart aches over the loss of milestones in your high school career – graduations, proms, and so many other rites of passage that typically occur at the end of your K-12 education.’’

Cuomo left open the possibility of schools offering summer classes in their buildings. A decision will be made by the end of May.

Gone with the opening of school is the entire 2020 spring high school sports season in New York state, which joins 43 other states in such a decision. Instead, according to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, plans will turn to selecting members to serve on a committee to address and analyze the potential impact of COVID-19 on the fall 2020 interscholastic athletic season.

New York state contemp-lates a plan to begin lifting restrictions, not much will change for at least the next two weeks as the state remains…

The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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