The Success Academy has decided to stay totally out of the way until December, the charter school network said Thursday, citing “building preparation” and the loss of teaching time under social distancing guidelines.
The largest charter school operator in New York City with approximately 20,000 students, Success Academy’s 47 schools are almost all co-located in public school buildings. The original plan was to kick off the school year in a hybrid model, Success Academy officials said last month.
Charter schools in the network have already started the distance school year on August 4 for high school students after Success Academy officials accused the city’s Department of Education of not allowing its classes to access schools. public school buildings, even though Governor Andrew Cuomo had not made the decision to authorize the school. reopens anywhere in the state at that time.
Cuomo announced Aug. 7 that all school districts in the state can reopen if infection rates remain low.
New York City public schools are now expected to begin orientation on September 16 and in-person learning on September 21, eleven days after the school start date, after weeks of pressure from school unions to delay reopening.
Success Academy spokeswoman Ann Powell said in a press release Thursday that the network has launched ‘Remote 2.0’ learning, with each student equipped with laptops or tablets and hours of instruction. live via Zoom five days a week. Kindergarten to grade 8 students in the program began school on August 24.
“With building preparation still an issue, SA concluded that staying away until at least December would provide the best learning experience for students,” Powell said in the statement.
“Our Remote 2.0 is a ‘real school’ with a full live teaching program five days a week, and we put all of our energy into making this experience as rich and engaging as possible,” said Eva Moskowitz, Founder and CEO of Success Academy. , in the press release. “The logistical complexities of keeping our community safe would greatly compromise the student learning experience and limit so many interactions children love at school. “
Success Academy officials said that typical school day offerings, where “students gather around a mat to hear a story read, they” turn and talk “to discuss a book , playing with blocks and building together, working in groups and asking questions., ”would not be possible under the social distancing rules required by the state.
“With the level of dedensification required today, such interactions would be very difficult, if not impossible. The need to practice confinement would also limit recreation and make it very difficult to use art rooms, dance studios, science laboratories and fitness spaces, ”the statement said. “Finally, the complex measures to protect staff and students – having different arrival times to avoid overcrowding, eating in opposing classrooms, carefully coordinating the use of the restroom – would significantly reduce learning time. . “
Despite the pandemic, the new school year has started off on a high note, Powell said in an email to Gothamist on Friday, noting that “retention of teachers and academics is higher this year than last year.”