Mount Vernon schools switch to remote learning through at least mid-January
The Mount Vernon City School District announced Monday night that it will be going to 100% virtual instruction starting Dec. 22.
It said that schools will reopen on Jan 18, 2022, but extended closures could be necessary.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Hamilton said in a letter, "We have all been watching as Broadway closed, professional sports have been affected, and some states (Maryland) have moved to remote learning. We have also seen an increase in our positive cases and quarantines. I have been very reluctant to close schools, but given the current trends in COVID cases, it would be risky not to do so."
The district said it expects all students and staff to be tested before returning on Jan. 18, and that it expects to implement weekly testing after that. The saliva-based tests will be available on Jan. 3 and 4 and the specimen must be returned in the morning on Jan. 5.
School Superintendent Kenneth Hamilton issued a statement saying in part, “It is essential that we are responsive to the changes that Covid-19 has recently brought upon us. I have been very reluctant to close schools, but given the current trends in Covid cases, it would be risky not to do so."
Some parents who talked to News 12 say the most important thing is keeping kids safe. "I think the school district has to do whatever is safe for their students and for the residents of Mount Vernon. If that's what it takes, then that's what it takes," says Jose Filipe, of Mount Vernon. “It’s the best for the children to be in school, but it is what it is. We're going to keep them for a while now," says parent Liliana Bravo.
A few kids tell News 12 they would rather have in-person learning. "I feel upset cause it's very hard for me to learn as remote," says third grader Lizeth Bravo. Second grader Julius Rogiers is also not thrilled about returning to remote learning, saying it affects not just him but also his entire family. "Last year when I went remote, it was hard to do because my mom was going to work, and she had to go remote too. So she had to help me, and she had to do her work at the same time."
More on the change can be found here.