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Back to School will be very different around Central New York this year … and maybe more dangerous for children going to and from their schools.  Triple-A of Western and Central New York joined State Police in calling on drivers to remember, hybrid and at-home learning changes normal school travel.

“More children will be home throughout the day and that means motorists must be vigilant at all hours,” says Triple-A Regional President Tony Spada.

Scott Willis / WAER News

More than 250 teachers in the Syracuse City School District have signed up for a four week course aimed at helping them provide effective remote learning for their students.  Syracuse University, the Allyn Foundation and a company called Blackboard are providing financial or in-kind support. 

  Schools around Central New York are grappling with decisions about how to bring students and teachers back to classrooms safely – if at all.  Some new research out of Syracuse University could give them effective guidelines, if they’re willing to follow through.  Doctor Eric Schiff is interim Director of the Center of Excellence for Environmental and Energy Systems


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Syracuse University officials have released a harshly-worded statement criticizing students who reportedly ignored coronavirus safety measures to attend a large gathering Wednesday night.  First-year students primarily have been coming to campus housing all this week.  Reports from the Daily Orange and social media showed a crowd of at least 100 people gathered, some wearing masks but many not using masks, and ignoring social distancing and small-group guidelines.

Just about all students in Central New York schools will be doing at least some online learning this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.  But there are different perspectives on what kind of challenge it will be. 

Jordan-Elbridge Central School District / Facebook

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon is disappointed in many of the county’s school district reopening plans. At a briefing Friday, McMahon said his office had asked schools to at least bring elementary school students back 5 days a week.

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A number of Central New York’s school districts are fine-tuning details for their fall semester.  However, the efforts to balance education with health and safety still leave uncertainty.

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As Syracuse University and other schools consider starting college sports, the athletes’ academics and health are both concerns while the coronavirus is still a threat.  The SU athletics department is making the case for preserving as much of the on-campus experience as possible for the student athletes. 

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Schools out for the summer but, when and how will it return?  The State Education Department released a framework this week to provide districts with some guidance to work from.  They are weighing all virtual, face-to-face, and hybrid options.  

Many parts of society have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and education has not been spared. Schools faced closures, then ascrambled to find ways to teach remotely. This followed by uncertainty about letting students back into classrooms.