ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Making it official on Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo told schools statewide to close for two weeks. Districts have until Wednesday to close.
The 180-day requirement that mandates the length of public school terms state has also been temporarily waived.
I am directing the closure of all schools throughout the state for two weeks as we continue working aggressively to ramp up testing, isolate those who are sick and mitigate the impacts of this virus. Every district will be required to submit a plan to ensure children of healthcare workers and first responders have access to child care so these closures do not strain our hospitals and that children who depend on school meal programs continue getting the support they need.
— Statement from Gov. Cuomo
On April 1, New York will consider further extending the closures or suspending the 180-day instructional requirement.
Districts must create plans for state approval that cover childcare, alternative instructional options, and meal program contingencies. Once submitted, plans would be at the mercy of the Department of Education to modify or amend.
A statement from the governor’s office clarified that the state would not exempt schools from the 180-day instructional rule if they go beyond the two-week period without authorization.
Because school districts in Westchester County, Long Island, and New York City were already ordered closed ahead of the rest of the state, they must submit plans for each municipality for approval by midnight on Monday.