Coronavirus News: School year will end earlier for many New York districts

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Many school districts in New York will be ending their programs sooner than originally planned.

There's no doubt this school year has been unpredictable.

For many districts, that will be true right up until the end. The end of the school calendar, that is.

It's coming sooner than you may think for many New York districts outside New York City, because many teachers were told by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to work during spring break.

"If you're gonna go longer you'll have to compensate everyone in the district for those longer days, so is that what they want to do at this point, with so many uncertainties," New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallota said.

It's not what most superintendents want to do. The cost of paying teachers, especially in larger districts, could be hundreds of thousands of dollars per day.

In New York City, the union has decided to work out compensation down the road, and go until the scheduled last day. But on Long Island, expect a mix.

In Port Washington, for example, the last day will be June 17, instead of June 26.

"It's still the same amount of instructional days, so it's not like we're going from 183 instructional days here in Port Washington, down to 175," Port Washington Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Hynes said. "That's not the case. It's the same amount, it's just compressed."

In Elwood, they will go right till the end. But that's only because teachers did not hold remote classes during spring break.

"On paper, we definitively took a spring break," Elwood School Superintendent Dr. Ken Bossert said. "There was no live interaction between teacher and student during that first week of closing after COVID-19."

So depending on which district you live in, it'll be one more detail for parents to navigate.

Some parents with younger kids, like Naomi Mandell in Half Hollow Hills, was just glad about what she won't have to navigate.

"Not have to sign my kindergartner on at 10 a.m. and make sure that my daughter's on all her classes between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.," Mandell said.

And an added benefit -- kids can finally catch their breath and end a year, full of twists and turns, a week earlier than planned.

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