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Islanders support virtual learning in Elmont

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Islanders officials donated a total of $100,000 to Elmont and Sewanhaka schools on Monday, as students continue to learn virtually.

Half of that money went to the Elmont elementary school district, where about half of the student body is enrolled in the district’s remote learning program, according to Board President Michael Jaime. The district supports those students through a partnership with Altice, he said, which provides the district with access codes for its hotspots.

But, Superintendent Kenneth Rosner said, some families in the district have three, four or five students learning remotely, which could slow down the Internet access. With this money, he and Jaime said, the district can increase the number of hotspots in the community, as well as provide the students that are learning remotely with more English as a New Language and Foreign Language Arts enrichment.

“We’re looking at ways to provide equity to everyone,” Rosner said.

Similarly, the Islanders donated $50,000 to the Sewanhaka Central High School District to support remote learning at Sewanhaka and Elmont high schools. Almost 60 percent of the district’s students are participating in its virtual program, according to Taryn Johnson, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and the other 40 percent learn remotely every other day under the district’s hybrid learning program.

“We have to educate all of our students,” Johnson said. “If a student doesn’t have access to wifi, they’re left out of the education.”

But Elmont Memorial High School Principal Kevin Dougherty said he thought the virtual learning program was “going really well.”

“The teachers are adapting [and the] kids are engaged,” he said, “they’re learning and we’re trying to make the most out of a not-so-great situation.”

Jaime, who also serves as the president of the Sewanhaka Central High School District, added that he was “extremely grateful” for the Islanders’ support, calling them “an awesome partner.”