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Franklin Square school district switches to remote learning, Elmont and Sewanhaka schools closed


All schools in the Franklin Square school district, as well as the Gotham Avenue School and the Alden Terrace School in the Elmont Union Free School District, will remain closed until Jan. 19, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the community.

Almost 300 students and staff members in Franklin Square were under quarantine orders as of Jan. 12, Superintendent Jared Bloom posted on the district’s website that night, either because they tested positive for the virus or because they were in close contact with someone has tested positive. As a result, he said, all students in the district will learn remotely at this time. “This was not an easy decision to make,” Bloom wrote, “however, our students’ safety is our number one priority, and we must have enough staff in the buildings to safely operate.”

The Gotham Avenue and Alden Terrace schools in Elmont are also closed “due to previous quarantines and an increasing number of cases in the area,” Superintendent Kenneth Rosner wrote on the district’s website on Jan. 12. District officials will continue to work with the Nassau County Department of Health and “take all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our school community,” he said, and all instruction will take place remotely during this closure.

Meanwhile, Sewanhaka High School was closed on Jan. 13, after four staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, which caused 15 people in one academic department to have to quarantine. It was reopened the next day, however, because it was cleaned and disinfected in just one day.

“The research has shown that school is one of the safest places to be,” Superintendent James Grossane said in a message to parents on Jan. 14, “and we remain focused on our mission to provide the best education for our students.”