Franklin D. Roosevelt High School opened its doors to students last Thursday. By the last bell on Monday, it was set to close yet again.
“That’s crazy because we just started again. I’m kind of bummed out about it, because I actually kind of missed school, so it’s a little upsetting,” freshman Dominick Mollano said at dismissal.
The high school is among the approximately 100 public and 200 non-public schools located in COVID hotspots in Brooklyn and Queens. They will close Tuesday, after Governor Cuomo bumped up the timeline on Mayor de Blasio’s original plan to close them Wednesday.
For at least the next two weeks, all students in these schools will take part in remote learning, leaving parents like Brigitta Galati with mixed emotions.
“I want them to be safe. I’m upset. though, that they’re not getting the in-person learning, because it’s very difficult to do remote, with, I work at home,” she said.
Her two girls attend P.S. 121, which is five blocks from FDR. They were happy to return in person starting last week.
“I like learning better in school because schools we’re actually in person so we get to really see the teachers and see what they’re doing, we actually have the smart board and we actually have the sheets in front of us,” Gabriella, 9, said.
In nearby Midwood, eight-year-old Serenity Smith was heading home from Courtelyou Academy with a box full of books.
“They tell us that around our area, the cases keep on coming up and up,” she said.
For students like her, going remote again comes with pros and cons.
“I feel sad because I don’t get to see my friends anymore, and I feel happy that I don’t have to wake up early,” she said.
Outside of Midwood High School, which will also close, teacher Laurel Digianni was loading books onto the back of her bike. As in many large schools, students here have been learning on their devices, even on days they are in the classroom.
“It’s not going to change too, too much for a lot of our students, but it’s still going to be sad because I work with freshmen, so I was getting to know them, and being able to put faces to names was really nice,” Digianni said.
Still, she’s glad the city and state are taking action to stop the spread of the virus.
“I really do not want to go back to what March and April were like with all of the sirens,” she said.