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East End schools adapt to surge of NYC families

This week's top stories

1. City dwellers have migrated to the East End, boosting school enrollments

City dwellers with deep pockets have migrated from their cooped-up metropolitan landscape to the East End, bumping up enrollment in numerous districts, including Amagansett, Sag Harbor, East Hampton and Aquebogue. Some districts have scrambled for additional space and teachers to adapt to the increase of students.

Many of the city families already had summer properties on the East End, including Haley Stern and her family. The Sterns fled their Gramercy Park apartment in New York City in the spring for their summer home in Water Mill. Stern has since decided to stay and enroll her youngest in a nursery school and her two other children in the Ross School, a private school that offers in-person schooling five days a week.

When city transplants began arriving in the spring, they said they wanted to escape a metro area teeming with the coronavirus, shuttered schools and lockdown orders. They decided to stay for the fall, saying they wanted their children in schools that were generally less crowded than city schools and had outdoor areas where the kids could learn and play.

"They are nervous. They are apprehensive about living in New York City," said Mitchell L. Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at New York University. "It's not just the pandemic and the uncertainty about public schools in the city. It's the perception that the quality of life in New York City is declining." About 5% of the city's population, or some 420,000 people, left the city between March 1 and May 1, according to a review of multiple data by The New York Times.

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2. More Long Island students are taking a gap year. Here's what they're doing instead.

College students faced a big question this year: to go or not to go? Students share why they chose to take a gap year amid the pandemic.

  • "I just really didn’t want half the experience for the same amount of tuition. That was a deal-breaker for me," said Denise Lee, 18, of Manhasset, who planned to go to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. She's hitting the road for adventure this fall.
  • "I don’t want to log into school; I want to go to school," said Jackson Stenborg, 21, a SUNY Purchase student. He and some other students in this story have opted to work this semester instead of go to class to help save money.

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3. Long Island Catholic high schools on board with playing flag football

All six of the Long Island Catholic high schools that play traditional tackle football have opted to participate in the Catholic High School Football League's new 7-on-7 flag football league, according to league president Chris Hardardt.

  • The high school teams have been approved by the state Catholic High School Athletic Association to begin practicing and competition for an approximately five-game season that kicks off Oct. 10.
  • Flag football was classified by the state as moderate risk for COVID-19, while tackle football is high-risk. High-risk fall sports — including boys and girls volleyball and competitive cheerleading — are restricted to low-contact or no-contact activities. Tackle football currently may not be played in New York State until after December.

Read the full story.

4. Temporary school closings continue

Two schools in the William Floyd school district were closed Tuesday after a middle school student tested positive for COVID-19, while a BOCES school in Hicksville where a staff member tested positive will halt in-person instruction until Oct. 5, officials said.

  • Other cases were reported in Lindenhurst and Riverhead schools, as well as in Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, though those schools did not close. The decisions by school administrators are among a series of temporary shutdowns of Long Island classrooms as virus cases emerge during the first few weeks of the region's return to classroom instruction.
  • The Willet Avenue School in Hicksville temporarily closed after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, Nassau BOCES said. The school is closed for two weeks based on widespread exposure, the Nassau health department said.

Read the full story.

Resources for you

  • provides educational games and activities organized into grade levels and subject categories, such as letters, numbers and holidays.

  • provides access to books that include supplemental curriculum that aims to strengthen comprehension, verbal and written skills.

Your questions answered

Have questions? Send them to Newsday’s education reporting team will pick one to answer in this space each week. This week, we provided the following question.

How does the SUNY COVID-19 tracker work?

The State University of New York has created an online portal that allows students, families and the general public to track infections of COVID-19 as well as testing at all 64 campuses. The website is at and is updated daily. Overall, SUNY has had 1,473 students test positive for the virus after 70,827 tests, as of Wednesday. SUNY enrolls more than 415,000 students.

The page opens to "system-wide data" for the entire SUNY system. For data on a specific campus, click on the school's name from the box on the center of the screen for mobile users and along the left rail of the web page for desktop users. The default is a campus' current two-week period, showing only reported cases from that period. But users can also select to see the previous two-week period or the total year-to-date figures.

The tracker also shows the number of students in quarantine and isolation, as well as how many on-campus rooms are available for quarantine and isolation and how many are currently being used. Users also can see the number of hospitalizations and deaths related to the virus of students and employees.

Round of applause

Joey Spallina of Mount Sinai is the No. 1-ranked boys lacrosse junior in the country, according to Inside Lacrosse. It's no surprise he's been getting calls from college lacrosse coaches since Sept. 1, the day coaches can start recruiting members of the Class of 2022. He wasted no time in making his decision to play for Syracuse, where he dreamed of playing since he was a kid, Spallina said.

Spallina, an attack, will don No. 22 at Syracuse, which is a significant number at the university. The school doesn’t let just anyone wear the number. It’s reserved for a special talent, and Spallina will become just the 10th player since 1988 to wear it.

— Find the latest education news at Catherine Carrera can be reached at or on Twitter @CattCarrera.

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