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Shorter AP exams, the new HS graduation

This week's top 5

1. The new high school graduation

Graduating seniors at Ward Melville High School will celebrate completing four years of hard work in five separate ceremonies that observe social distancing.

  • But there will be no line of jubilant graduates walking from their seats and onto a stage to receive a diploma and shake a teacher’s hand.

  • Other standard end-of-year practices including speeches by the valedictorian, salutatorian and senior class president, and the singing of the national anthem, will be preserved virtually and available for people to watch as they are delivered and later at home.

Read the full story.

2. AP tests go online, become shorter

Most of the Advanced Placement exams, taken by high-achieving students, are bite-size this year.

  • Most of the bite-sized AP exams, taken by high school students, consist of one or two questions and require just 45 minutes to complete. 
  •  In contrast, the traditional tests used until now had required three hours to finish.

The launch of testing Monday got off to a bumpy start.

  • Test sponsors at the Manhattan-based College Board said about 1,000 students worldwide taking a Physics C Mechanics exam, or 2% of those participating, encountered glitches in trying to submit their test answers electronically, and would be offered a chance to retake tests in June.

Read the full story.

3. Irate parents argue closing school

The Connetquot school district needs to save money, but parents question why the system would consider closing John Pearl Elementary during a health crisis.

  • The possible closure was discussed at a virtual Board of Education meeting, but no vote was taken. The board voted to eliminate positions and take other steps to make up for a $3.5 million deficit in the projected 2020-21 budget. 
  • Parent Kevin Shapiro, whose daughter is in the fourth grade, said the potential closure "came out of nowhere." A petition to keep the school open has about 2,300 signatures.

Read the full story.

4. WFH? Not these district employees, school says

Plainview-Old Bethpage Superintendent Lorna Lewis said she has asked some clerical staff and administrators to return to the school buildings two days a week amid the COVID-19 shutdown.

  • But a school administrators group is fighting it.
  • Arthur Scheuermann, general counsel for the School Administrators Association of New York State, which represents more than 7,500 school administrators and supervisors in New York, reached out to the district to say that officials there would be violating Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's order if they called staff back in Monday.

Read the full story.

5. Lawrence lays off, furloughs more than 100 workers

Lawrence school officials, citing “the adverse economic impact” of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tuesday that the district has furloughed or laid off 108 employees.

  •  Lawrence’s layoffs represent the largest loss of regular school jobs in the Long Island region, since districts began shuttering their doors as a health precaution March 10.

Read the full story.

Resources for you

Your questions answered

Question: How will classes be different come this September? - Beth from Babylon

Answer: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. - John Hildebrand

Round of applause

Virginia Graziosi, an eighth-grader at Robert M. Finley Middle School, has been sewing reusable cloth masks for staff at Glen Cove Hospital, where her aunt works in the radiology department. As of earlier this month, she had sewn about 100 masks.

To create the masks, Graziosi said she used a sewing machine she received as a Christmas gift and taught herself to use it through videos on YouTube.

"I wanted to help the people working on the front lines," said Graziosi, 13. "We are so thankful for everything our essential workers are doing to keep us safe during these strange and uncertain times."

Read the full story.

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