New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo May 1 announced all schools and colleges in the state would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.

The Diocese of Syracuse operates 22 schools with a total enrollment of 4,345 students pre-K to grade 12 and 429 employees. All 22 schools have been closed and offering distance instruction since March.

William W. Crist, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, offered the following statement in an email to the Sun following the governor’s announcement:

“Although we are disappointed with the decision by Governor Cuomo to keep all New York state schools closed through the end of the academic year, we recognize the importance of safeguarding our students, families, and communities from the coronavirus. We will continue to provide online and distance learning the remainder of this school year as we have done since March. Our teachers and administration have planned and presented a very consistent and rigorous academic program of teaching and learning during these unprecedented times. Our students and families have embraced this new approach with energy and enthusiasm.

“We are most discouraged that the many events and activities that regularly bring our school year to a rousing crescendo just won’t be the same within this virtual mode of instruction, learning, and school in general. To that end, we are in regular and ongoing discussion and planning within our diocesan schools for the best way to deliver some of the culminating events that make our schools so unique and appealing. Each school will continue to update families of those developments.

“In closing, I ask all those who are part of our school communities to embrace the place and state that we are in, knowing that God is with us and we will learn and deepen our faith from these experiences.”

The Sun will provide continuing coverage of how students, families, and educators are adapting in light of the coronavirus pandemic in upcoming issues.

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