GJSD students start virtual classroom studies

JOHNSTOWN — Students in the Greater Johnstown School District are set to start graded classroom learning again today through virtual classrooms.

GJSD Superintendent Karen Geelan said the teachers have created Google Classrooms for learning during the extended closure. Until today, parents were sent reminders to use the online assignments or to pick up work packets at the school. But those assignments were not graded.

Starting today, the assignments will be graded.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a two-week extension to school closures in New York state last week, taking the April 1 deadline and extending it until April 15. GJSD students are scheduled to have their spring recess start on Monday, April 13.

“April 15 is in the middle of our scheduled spring break,” said Geelan in a release to parents. “We are still waiting for guidance on spring break and hope to have that guidance early next week.”

Students have been sent “invitations” to their Google Classrooms.

“Google Classroom may be accessed by visiting classroom.google.com,” said Geelan in the release. “Your child should log in with his or her full email address — lunchnumber@johnstownschools.org — and the password he or she uses to log into Chromebooks at school.”

Geelan said another issue school officials are dealing with during the closure involves Knox Field.

Noting that being separated from school friends, along with the stress caused from the shelter-at-home initiative to help stem the coronavirus outbreak, is difficult for everyone and some people are not adhereing to the social distancing guidelines.

“One thing that makes all of us feel good is getting out in the fresh air, especially as the outdoor temperatures start to rise,” said Geelan. “However, at this time it is critical to maintain proper social distancing and keep at least 6 feet between one another. It is for our own personal safety as well as the protection of others.”

Continuing, she said people are visiting the field and congregating.

“Unfortunately, a number of people in our community are not adhering to these guidelines,” said Geelan. “There have been complaints that groups are gathering at Knox Field, and if it continues, we will have to lock the gates. We do not want to shut off this beautiful park from the surrounding community, but if visitors do not adhere to social distancing while on school property, we will be forced to do so.”

She is asking parents for their help.

“Parents, please reinforce with your children the need to keep distant from others,” she said. “Supervise them at Knox Field.”

She also said that any type of contact sport is not permitted at this time

“Neighbors appreciate being able to walk the bridle path, sit on a bench or hit a tennis ball. Let’s not let the actions of some ruin it for everyone,” she said. “I am asking for your help, and I thank you in advance for your cooperation.”

New learning materials will become available on Google Classroom starting today.

Instructions for logging into the virtual classrooms can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut92Wl2oBps&feature=youtu.be.

By Josh Bovee

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