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Districts weigh in on possibility of extending school year to summer



Greece, N.Y. – Extending the school year to summer is an idea backed by President Joe Biden, but some Rochester-area school districts say they don’t see it becoming a reality.

Biden says it would be a way to help make up for lost time in the classroom due to the pandemic.

Sean McCabe, president of the Greece Board of Education, says it isn’t affordable. Instead, he says Greece Central is pushing to offer in-person instruction full time.

McCabe says the district issued a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week asking for the option of full-time in-person instruction.

He says the extension into summer would be a major setback.

“I think that’s a glorious waste of time. I really do. I get the president talked about it, but logistically it is so far outside the realm of possibility,” said McCabe. “Things are tight. There’s no financing there to come out and to pay teachers, support staff, bus drivers and everyone else an additional four weeks of pay. There’s no way to do it.”

Canandaigua Superintendent Jamie Farr agrees and says the safer, cost-saving approach would be to loosen the six-foot distance restrictions in schools so students could attend five days per week if families choose.

McCabe agrees.

“I think the six-foot distancing is killing it. You look at the private schools who are [full time]. There’s evidence there’s no reason public schools can’t do it,” said McCabe.

Biden says the ultimate goal is for students in kindergarten through eighth grade to return to the classroom five days per week by spring.