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York school district prepares for 'distance learning' during coronavirus concerns

Teachers are planning ahead in the event York schools are closed due to COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

YORK, Maine — As school districts continue to postpone events amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, one school district in York County, Maine is planning ahead in case schools are shut down.

There was no school Friday in the York School Department to give teachers and staff time to prepare for 'distance learning' for the district's 17-hundred students.

At Village Elementary school which has 220 kindergarten and first grade students, teachers and staff were assembling bags for distance learning. Each bag contains daily assignments for literacy, math, music and physical education. Parents will also be able to connect with teachers through email and FaceTime. Students who don't have access to a computer are being given laptops take home. 

The bags will be distributed to families of students Kindergarten to fourth grade on Monday. Middle school and high school students fifth through 12th grade will access their assignments through google classroom but there will be no live instruction. With the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus and and York's proximity to New Hampshire, which has had two more cases of coronavirus this week alone added an increased sense of urgency to prepare. 

'We are planning for the worst case scenario -- meaning in our minds that would be closing school for two weeks,' said Lou Goscinski, York Superintendent.

Again, York is not closing schools -- classes will resume on Monday. Any decision to close schools will include consultation from the Maine CDC and local health officials. 

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