Success Academy Charter Schools closing amid coronavirus

BOROUGHWIDE — New York’s City’s traditional public schools are remaining open during the coronavirus crisis, at least for now. But Success Academy, a leading charter school organization, announced Friday that it is closing its schools for the foreseeable future.

Success Academy Charter Schools will be closed starting Thursday, March 19, and will remain closed until further notice.

The academy’s 18,000 students will switch to on-line and at-home learning.

“This was a difficult decision. We know some families will have trouble getting childcare, and we regret that there is not a solution that meets everyone’s needs. But the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented and evolving rapidly,” said Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools.

“The safety of scholars and staff, as well as the larger community, is our paramount concern,” Moskowitz added.

Success Academy operates several charter schools in Brooklyn, including schools in Bensonhurst, Cobble Hill, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Prospect Heights and Bed-Stuy,

Success Academy was prepared for the possibility of closing, according to officials.

Under the plan, students in grades 5-12 will use Google Classroom to access a daily schedule of when to log on to a video conference system for teacher-led lessons. Advisors will Facetime or speak daily by phone with each student. Teachers will hold office hours throughout the day for students in need of additional support. 

Younger students, those in grades K-4, are being sent home from school with books. Teachers will be in regular daily communication with both parents and children, according to Success Academy officials.

Parents will be emailed a weekly overview of how students can organize their lessons in various subjects, including reading, writing, math and science.

Families also have free access to Tumblebooks, a database containing 1,200 e-books for young readers and pre-readers, officials said.

Under New York State’s education law, charter schools are public schools. But they operate independently and are often funded by private enterprise.

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