COVID-19 Closure Updates (Week 2)

Hi all!

I have quite a bit of new information to share with you, and felt it appropriate to put it all in a new post. You can read my original post here; there’s still some useful stuff to be found.

Unfortunately, New York State has become the hardest hit state for COVID-19 cases. Almost half of all confirmed cases in the US are in New York, and about half of those are in/around New York City. Governor Cuomo has signed an order mandating that all non-essential businesses statewide shut down completely, as well as banning all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason. I recommend you read the above link for the full details of the order (and check out this list of what counts as “essential” businesses). Unfortunately, we do not know for how long this closure will last.

ICSD schools are closed until April 12 at the earliest, and the current official recommendation regarding distance learning is that all distance learning content is optional and nongraded. They further recommended that any content should be a review at least until spring break, and that teachers will provide one such activity per course per week.

To all students and families:

  • Please complete the district’s Student Device and Wifi Access Survey. This has a lot of the same questions as my own Google Poll from earlier in the week, but the district needs to hear from everybody.
  • Continue to check the ICSD Coronavirus page (and the Tompkins County Health DepartmentCDC, and NYS Department of Health pages) for information and updates about the virus.
  • If you need meals: Free meals are available for all children during the school closure. Starting Tuesday, March 24, all ICSD meals will be delivery-only. Complete this form to request a delivery. A menu and more information can be found online here
  • The leading local broadband internet provider, Spectrum, is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with children in grades K-12 or in college for those who do not already have a subscription. Families can call (844) 488-8395 to enroll. Installation fees will be waived for new student households, the company said. Spectrum said regular pricing will take effect at the end of the 60-day period if a customer doesn’t cancel or change the service. (from
  • If you’re looking for non-Internet based educational tools, our local PBS affiliate WSKG is preempting their regular air schedule to launch a Learn at Home schedule. All day, WSKG will be broadcasting valuable, enriching programming that you can use to supplement what I and your students other teachers offer during this time.
  • See this Google Document for a list of currently-open local restaurants and their delivery/take-out status. Many dine-in restaurants are offering curbside pickup. Be aware that some of these locations’ hours/availability may change.
  • The New York State Board of Education has suspended all Elementary and Intermediate-Level state assessments (Grades 3-8). No decision has been made about High School Regents exams. Keep an eye on the NYSED Coronavirus page for updates, and take a look at their Continuity of Learning page for additional suggestions.

To my AP Statistics students:

I know you are anxious about what will happen with grades, classes, finals, college acceptances, transcripts, and so on. Do not feel bad about the stress you might be experiencing or any sadness you may have for the school events you’re now missing out on because of this outbreak. This disease is affecting everybody in different ways, and while perspective is important, that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to be upset about how it is impacting you personally.

The Collegeboard has released some new information about how AP exams will be impacted. From that update:

  • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will not take place. Students will take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home.
  • Some students may want to take the exam sooner rather than later, while the content is still fresh. Other students may want more time to practice. For each AP subject, there will be 2 different testing dates.

Furthermore, all exams will cover a reduced version of the course curriculum, as detailed on the page above. For AP Statistics, this means Units 1-7 from the Collegeboard curriculum, which correspond to Units 1-6 of our textbook. (Update: Also, Collegeboard’s VP of Advanced Placement Trevor Packer has stated that these take-home tests will not include any multiple-choice questions)

At least until Spring Break, I will not be attempting any new instruction from Unit 6. I encourage you to search for videos online, or to check out the instructional videos that the AP Program is putting together (there is a daily schedule posted here). If you have your textbook, read through Chapters 22, 23, and 24 and work on some of the odd-numbered problems. While I won’t be formally teaching any of that content, I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

The Unit 5 MCQ Part B Personal Progress Check is still active in AP Classroom. I am working with Ms. Seifert to decide what review we will do, but I expect we will be focusing on content from Chapter 17 (Sampling Distributions of Means and Proportions) and Chapter 20 (Type I/II errors and Power), as well as Unit 4 (Probability), as these are all areas that students historically have had a little more difficulty with. I will post again on Monday with our first lessons.

To my Intro to College Algebra students:

Since our course does not end in a standardized exam, we have a lot more flexibility in how we adjust to this closure. Per the district’s recommendations, I will not be attempting any new instruction until at least Spring Break.

Our plan will be to review some of the content from throughout the year, including the exponential functions from the current unit, as well as rational expressions, rational exponents, and complex numbers from previous units; things I know many of you had some difficulty with. Your first lesson will be posted on Monday, but in the meantime I recommend you log in to IXL (see this page for log-in instructions), and work on any of the starred modules, but especially the following (click these links after logging in, or search for the three-character code in the search bar at the top):

Stay Safe. Stay Sane. Stay Inside.

As cliche as it sounds, we are all in this together. I miss you all, and I hope we can see each other soon.

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