Newburgh teacher voices health concerns with hybrid learning set to start in October
A Newburgh school teacher expressed concern about COVID-19 Monday with hybrid learning set to start next month.
Janaina Barham-Middleton is a special-education teacher at Newburgh Free Academy. Barham-Middleton says the student population at the school is largely Latino and African American--two groups with the highest rate of infection in New York and nationwide.
"This has hit their communities so incredibly hard," says Barham-Middleton. "There are families--whole families--that have been lost as a result of this."
Barham-Middleton says there are other staff members who are also worried about returning to in-person instruction.
So far, four school districts in Orange County have reported positive COVID-19 cases. Valley Central is the latest district to report a positive case. The county is also reporting a slight uptick in its infection rate.
Barham-Middlton is urging the Newburgh School District to consider remote learning instead of hybrid.
"Teaching virtually as crazy and stressful as it is might save tons of lives," says Barham-Middleton.
State law requires schools to close to in-person instruction if the regional infection rate rises above 9%. The mid-Hudson region infection rate is currently at 1.6%.