New York to increase weekly instruction for medically fragile students

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After receiving questions from caregivers, parents and school districts about how to provide instruction for medically fragile children and students, state officials are set to increase the number of hours these students must get in a mandate that will take effect in the 2023-2024 school year.

The mandate affects students who won’t be in school for medical reasons for at least 10 days over a three-month period. Affected students must be learning from home or hospital.

Starting in 2023, affected students in elementary or middle school must receive at least 10 hours of weekly instruction, up from five. High schoolers get to receive at least 15 hours, an increase from 10 hours a week.

According to a spokesperson for the state education department, the increase goes into effect in 2023. This is due to the fact that state officials wanted to give districts time to budget properly.

“I think there was a common understanding that the five to 10 hours were not nearly enough,” Mary Beth Casey, assistant commissioner at the state education department, said on Monday.

State officials claim that the new regulation is consequent of hearing questions from caregivers, parents and districts about how to provide instruction for medically fragile children, including immunocompromised students.

The state requires districts to create plans that describe how many hours of instruction students will receive and how their lesson plans are keeping them on track.

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