NOTICIAS DE BUFFALO
‘A really big experiment’: Parents turn teachers amid virus
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — After her sixth-grade son’s school in Buffalo, New York, closed amid the coronavirus outbreak, Roxanne Ojeda-Valentin returned to campus with shopping bags to take home textbooks and weeks’ worth of assignments prepared by teachers.
A single mother with a full-time job, she now joins millions of parents around the country — and the world — suddenly thrust into the role of their children’s primary educators, leaving them scrambling to sift through educational resources and juggle lesson plans with jobs and other responsibilities.
“It’s a really big experiment,” Ojeda-Valentin said as she left the school, her second stop after picking up materials from her fourth-grade daughter’s school.
Even in school districts that are providing remote instruction, the burden falls on parents to keep their children on task. In others, parents are left to find educational websites and curricular materials on their own. And while the challenges are daunting for all, they can be nearly impossible to overcome for parents limited by access to technology and their own levels of education.
Across the United States, more than 118,000 public and private schools in 45 states have closed, affecting 53 million students, according to a tally kept by Education Week. While many closures were initially announced as short-term, parents are wondering if schools will reopen this academic year as the outbreak intensifies.
After Kansas became the first state to announce schools would remain closed for the year, a task force recommended from 30 minutes of work a day for the youngest students to up to three hours daily for students in sixth grade and up. California Gov. Gavin Newsom also has urged the state’s more than 6 million schoolchildren and their families to make long-term plans, telling them few, if any, schools would reopen before summer.
Los Angeles father Filiberto Gonzalez’s three children have daily contact with their teachers and one to four hours of work they can do on an existing online platform that supplements classes. But he never thought the arrangement would transform from a stopgap measure to permanent situation.
“The news ... was a real shock to a lot of us,” he said.
In Portland, Oregon, Katie Arnold’s 7-year-old son has been spending his days in his mother’s office, keeping busy on an iPad and her laptop while she’s managing accounts for a catering company.
Oregon has shut down schools through April 28 and some districts have put optional activities online, though they are not meant to replace the regular curriculum. While her son’s district explores virtual learning, she has been combing the internet and tapping friends for suggestions.
“Scholastic had a bunch of free things and I have a friend who’s a teacher, so I’ve gotten a lot of workbook pages for him to do, just to try to keep him busy,” said Arnold, who also has been using educational websites like ABCmouse.
Arnold is making plans with other parents to teach children in small groups if the closure is extended, and is resigned to the idea that her workdays will be followed by evening school sessions.
“We’ll muster through it,” she said.
Some parents are turning to those with experience homeschooling for guidance, unsure of whether to enforce strict schedules and where to look for academic help. Amid an influx of interest, the National Home School Association dropped its membership fee from $39 to $10 for access to tip sheets and teaching materials, executive director Allen Weston said.
The online site Outschool saw 20,000 new students enroll during a single weekend in March, compared to the 80,000 who have attended class since its 2017 launch, CEO Amir Nathoo said. The company offers live, teacher-led online classes beginning at $5 each, but has also offered free webinars on running online classes through video conferencing.
Child development researcher Jessica Logan and her husband continue to work full-time from home and have been tag-teaming school-related questions from their 8- and 12-year-old children, home from Columbus City Schools in Ohio.
“I see all these people writing out, ‘Here are the six hours we’re going to spend each day doing homework,’ and was like, ‘Not happening in my house,’” she said. “When am I going to get my work done? I still have my own work to do, so does my husband. Neither of us can take the entire day off to sit with them and do math worksheets or science experiments.”
“All parents are in the same boat,” Logan said. “Your kid is not going to fall behind if they don’t do these assignments every day.”
Nevertheless, Vancouver, Washington, teacher Renee Collins has committed to keeping not only her own 10- and 8-year-old children on track academically, but two of her friend’s children and a second-grade neighbor as well.
“We’re going to do Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with the five kids together and the other days I’ll do individually with (her own kids). So we’ll do five days,” she said.
“The one thing that kind of gives a lot of us comfort,” said Collins who teaches middle-school math, “is that it’s not just our state. It’s our entire nation. It’s not just going to be the state of Washington that’s behind. It’s not just going to be my children that are going to be behind. It’s going to be everybody.”
“Un gran experimento”, la escuela en casa
BUFFALO, Nueva York, EE.UU. (AP) — Después de que la escuela primaria de su hijo en Búfalo, Nueva York, cerrara debido al coronavirus, Roxanne Ojeda-Valentin, La mama soltera regresó al colegio con bolsas de compras para llevarse a casa los libros de texto para sexto grado y tareas preparadas por los maestros para las próximas semanas. Esta madre soltera con un trabajo de tiempo completo se unió así a millones de padres en todo el país, y en todo el mundo, que de repente asumieron el papel de maestros de sus propios hijos, haciendo malabarismos con los planes educativos, tareas y otras asignaciones.
“Es un gran experimento”, dijo la mama soltera cuando salió del colegio, su segunda escala después de recoger materiales en la escuela de su hija de cuarto grado.
Incluso en los distritos escolares que brindan asesoría remota, la carga de esta tarea recaerá en los padres. En otros, los padres deben buscar sitios web educativos y materiales curriculares por su cuenta. Y aunque los desafíos son desalentadores para todos, pueden ser casi imposibles de superar para los padres con limitado acceso a la tecnología y sus propios niveles de educación.
En todo Estados Unidos, más de 118.000 escuelas públicas y privadas en 45 estados han cerrado, afectando a 53 millones de estudiantes, según un recuento de la Semana de la Educación. Si bien muchos cierres se anunciaron inicialmente a corto plazo, los padres se preguntan si las escuelas reabrirán este año académico a medida que se intensifica el brote.
Después de que Kansas se convirtiera en el primer estado en anunciar que las escuelas permanecerían cerradas durante el año, un grupo de trabajo recomendó desde 30 minutos de trabajo por día para los estudiantes más jóvenes y hasta tres horas diarias para los estudiantes de sexto grado en adelante. El gobernador de California, Gavin Newsom, instó a los más de 6 millones de escolares y sus familias del estado a hacer planes a largo plazo, y les dijo que pocas escuelas reabrirían antes del verano.
El sitio en línea Outschool tuvo 20.000 nuevas inscripciones un solo fin de semana en marzo, en comparación con los 80.000 que asistieron a clases desde su lanzamiento en 2017, de acuerdo con su director general Amir Nathoo. La compañía ofrece clases en línea dirigidas por maestros desde cinco dólares cada una, pero también ofrece seminarios web gratuitos sobre cómo ejecutar clases en línea.
Weinstein moved to state prison near Buffalo
NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was transferred to a state prison in New York on Wednesday as he begins to serve a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault in his landmark #MeToo case.
The disgraced film mogul, who turned 68 , is locked up at the maximum security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, according to state prison officials. He is known behind bars as inmate No. 20B0584.
The prison, six hours by car from Manhattan, is likely just a temporary stop for Weinstein. While he’s there, he’ll be evaluated to determine which state prison facility meets his security, medical, mental health and other needs.
Weinstein’s spokesman called the move “harsh.”
Weinstein, convicted Feb. 24 and sentenced last week, had been splitting time between New York City’s notorious Rikers Island jail complex and a Manhattan hospital.
Weinstein left court in an ambulance after the guilty verdict and detoured to Bellevue Hospital, complaining of chest pains and high blood pressure. He later had a stent inserted to unblock an artery. After his sentencing, he returned with more chest pains.
Weinstein, the Oscar-winning producer of “Shakespeare in Love,” was convicted of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006. His lawyers have said they’ll appeal.
Within hours of Weinstein’s sentencing, prosecutors in Los Angeles announced they were beginning the extradition process to send him there for an arraignment on charges he raped a woman and sexually assaulted another in 2013. That’s now on hold because of the coronavirus crisis that has shuttered courthouses and limited travel.
For Weinstein, being sent to the Buffalo-area prison is an inauspicious homecoming. He attended college nearby and got his start in the entertainment business in the area as a concert promoter bringing the likes of Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones to town.
Stefon Diggs’ addition highlights Bills large offseason haul
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Frustrated by the Bills collapse in an AFC wild-card playoff loss at Houston, general manager Brandon Beane opened the offseason suggesting Buffalo wasn’t one player away from being a better team.
Beane backed up that sentiment by making a series of additions – highlighted by agreeing to acquire receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade with Minnesota – in leading up to the start of the NFL’s signing period Wednesday.
League rules prevented teams from announcing the acquisition of players who have not taken a physical. And players are currently barred from visiting team facilities until March 31 as a result of the new coronavirus.
That didn’t stop the Bills from posting previous media reports of the team’s acquisitions on their website.
Diggs was the key addition in a trade in which Buffalo gave up four draft picks, including its first-round selection (22nd overall) this year.
The dynamic fifth-year receiver provides the Josh Allen-led offense a primary deep threat it has been previously missing, and joins a group of established receivers rounded out by Cole Beasley and John Brown.
With a projected $75 million in salary cap space entering the new NFL year, Beane didn’t stop there in shoring up various needs on a defense that allowed the third-fewest yards in the NFL last season, and fewest in 2018.
The more notable additions were defensive tackle Vernon Butler, defensive end Mario Addison and linebacker A.J. Klein. Butler and Addison offset Buffalo losing defensive tackle Jordan Phillips and defensive end Shaq Lawson to free agency. Klein stands to replace Lorenzo Alexander, who previously announced he is ending his career.
The additions free Beane to target the best talent over positional need in using Buffalo’s seven remaining picks in the draft next month. The Bills currently open the draft with the 54th selection.
Among Buffalo’s more pressing needs is at running back to complement Devin Singletary, who took over the starting job in his rookie season last year.
Beane’s bold move to acquire Diggs emphasized the impatience he expressed by saying the Bills need to score more points at the NFL rookie combine in Indianapolis last month
Before acquiring Diggs, Buffalo was expected to use one of its first two draft picks on selecting a receiver out of what is projected to be a deep pool of prospects.
Rather than hope for a prospect to develop, Beane took the calculated risk of acquiring a ready-made talent in Diggs, who is entering his sixth NFL season.
The 26-year-old has topped 1,000 yards receiving each of his past two years, and ranked fourth in the NFL last season in averaging 17.9 yards per catch.
Overall, Diggs has 365 catches for 4,623 yards and 30 touchdowns, providing the Bills with three receivers with 28 or more TDs. Previously, only seven players have scored 28 or more touchdowns receiving in team history.
Diggs joins an offense that ranked 26th in the NFL in yards passing, and scored 21 or more points just six times.
His addition places further emphasis on Allen needing to continue showing signs of development entering his third season. Though Allen’s 52.8 completion percentage last year jumped six points over his rookie season, he still ranked 32nd in the NFL.
Allen’s inconsistency was particularly apparent in a 22-19 overtime playoff loss to Houston, in which the Bills squandered a 16-0 third-quarter lead. Allen finished completing 11 of his final 26 passes for 133 yards with a lost fumble.
Allen displayed his excitement in welcoming the receiver Monday by posting on a note on his Twitter account which read: “Ya Digg?”
Diggs responded by writing: “LETS GET IT.”
He has four years and approximately $47.5 million remaining on his current contract.
The one question is whether Diggs can keep his frustrations in check under a coach in Sean McDermott who demands players adhere to a team-first mentality.
In Minnesota, Diggs more than once stormed around the sideline after a failed offensive possession. He also grew impatient over his role in an offense that also relied on receiver Adam Thielen and running back Dalvin Cook.
After a dispiriting defeat at Chicago in 2019 that left the Vikings at 2-2, Diggs skipped two days of team activities out of frustration and drew more than $200,000 in fines.
Upon returning, however, he produced some of the finest performances of his career and helped the Vikings return to the playoffs and win at New Orleans in the wild-card round.
A common denominator involving many of Buffalo’s other additions are players’ connections to Carolina, where McDermott previously served as the Panthers defensive coordinator.
Addison, who has topped nine sacks in each of his past four seasons, Klein and Butler all played under McDermott. They are also familiar with Beane, who worked in the Panthers’ front office before taking over in Buffalo in 2017.
The Bills did announce signing cornerback Josh Norman to a one-year contract, who spent his first four NFL seasons in Carolina.
Buffalo also reached agreements to sign defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson, linebacker and special teams regular Tyler Matakevich and running back Taiwan Jones.