1 out of 5 NY metro households have no high-speed internet. What does that mean for remote learning?

For the past few weekdays, Crystal Berroa woke up in the morning not knowing how to help her two young daughters attend school remotely. 

Here’s how one family is using the library for online learning

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Berroa lives in a shelter in New York City and repeatedly tried to contact school officials to help her daughters log into remote learning classrooms on school-issued iPads.

So far, she hasn’t gotten anywhere.

”If one (iPad) connects and the other doesn’t, I’m screwed,” Berroa said. “There’s nothing I can do. Sometimes it doesn’t connect at all during the day. My daughter is a first grader. She’s learning how to read right now. And I have no idea what’s going on.”



a young boy sitting at a table: Trachelle Bivins and her 5-year-old son, Ondrae Florence, complete his school work together at Central Library of Rochester on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Ondrae would have attended school at School 23, part of the Rochester City School District, if the district had not moved to online learning.


© Georgie Silvarole/New York State Team
Trachelle Bivins and her 5-year-old son, Ondrae Florence, complete his school work together at Central Library of Rochester on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Ondrae would have attended school at School 23, part of the Rochester City School District, if the district had not moved to online learning.

Berroa’s family is one of thousands across New York who have struggled with the transition to remote learning because of internet access or connectivity issues in metropolitan areas.

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The problem is amplified this school year by the COVID-19 pandemic that forced New York’s largest school districts to start the fall semester online, often in the state’s poorest communities.

For the past five years, New York has focused on rural broadband, awarding grants to small internet providers to bring a stable connection to remote corners of New York. 

But even the largest cities have dead zones, with no major internet providers available. In areas where service is available, it may be unreliable or too expensive for some families to afford.

With many school districts conducting 

San Antonio’s Metro Health says state overcounted school coronavirus cases; state pulls data from website

Within a day of releasing numbers of coronavirus cases for school district across Texas, a first since the pandemic began, the state health department pulled the data from its website after discovering “issues.”

Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger said Friday that the city of San Antonio is relying on its own verified data to understand the virus’s grip on area schools.

The Metropolitan Health District on Thursday reported 52 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Bexar County schools — roughly 35 percent fewer cases than the Texas Department of State Health Services listed before pulling the numbers.

“We just make sure that we know for a fact that this student did get a positive lab test result and that they are in the school so that what we are reporting is what we are most worried about,” Bridger said.

The case numbers reported on the state website were supposed to be reported directly to the Texas Education Agency by school districts. The state health department did not return a request for comment about the discrepancies Friday evening.

In a statement on its website, it said that “issues were identified” with the school district data and that a new file would be posted once the problems were fixed. The statement did not say what the problems were.

On ExpressNews.com: Texas reports 6,300 COVID-19 cases in public schools since July

Bridger said the discrepancy is similar to differences between the state and local death counts: As of Friday, the state was reporting 1,271 deaths in Bexar County, while Metro Health had a total of just 1,073.

San Antonio officials have said the state overestimates the death count because death certificates can sometimes include an address for where the person died, not the county in which they lived, and sometimes lists