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Remote Learning Still A Struggle For Students, Parents 1 Year Since New York City Schools Shut Down

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Monday marked one year since New York City schools shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But after a year of remote learning, many of the same problems persist, CBS2's Ali Bauman reported.

"The only place that they have Wi-Fi is on the first floor of the building. But anywhere else, it doesn't expand, and that's the biggest issue," said Crystal Berroa, a mother who lives in a Manhattan homeless shelter.

Each day Berroa takes her three children to their grandmother's, an hour away, so they can connect to their remote classes.

"So, one year into remote learning and your kids still can't log onto their classes from their home?" Bauman asked Berroa.

"She doesn't get enough hours during the day at school with remote learning to keep up," Berroa said.

The New York City Department of Education has distributed 450,000 remote learning devices since March 2020. But thousands of students are still without internet access.

"The impacts, I fear, are not just temporary, but generational," said Councilman Mark Treyger, who chairs the education committee.

"Kids are not being given the same level of resources and attention and support," Treyger said.

The struggles of remote learning have been two-fold for the city's 142,000 students who are learning English.

"We've seen lots of problems with parents not receiving information in a language they can understand, so they know how to really work with their children over the next few months," said Margie McHugh, director of the Migration Policy Institute's National Center on Immigration Integration Policy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says he hopes most students return to class in person by the fall.

That makes summer learning crucial.

"I see the summer as an opportunity to build a really strong enrichment program to bring our students back in," Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter told CBS2 in an exclusive interview during her first day on the job Monday.

"Getting kids back to school, getting them back connected to their resources on a daily basis is going to be critically important to moving the system forward," Ross Porter said.

It will be even more important following a year of potential learning loss.

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