Vol. 36 No. 1 (2021)
Research Articles

Superintendents’ Experiences With Distance Learning Practices in K–12 Public-School Districts in New York During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kimberly Roff
Touro College
Published July 16, 2021
How to Cite
Roff, K. (2021). Superintendents’ Experiences With Distance Learning Practices in K–12 Public-School Districts in New York During the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 36(1). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1175


In early March 2020, the United States was first faced with the COVID‑19 virus, which became a pandemic affecting 216 countries across the globe (Worldometers.info, 2020). This pandemic impacted approximately 1.5 billion learners globally by schools’ closures and revised practices (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 2020), and it required social distancing practices and school closures across the U.S. (Lieberman, 2020). Due to closures, public-school districts were tasked with creating immediate solutions for seamless learning. Many public-school districts implemented distance learning practices to meet the needs of quarantined students. The sudden shift from a traditional, in-person classroom to a distance learning setting challenged both faculty and students. This qualitative case study examines how superintendents in K–12 public schools shifted from on-site learning to distance learning practices during the pandemic. Thirty superintendents from K–12 public-school districts in two suburban counties of New York participated in an online survey. By mid-March 2020, according to the findings, distance learning was implemented in varying degrees. In addition, the study found that most faculty were prepared for online learning through professional development. Parental support, technology, and the inability to work independently were barriers to student learning. The findings suggest ramifications from the delivery of distance learning in the first months of the pandemic. In addition, the study found a need for increased professional development and solutions to distance learning barriers.


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