Buffalo Public Schools: Parents who have children with special needs push for the district to transition to a hybrid learning plan

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Kim Hernandez’s son Antonio has Dyslexia.

Since the start of the pandemic, she has been working from home and helping her son with his school work. But now, starting next month she’ll be back working at the office. 

And she won’t be there when he needs.

“But, I worry about him learning. And he said it’s hard. He called me, not too long ago, he said ‘Mom what is a stereotype?’ so these are words that they are using and I tried to explain it and he said he understood.

She’s the leader of a parent group for special needs students called special education parent advisory committee. They hoping that the district transitions to a hybrid learning plan soon. She says that type of learning better serves students like her son. 

“Yes, we asked that, that be a priority. But it’s not just special needs, there are many young kids that need that interaction, they need that structure and they need to learn how to wear the mask,” she said. “Do whatever you need to do, but do it in person.”

In an interview earlier this week, the district’s chief of staff discussed the district’s remote learning plan. He says, it’s an evolving plan and a hybrid option may be on the horizon. 

“We’re all remote, but what the superintendent and what the board of education said is that we’re going to actually revisit, and look at what we have four to six weeks out,” said Darren Brown-Hall Chief of Staff. “So, we already started the remote option. In four to six weeks, we’re going to reexamine to see if it’s time to transition to a hybrid model. We’re going to look at the numbers and the data in Buffalo, if the virus is progressing, if we’re maintaining.”

There’s no word on how soon a hybrid learning plan can happen for the district or if special needs students will be made a priority when the plan becomes available.

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