Thousands of kids in the Buffalo City School district are wondering when it will be their turn to go back to school for in-person learning, especially now that Governor Andrew Cuomo revised the state’s school reopening strategy.
“We believe in keeping, especially k – 8 open, the schools are safer than the surrounding community,” Cuomo said during a news briefing late last month.
Schools in orange zones, like Erie County, are now required to test just 20 percent of students and staff each month, and several schools are taking advantage of that by reopening in-person learning as soon as next week.
When it comes to Buffalo Schools, they aren’t saying much right now, but they plan to discuss the topic at a work session Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Teachers Federation, says starting in-person classes might not be a good idea, even though the governor gave the green light.
“Our schools are older, they don’t have the kind of circulation systems like some others. We have rooms where you can’t even open up the windows,” said Phil Rumore, president of BTF, who also said the teachers want to be back in school with the students, but safety takes priority. “I don’t think our custodial staff has enough people to make sure the bathrooms are clean we have to make sure that all that is in place.”
Some district parents are divided on the issue.
“It would benefit them, educationally, however with the coronavirus cases going up, I think we’re putting our kids at risk and that’s something we should not do,” said Isabel Jackson, Buffalo mother of 4.
“I feel like they’re better off at school learning at the end of the day. Because there’s certain things that I don’t know my own self, there’s things I can’t teach them,” said Razak Robinson Buffalo Dad of 4.