Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization wants students to learn remotely and to delay school year for teachers and parents to get training

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–Some parents within the Buffalo Public School District say they don’t feel it’s safe to send their kids back to the classroom. The Buffalo Parent Teacher organization met today at City Hall to voice their concerns.

The district sent out a draft of its reopening plans last week. The parent group says they want to help improve it.

“We’ve got about a month to figure out how to make that better, and so what we’re here today to say is we intend to do that,” said Buffalo Parent Teacher co-char Rachel Dominquez.

The organization says there needs to be more government fund, testing and contact tracing. They are also pushing for the district to go with an all remote model of learning.

Dominquez says remote learning is not ideal and they want students back in the classroom, but only when it’s safe.

“This situation is still an emergency, we are still in a pandemic,” she said. “It’s not over and we have to consider safety first.”

The group is also calling for the school year to start later than usual. They want to school to start later so that teachers and parents have time to get organized and get the proper training. 

The Buffalo Public Schools District’s reopening plan is already asking the state to delay the start of the school year. 

The school year is set to start on September 8th.

Both the school district and the Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization are asking that it gets delayed. 

They say this is not about not opening schools at all, they want to make sure when it does reopen, it’ll be safer for everyone. 

Dominquez says she understands creating a plan that fits everyone’s needs will be tougher because this is such a large school district.

“It is an incredibly complicated decision making process because there are over 33,000 children in the Buffalo Public Schools,” she said. “That’s bigger than some of the towns that are surrounding us.”

The organization says from now till the start of the school year they will continue working with the district on reopening schools to make sure they come up with the best plan for students. 

DENNICE BARR, PARENT “We want what’s best for all of the children but we have to be the gatekeepers,” Dennice Barr, whose children attend Buffalo Public Schools, said. “We have to be the ones that are wise. We have to be the ones that make better sense of the situation and look on and add our voices to the conversation.”

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