LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB)–We’re still waiting on Governor Cuomo to make the announcement about whether schools will reopen this fall. But for one local district, they already know what they can expect for this school year.
In a letter sent to parents, officials with Lancaster Central School District say based on guidance from the state, if schools reopen this fall, they will be “forced to institute a hybrid model.”
The letter goes on to say guidance from the state’s health department for social distancing and mask wearing while inside the classroom makes it impossible for the school to operate with 100% of students in attendance.
Instead, under the hybrid model, fewer students will be in a classroom at a given time and on days when they’re not at school will undergo virtual learning.
Mary Pat Mahony, a mother of students in the district says, “I know a lot of parents are hesitant to even want to send their kids, and rightfully so, of course, you’re always going to have that in the back of your head. But I do feel they need to be with their teachers so I feel like the hybrid is the best of both worlds with what they’re able to do in this state.”
The district recently sent out a survey to parents, asking their thoughts on reopening – specifically which option they thought was best for their child. Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced parents will get the ultimate say whether to send their child.
“This is not going to be the school district puts out a plan and by fiat, by dictatorship that is the plan. You need the parents to be comfortable, you need the teachers to be comfortable. You need the children to show up at school,” Cuomo said.
Mahony has two children in the Lancaster Central School District. She says virtual learning came with its own challenges last school year, and she would be happy if the school switched to a hybrid model.
Ultimately, she’s thankful the school continues to keep parents in the loop when making these kinds of decisions.
“Their hands are tied in terms of what they can do from what the state says. But all along they’ve been – even during the spring – sending updates and letting us know what was going on. I feel like they’ve done a good job.”
Governor Cuomo announced yesterday he still plans to make a formal decision on whether schools will reopen this fall by the end of this week.