Parents in the Lockport School District push for more in-person instruction

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LOCKPORT N.Y. (WIVB) – The Lockport Central School District is on the fence about whether it should bring students back to the classroom more days a week. Board members were about to vote yes, but decided to hold off. News 4 talked to a few parents who say they’re confident the district can safely allow the change.

“There’s other schools going to school five days a week. I really do think four days is best for the kids,” said Parent Teresa Roberts.

“I think that Lockport can really do that,” said parent Joanna Marble. “I think the teachers have been doing a tremendous job trying to do the remote learning, but I don’t think the remote learning is working for everybody. For us it’s not working.”

The vote, will will now take place during a special meeting Tuesday night, would decide whether students grades pre-k through 6th can return to four day in-person instruction. During last week’s school board meeting, members were about to vote 5 to 4 in favor, but after school superintendent Michelle Bradely said she wasn’t comfortable with moving forward with that, the board decided to wait.

School board member Kyle Lambalzer, who does not speak for the entire board, says he’d like to see students return at least 4 days a week to bring back a little more normalcy before the school year ends. He plans on voting yes and says the science and advice from experts state it’s best students are in school more days a week.

“Pediatricians should be listened to in this case because they know more about kids and COVID-19, then just about any other group, and if they’re telling us to get kids back in school we should listen,” he said.

Parents say they understand the concern but ultimately feel schools are a safe place for their kids.

“I actually kept my children home fully at first for safety issues, because I did not know how it was going to go, we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Roberts said. “Now we’re at the point where I feel more comfortable if all of my children were in school 4 days a week.”

“I don’t take this lightly, but given the studies given how they show the spread with the children and everything like that and seeing how they’re learning and how far behind they are I think it’s time now to put them back in schools,” Marble said.

Marble and other parents in the district plan on holding a rally on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the Lockport Board of Education to show they’re in favor of increasing in-person instruction.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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