Buffalo School Board member touts reopening plan as flexible

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– As school districts across the state wait for the final say on reopening  from governor Andrew Cuomo. One school board member is reacting to Buffalo Public Schools plan.

“It’s a daunting task. There are so many requirements. So many details that are going into this,” Buffalo School Board member Larry Scott said. “I think it still remains a challenge as to how we’re gonna pull this off in such a large urban school system like Buffalo.”

Scot says parents have been reaching out to him with mainly three concerns, the every other day schedule  students might have, having children inside the classroom at all, and wearing masks.

The Buffalo Public School District released its reopening plans on Friday. 

Early on in the document  it states faculty and staff are required to wear masks and students are encouraged to. 

Scott says those choice of words could be misleading so he gets why parents are reaching out about that. 

Scott says parents who work during school hours say they’ll struggle with the hybrid model of learning that the district is pushing for.

He then says some parents say they don’t want to have their kids in the classroom at all.

Overall he believes the plans are comprehensive and detailed. 

It is still a draft and subject to change, which he says these plans allow that flexibility.

“It’s developed in a way that it’s going to change throughout the school year as we progress because if the COVID-19 rates change, we’re going to have to be able to adapt perhaps from day to day, week to week, month to month, whatever the demand is.”

The school’s plan does address how the district will focus on student’s mental health and well-being. Scott says this has been a troubling time for students and he’s glad that’s included.

The district is seeking government funding to provide students with hotspots and the equipment they’ll need. The district is also considering working with internet providers to offer discounted prices to families. 

“We have to find a way to unite and work together and ensure that everybody is feeling comfortable and safe with whatever model we decide to go with to start the year and then also continue to work together and change when circumstances change,” Scott said.

Parent leaders are expected to hold a press conference Monday morning to discuss the reopening plans.

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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