Lackawanna leaders discuss best way to keep students education equitable

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LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB)–Just days after Lackawanna School District leaders learned of a positive COVID-19 at the middle school, parents are calling on the district to come up with a plan that will keep everyone safe.

“I called my brothers out here and said ‘what’s Lackawanna’s plan?’ they said pastor, we don’t have a plan.”

Superintendent Keith Lewis says he was first notified of the covid case this past Saturday, although he says that person was last in school Tuesday, September 8 the first day of classes.

“When you see all of the reports from around the U.S. , the CDC reports – the New York State and Erie County Department of Health, we anticipated it.”

Right now, the district is under a hybrid learning model. While Lewis says he’s not getting ready to send students home for a fully virtual model just yet, he also is unsure what needs to happen to get to that point.

“What I would like to lean on is what the direction is from the Erie County Department of Health along with the governor’s directives on what the percentages have to be for the region and statewide.”

On the same hand, city leaders say the district needs to ensure equitable learning for their students.

“Inequalities and injustices that occur regularly in Lackawanna, but they cannot occur in this particular time of a pandemic. They can’t occur when we’re in an educational crisis, educational need.”

This week, the Lackawanna Public School District announced they’ll be working with the YWCA to offer emergency childcare for parents who may need it in the district.

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

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