Williamsville parents outraged over district’s decision to delay remote learning for 1,300 students

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WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB)–Parents of students in the Williamsville Central School District are outraged over the district’s plan to delay the start of the school year for more than 1,300 students.

Parents say they’re frustrated the district changed its plans so close to the start of the school year.

The district announced on Friday that students in grades 5 through 12 that are remote-only will not start on September 8 as planned, and did not provide a start date.

Yasina Semy has four kids within the Williamsville School District.

When she found out her daughter and her three other kids were not going to start school as planned, she was shocked.

“We gotta think what’s best for all kids. Not just one portion or another portion. I mean hybrid parents, remote parents, everybody has their struggles but we have to do what’s best for all the children. That’s what we want to get. You want to get all the children on the same page, all the children learning at the same time.”

The Williamsville School Board released a statement Saturday saying they were unaware of school superintendent Scott Martzloff’s decision to delay school for remote learners.

The superintendent says the delayed start is because 90 staff members took a leave of absence, and 111 resigned.

However, the Williamsville Teachers’ Association argues that’s not the full story. They say after looking at board minutes they found that 50 staff members retired, 22 of which were teachers. Out of those 22 teachers, 18 of them gave notice prior to March 1st. The union also says 55 are resignations, not 111 like Martzloof stated and out of those, 6 were teachers.

Parents say the district leaders have had enough time to figure this out.

“Why is it that they were unable to prepare, right? They had like 5 months,” said parent Murali Thoota.

“I understand that there might be some problems starting the remote,” said parent Smita Chutke. “Tell us why. Tell us when and tell us what’s happening and how are you going to do it.”

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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