West Seneca, Maryvale schools go distance learning

West Seneca Schools
Photo credit West Seneca Schools

West Seneca, NY (WBEN) Two area school districts announce they will start the school year with distance learning. West Seneca says it will use this until at least Thanksgiving, while Maryvale will have three phases.

West Seneca Central Schools says in a statement, "In order to provide a safe and meaningful educational experience, students in the West Seneca School District will begin the 2020-2021 school year in a fully remote model of instruction.  This will entail ALL students learning from home.  For your planning purposes, we have set a timeframe for this model to be in place through the Thanksgiving Holiday." The district will be offering the option of a fully remote model of learning to all students for the 20/21 School year.

In order to provide a safe and meaningful educational experience, students will begin the 2020-21 school year in a fully remote model of instruction. This will entail ALL students learning from home. View a message containing further details of this plan https://t.co/hKpyZL32YG

— West Seneca CSD (@WestSenecaCSD) August 12, 2020

The district says it will be continually assessing its capacity to safely bring some or all students to campus for instruction and/or targeted services throughout this time frame. "Our goal as a district is to eventually return all students to our campus this year in some capacity," says the district in a letter to parents.

The district says it will continue to monitor and review a number of factors including, but not limited to, the following:● Public health conditions and local data● Availability of Personal Protective Equipment● Availability of timely testing and contact tracing● Ability to maintain adequate staffing● Ability to safely transport students● Additional New York State Guidance

A review of the above factors will be used to determine when the district will be able to proceed to Phase 2 for some or all of the students. This phase will likely involve a hybrid model of instruction (combination of remote and in-person learning), as it continues to gradually phase students back into school. The District says it will be in continual contact with the community throughout this process.

Meanwhile, at Maryvale, Superintendent Joe D'Angelo says his district's model divides the school year into three phases, and includes a combination of remote and in-person learning.  Maryvale will begin the school year with an initial phase of remote learning only.  Phase I will run from September 1 through October 2, 2020 with a blend of synchronous (live) and asynchronous instruction.  Students’ first day will be September 8, 2020, and faculty and staff will use the week prior to prepare for the year and for professional development.  

"In the days and weeks leading up to the end of Phase 1, the District will continue to assess a number of factors to determine if we are able to shift to Phase 2 , which is a hybrid model (of a combination of in-person and remote learning), or to remain in remote learning only.  These factors will include public health conditions and data, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), the availability of timely testing and contract tracing, the ability of the District to staff all classes, and the ability to transport students safely," says D'Angelo with the hopes of entering phase two on October 2.

No time table is set for phase three.