Middle school students can return to Williamsville classrooms Monday

District leaders answer parent questions over weekend
Williamsville Acting Superintendent John McKenna (left) and School Board President Teresa Leatherbarrow (right) answer questions about reopening. October 17, 2020
Williamsville Acting Superintendent John McKenna (left) and School Board President Teresa Leatherbarrow (right) answer questions about reopening. October 17, 2020 Photo credit Zoom

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WBEN) - As middle school students prepare to return to Williamsville Schools on Monday under its phased return program, there are still some concern among parents about how the school will handle the challenging of operating amid the pandemic.

"I don't see why the professional development should take a whole day from the rest of the school," one parent asked.

"Please explain why extra-curricular activities like band and chorus have not been allowed to resume any in-person activity when certain sports are," another parent asked.

"Can the school board commit to if the six-foot rule is removed at the state level...really working hard to get kids back in the classroom," a different parent asked.

Other questions posed by parents include how the educational model will work for students. Many ponder how a return to the five-day schedule will also look.

"Each class is going to be completely different," Acting Superintendent John McKenna said. "I think in the 'hyflex' model, the classroom is going to have synchronous and asynchronous instruction going on. Hybrid students, let's say they're in class that day, they're going to be getting direct instruction from the teacher and there's going to be other students on screen. Some of those students on the screen may be coming in the other couple of days. Really, the hyflex model is a class. It's going to be groups. Some are going to be in school and outside school. Sometimes they'll be doing it together."

High school students will return to the classroom next Monday.

Prior to taking questions from parents, district leaders asked outside counsel to investigate allegations against former Superintendent Scott Martzloff, who was placed on administrative leave over his handling of the reopening efforts.

"Having outside counsel investigate these allegations will enable everyone in the district focus on providing the very best education to all our students, where our focus should always be," Schools Board President Teresa Leatherbarrow read from a statement drafted by lawyers. "Because the outside counsel's investigation is ongoing, we cannot make any further comment about Dr. Martzloff or matters related to that."

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