BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s all smiles for leaders of the Park School of Buffalo in Amherst going into the new school year.
"Last year was lovely, it was a really successful year and we’re looking forward to having another one," said Lisa Conrad, Head of Schools.
With their smaller class sizes, they were able to keep positive cases low and kids in classrooms. This year, it’s rinse and repeat.
"The overarching theme is...need to do what you did last year because you really had a really great year, you put great policies in place and we have to do it all over again,” said Conrad.
This year—there’s a new policy, all faculty and staff and anyone who comes into contact with students on campus must be vaccinated and they now have a 100% vaccination rate.
This is exactly what Governor Kathy Hochul says she wants for schools statewide.
"It’s those outliers who could hold back the opportunity for all of us to open schools in a safe way and I don’t want that to be the case," said Governor Hochul.
For those who aren’t fully vaccinated, Hochul wants weekly testing. The new head of schools at the Elmwood Franklkin School in Buffalo says they’re already on board.
“I reached out to our faculty and staff about three weeks ago and said we are going to be requiring a vaccine for all of our faculty and staff unless you have medical or religious exemption," said Ryan Kimmet, Head of School.
It’s much of the same story there—he says they have 100% compliance among 60 staff members.
Governor Hochul says she recognizes it might not be that easy at bigger schools.
“I’m prepared to have those conversations about what it’s going to take, if more time off is needed, makes sense to me," said Hochul.
Both schools say these vaccine policies are going over well.
"Numerous faculty and staff and family members reached out and thanked me for keeping our community safe," Kimmet.
"Ever since we came out with our vaccination policy for our faculty and staff, our calls, inquiries, applications, went up big time," said Conrad.