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Bishop Timon ends school year due to pandemic

High schools await word on Regents & AP testing
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Posted at 5:00 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 17:45:11-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School in south Buffalo will end it's academic year this Friday due to the Coronavirus outbreak. But what does this mean for students.

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Ethyn Elis is a senior at Timon.

“I’m just sad that i won't be able to go back into school and just spend the time with my friends. Totally took it for granted,” Ethyn Elis responded.

Elis reacting to an historic end to his high school days. He says it's bittersweet. He's excited to get ready for college, but sad to leave high school behind so abruptly.

The school's trustee chairman, Michael Burns, tells 7 Eyewitness News trustees made the decision to end the school year after learning the school met all academic requirements from the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

“Knowing that we surpassed those state requirements because of our academic rigor - we were comfortable that the boys will not be academically behind,” Burns explained.

Freshman, sophomore and juniors will move forward for the next school year.

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Bishop Timon Board Trustee Chair Michael Burns.

“Are you concerned anyone would be held back?” Buckley asked. “The only individual that might be held back is somebody - who even after 4th quarter - may not have achieved their requirements necessary to move on,” replied Burns.

Bishop Timon seniors will receive a diploma. a graduation ceremony will be held at a later date. “We intend on holding, I would say a dramatic and expansive graduation ceremony,” Burns remarked.

Burns explained the decision to put the brakes on Timon’s school year included a number of factors that included academics, curriculum and economics.

“To be able to put the boys first and take this challenge, this unnecessary challenge away from them, again at a time of uncertainly, and Timon has always been a leader and we continue to lead today,” Burns said.

The school has also furloughed staffers, but Burns said it will continue to provide benefits.

At Mount St. Mary Academy in the Town of Tonawanda, a Catholic all-girls high school, students continue distance learning and started their fourth quarter Wednesday.

Principal Katherine Spillman says they have no plans to end the school year early.

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Katherine Spillman, principal, Mount St. Mary Academy.

“I think school is a stability in a really uncertain time and particularly for the Mount, our families have paid significant amounts of money for us to educate their daughters,” Spillman noted. “I think we’re all waiting kind of to hear as well about what the state’s planning on doing with the Regents.”

“What happens for the seniors?” Buckley questioned. “Ahhh, I think that in all of this, I think of all of the girls, particularly for our seniors, who are so looking forward all the many senior activities, we had to postpone our mother daughter mass, brunch and father daughter dance,” Spillman responded. “We’ve told our girls we are doing to do our very best to have these traditions, it just might not be time frame yearn it to be.”

The class of 2020, ending their high school years in an unimaginable situation, but remaining positive.

“Our community is stronger than it's ever been,” declared Elis. “Stay strong, stay safe.”

7 Eyewitness News did reach out to NYSED for answers on Regents testing and we are awaiting a response.