Why KEN-TON schools likely won't reopen for in-person instruction in Orange or Red Zone

Posted at 7:29 PM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-29 19:39:46-05

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Jessica Brumbaugh’s daughter Mya isn’t kicking off her high school career the way she planned.

“She hasn’t stepped foot in a classroom since March,” Brumbaugh said.

And not by choice.

Her daughter is a freshman at Kenmore West High School in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District. Under the district’s reopening plan announced in August , high schoolers lie Mya were scheduled to remain fully remote until January.

“I feel that if KENTON would have gotten kids back at least through the first quarter, they would have had some of that in person learning,” Brumbaugh explained.

Now that the district is in part of Erie County’s Orange Zone, Brumbaugh said she doesn’t know if or when in-person instruction will resume.

According to KENTON School Superintendent Sabatino Cimato, the best chance of getting students back in the classroom is if the district goes back into the Yellow Zone. Otherwise, he said they haven’t yet figured out how to meet the testing requirements needed under the orange or red zone status.

“In an Orange or Red zone, 100% needs to be tested. That’s a tall order. Families who say you aren’t testing my child, we don’t have any more room in our remote model,” he said during arecorded update on November 25.

Parents like Jessica Brumbaugh understand the district’s dilemma. But, she’d like to see more from government officials in the name of in-person education.
“There’s more priority over going shopping than getting our kids back in school. I hope schools, county, and state officials work together to come up with a better plan to get kids back in school sooner than later,” she said.