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BPTO wants students and staff tested twice a month if BPS returns to in-person learning

Safely Back to School
Posted at 10:05 AM, Oct 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 10:05:09-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Now that students are fully equipped for remote learning, the Buffalo Parent Teacher Organization is looking to the future. They want students back in the classroom, but want to make sure it's safe.

"We would like for them to be tested twice a month," said Keith Jones, Executive Board Member of the BPTO.

They fear sending more 33,000 students back to schools without extra testing could put families in the Buffalo community at risk. They want to get ahead of this and avoid positive cases or potential shut downs by testing everyone before they enter the buildings.

"And I don't think we're asking for too much. if we don't want to take care of our children, something is wrong with society," said Jones.

But this is no small ask. It would mean hundreds of thousands of tests, Jones says the district tells him it does not have the money to pay for them. So, the BPTO is asking the business community to step up and provide testing for children in the district.

"We patronize you, now we need you to help us out...We need funding. We just want to do it right and open up these schools," said Jones.

So who is the BPTO looking to for help? Local supermarkets, banks, athletes and Pegula Sports and Entertainment are on the shortlist of groups they're asking to step up.

The BPTO predicts that students will begin learning in person in January. Until then, they will continue meeting with the district to talk about the safest way to bring students back. They ask parents to be patient and follow them on Facebook for updates.