BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The Buffalo Public School District and some city charter schools had students learn remotely Thursday. But some parents say they don't agree with it.
“Enough is enough of this and I'm sure I'm not the only parent that feels this way,” declared Vincent Lopez, charter school parent.
Lopez say he speaking out against remote learning on a snow day and standing up for other frustrated parents.
His 9-year son is a 5th grader at Tapestry Charter School in Buffalo and says his son doesn't get enough school work to keep him busy for at least six hours on a remote learning day.
“He’s literally just thrown a couple of things to do and then nobody cares, in my opinion, what this child or children are doing with their learning and we're left to fend for ourselves,” describe Lopez.
“Would you prefer — just to have a pure snow day?" Buckley asked.
“They should have just made it a snow day,” replied Lopez. “If you're going to give my son one to two hours of work, I’d rather just have a snow day — it might have been easier.”
“For parents — believe me — I’m a parent of three Tapestry students myself. I completely understand,” replied Eric Klapper, executive director, Tapestry Charter. “We would like nothing more than to be with your children.”
Klapper says he made the decision Wednesday night to go remote in anticipation of Thursday's snow storm to keep students and staffers safe.
“Any day that we have to call a snow day, our first priority is the safety and wellbeing of all of our students, our families and our staff,” explained Klapper. “Transportation is an obvious issue, the morning commute, the afternoon commute, what happens factoring in — trying to forecast what's going to happen in the afternoon to get our kids home safely,” Klapper responded.
Klapper says his teachers always check on students on remote learning days.
“So we can check in on students. We can see who's attending. We can see how they are feeling. We can check a pulse on their emotional state,” Klapper noted.
Klapper says schools must complete 180-academic days in a school year.
Buffalo Public School parents were also questioning the district's decision on the Buffalo Parent-Teacher Organization (BPTO) Facebook page about why it opted for remote learning Thursday.
School board member Larry Scott responded to a facebook post.
“We exhausted our allotted 4 snow days. If not remote days, vacation days would have to be used as school days,” wrote Scott.
The New York State Education Department is continuing a ’Snow Day Pilot Program' this school year that provides districts with flexibility.
It allows districts to “pivot to remote instruction” on a day the school would close due to weather. In order for schools to count the day as a 'day of instruction' the district must provide remote instruction to all enrolled students.