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West Valley school board dispels closure rumors

Posted at 11:03 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 00:06:22-04

WEST VALLEY, N.Y. (WKBW) — “Put kids first!” Those were the chants outside the West Valley Central School ahead of a special Board of Education meeting, on Monday.

“We're protesting the board of education's lack of transparency,” said Steve Kenworthy, the president of the West Valley Teacher’s Association.

Parents and teachers are saying their voices aren't being heard by the board of education and that has them worried about the school's future.

“We want some assurance to the future of our school, we’ve got a wonderful little school here. We've had threats over our heads, the school being merged or annexed or tuitionned out for years and there's no reason for it,” said Kenworthy.

During the meeting, board members said there are no plans to close the school.

“Every letter has the tone that we've made a decision that were closing the school and that's not true. We have not discussed that and everybody keeps saying we're trying to annex. We have openly, as a board, said, we are not annexing,” said a West Valley Board Member.

The head of the teacher's union believes during Zoom board meetings, there hasn't been enough opportunity for people to weigh in.

“These people can't make their voices heard to the to the board and represent the needs of the community,” said Kenworthy.

The board said, the opportunity for comment has always been there.

“During Covid, no one shows up to the meetings any way. There's nothing we've discussed on annexing or any of that stuff,” said another board member.

The small school is now looking at its options for returning to in-person classes.