NewsLocal News


Williamsville schools announce timeline for returning students to in-person learning

Posted at 11:38 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 23:17:20-04

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Williamsville Central School District has announced its timeline for returning students in grades 5-12 to partial in-person learning.

The three-step phased process for students in the hybrid instructional model will begin on October 13 with grades 5 and 6. Grades 7 and 8 will begin the process on October 19, followed by grades 9-12 on October 26.

Students, whether remote or in person, will continue to follow their daily class schedule on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, acting superintendent Dr. John McKenna announced on social media this morning.

The district is making changes to its Wednesday schedule for grades 5-12. Beginning on September 30, Wednesdays will include a brief synchronous homeroom experience, followed by asynchronous and instruction learning.

Hybrid in-person, hybrid at-home learners, and fully remote students will all be part of the same class.

Grades kindergarten through 4 are not affected by today's announcement.

"I do appreciate their efforts," said Cubby Mentkowski who is the Senior Class President a Williamsville North High School, and son of Chief Meteorologist Aaron Mentkowski. "I'm very pleased today to see that the high school will be going back October 26."

The district announced its relaunch planon Monday without specifics on a timeline. The district's previous target dates for returning students to buildings were November 16 for grades 5-6 and January 4 for grades 7-12.

"We're seeing how the district would run with John McKenna as Superintendent," said Jonathan Rich, a Williamsville parent who has been advocating for students to get back into the classroom.

"We're seeing that there wouldn't be any communication with parents and that things would take longer than they have in the past," he said.

The plan was put forward by the district's "Reset, Relaunch, Return" committee, which is made up of more than 40 people, including teachers and support staff.

Today's announcement follows a tumultuous monthfor one of Western New York's top performing school districts. In that time, the board of education placed superintendent Dr. Scott Martzloff on administrative leave, the district announced it was moving to an all-remote model for grades five through 12 through the end of the calendar year, and 43 teachers hired for remote instruction were informed they would no longer be needed.

Williamsville Central School District student officers met with the Acting Superintendent and other administrators Wednesday night.

“The sentiment that I would’ve given two weeks ago is very different than what I would give today," said Williamsville East Senior class student officer Ben Terhaar. He took part in Wednesday night's meeting.

“He heard our voices and that was very reassuring,” Terhaar said.

The main topic of discussion was Williamsville’s new plan to bring students back to the classroom. Terhaar added mental health and creative engagement strategies were also discussed.

“I think today we really cemented a plan, we really cemented ideas and we put fourth concrete actions of what we’re going to achieve in the future," Terhaar said.

Student officers will meet again with the Acting Superintendent and other administrators next week.