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Schools preparing for possible shutdown

Teachers will provide distant learning
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Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 18:11:47-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Amid concerns, local schools are preparing students to work from home.

Distant learning will be in place for students if schools are forced to shut down.

7 Eyewitness News visited two schools anticipating possible closings to show us how they're getting ready.

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Students at Buffalo Science Charter Middle School prepare for distant learning.

Inside this classroom at the Buffalo Science Charter Middle School, a teacher is helping students set up laptops.

If their school closes every student in grades 5th through 8th will take home a chrome book.

“Right now, the teachers have been preparing this week in the classroom, getting them all signed up on Google classroom and the procedures of signing in for the lessons and distant learning,” explained Kelly Wilczak, principal.

Wilczak says teachers have already trained for distant learning.

“I think our students are comfortable. It’s just having that responsibility of having their chrome book on their own,” Wilczak explained.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced school closings will be up to individual districts, not the state. But if a student or staff members tests positive for COVID-19, the school must shutdown for 24-hours.

The Governor has also waived the required 180 days for schools to be in session.

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Students at Our Lady of Black Rock Catholic School, Buffalo.

“It’s different. I guess I don’t want to say I'm panicking or fearful, but it’s giving me and all of us as administrators a lot to think about,” remarked Marth Eadie, principal, Our Lady of Black Rock Catholic School, Buffalo.

Eadie says they're also preparing for a possible shutdown.

“We do have a contingency plan for student work that will be assembled by teachers that will be in the form of probably packets that will be sent home,” Eadie noted.

But the principal says unfortunately the school does not have iPads or laptops to send home with students.

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Our Lady of Black Rock student using hand sanitzer.

For now the school nurse is keeping a close watch on student health and her students are using hand sanitizer and following proper hygiene.

Students are reciting the Our Father prayer, making sure make they are washing their hands long enough.

West Seneca Central Schools are also sending students home with educational materials. and the Williamsville School District says it's also prepared for on-line education if COVID-19 hits.