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Charter School for Applied Technologies students will kick-off school year at home

“I was hoping to have hybrid"
Posted at 6:00 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 18:00:38-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — “Is there a way to like set dates?” asked a teacher.

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Charter School for Applied Technologies teachers and staffers gathered in a learning lab.

Charter School for Applied Technologies teachers and staffers gathered in a learning lab where they're gearing up for another round of remote learning.

They sat social distance, but shared information on a program that will assist in remote learning for the upcoming school year.

The first day of school is August 31st, but for students they will not be stepping into classrooms.

CSAT Superintendent Andrew Lyle issued an announcement saying the school year would begin with distance learning until October, 30th.

"I really took into account the safety and well being of students, staff, faculty and parents,” explained Lyle.

Lyle said in a school survey, families “overwhelming” said they would keep their child at home.

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CSAT Superintendent Andrew Lyle.

“The relationship with a teacher is critically important. Nothing is going to replace that, but I think wearing a mask, being six feet apart, having half your class back in there — I don't know how much real instructions going to go on there either,” declared Lyle.

“I was hoping to have hybrid to be completely honest,” remarked Cynthia Dietrich, CSAT parent.

Dietrich says she would have preferred a return to school for her two children who attend CSAAT.

“It would be nice to get the kids back in school immediately, however, I do know there's precautions that need to be taken and I do believe the superintendent made the decision based on what's best for the kids,” Dietrich said.

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Cynthia Dietrich, CSAT parent, appearing in a Zoom interview.

Dietrich’s two daughter's attend the charter school. A second grader and 16-year-old Mia Nievea, who will be a junior at the high school.

“Do you want to back even though we know this pandemic is continuing?” Buckley questioned. “Yeah for some of my classes, some of them are harder to learn on-line,” replied Nievea.

Dietrich said it was very challenging guiding her children during remote learning. She said the “biggest struggle” was navigating the curriculum which is much different then they way her generation was taught.

“It’s very hard to teach them. I have no idea what’s going on,” Dietrich said.

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16-year-old Mia Nievea, who will be a junior at the high school, is in her home.

"My mom didn’t know how to do it. It was hard to get a hold of teachers with deadlines and everything," Nievea explained "Classes that I struggled with in the past, I was more of a hands-on learner."

There are more than 2,000 students who attend in K-through 12 at CSAT's two Buffalo campuses on Kenmore Avenue and Hertel Avenue.

The superintendent says it was a tough decision to make. He said if his children were still young he would not send them back to class.

“If you have kindergarten kids — some them — have a hard time keeping shoes and stuff on — I can't imagine trying do it with a - ‘oh -you've got to be masked up’.”, reflected Lyle.

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CSAT teachers & staffers preparing for remote learning.

Teachers will return August 21st to prepare for students to begin their on-line instruction August 31st.

The school will decide at the end of October if students may be able to return by November.

“As long as the COVID virus stays low, we’ll start slow with our hybrid — probably bring in our youngest kids back first,” explained Lyle.

CSAT will be hosting a question and answer session for families Monday, August 17 from 4 – 5 p.m. and Thursday, August 20 from 4 – 5 p.m.

Parents are also encourage to go to the CSAT webpage to fill out this questionnaire to ask questions.