TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Most school districts throughout Western New York are planning for a hybrid return to school to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The Ken-Ton School District is one of those districts, but some parents have an issue with the district's proposed re-opening plan.
A lot of school districts throughout Western New York are breaking students up into two groups and having one group show up on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other on Thursdays and Fridays. Ken-Ton plans on students showing up every other day, five days a week.
Some parents created a Change.org petition to show their displeasure with this plan.
“Contamination,” said Samara Hutcheson, a parent to four Ken-Ton students. “In the school building when you have two different cohorts going every other day and the amount of time that it would take to potentially disinfect a building in that amount of time.”
At a school board meeting Tuesday, the Kenton Superintendent insisted their cleaning methods are top of the line. In March, 7 Eyewitness News showcased the districts nightly cleaning techniques.
The superintendent says a lot could change before school begins, including this plan. But there is one main reason they chose this every-other-day model.
“We were fearful that with the unknown of the pandemic that if we stayed in this model for the entire year that we would be losing a day of instruction, of face-to-face instruction, in person instruction per week,” said Superintendent Sabatino Cimato.
Parents also want to know if they can opt their child out of the hybrid model and have them stay home.
“We have to wait for certain developments and see how things develop. We have to see what the governor says. We haven't seen what our capacity is when it comes to staffing. We have to see where we are when it comes to our student population,” said Climato. He says he hopes to have these answers by the end of the week.
“Right now, with very little information,” said Hutcheson. “There's no way I would send my kids to school.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to release more information on school openings later this week.
For any additional questions on Ken-Ton's reopen plan you can check out their FAQ section here: