West Buffalo Charter School finalizing reopen plan for school families

“Parents need to choose what they feel is best for their children"
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 18:46:49-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — “Parents need to choose what they feel is best for their children, for their learning and for their health and safety,” stated Andrea Todoro, school leader, West Buffalo Charter School.

Andrea Todoro, school leader, West Buffalo Charter School, in a Zoom interview to explain reopen plans.

The families of 9,000 charter school students in Buffalo are anxiously awaiting reopening plans. Leaders at West Buffalo Charter School are mapping out a plan to bring students 'safely back to school’

“Although kids might be returning to school, it’s not the school that they left back in march,” remarked Todoro.

Administrators are finalizing their COVID-19 reopening plan at the charter school located on Lafayette Avenue on Buffalo’s west side.

Classroom inside West Buffalo Charter School.

Torodo says a task force has been meeting all summer to draft a safety plan for the return of more than 500.

“Creating plans that allow for virtual learning, face to face instruction — a combination of the two or if families choose — an all remote option as well,” Torodo explained.

The charter school leader said there is no “right or wrong” answer as parents make their decision of sending their child back if the school doors reopen this fall.

Inside a West Buffalo Charter School classroom.

The school will unveil its plan at a parent meeting Thursday.

“We'll give them about a weeks to mull it all over. I also anticipate doing a question and answer period for parents,” said Todoro.

West Buffalo Charter hosts a very diverse student population. 22 languages are spoken at the school.

A mural at the West Buffalo Charter School demonstrates the schools diversity.

The school leaders are trying to translate those safety rules.

“We’ll also be working with community liaisons that will be reaching out to our families and explaining what the process looks like,” Todoro described.

Hand sanitizing dispenser and message about washing hands inside West Buffalo Charter School.

The task force is creating a plan based on family surveys and recommendations from both the state education and health departments.

Students would be required to wear face masks, but the school is trying to create annex classrooms that would allow six feet of distance, giving students a chance to remove the masks for a bit.

A message board in place inside the school where task force meetings were held.

"So that our children, if they are back in person, they will be socially distance and they will not have to wear their masks all the time,” said Todoro.

Health screenings will be required. The school is also buying an app that will allow families to input their child's temperature and answer a questionnaire.

The first day of school at West Buffalo Charter is September 8th, but teachers would be required to return the week before the start of school.