Judge orders Williamsville, Orchard Park school districts offer full-time in-person learning

Posted at 5:08 PM, May 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-13 17:14:56-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — State Supreme Court Justice Emilio Colaiacovo ruled Thursday the Williamsville and Orchard Park school districts must offer full-time in-person learning to students.

The districts must offer full-time in-person learning beginning Monday and continue to offer remote/hybrid learning to those who want to continue with the current model.

Judge Colaiacovo issued a temporary order last week that ordered so long as community transmission rates of COVID-19 are at or near 100 per 100,000 people, the Williamsville and Orchard Park school districts may return to full-time in-person learning.

According to court paperwork, part of the decision in Thursday's ruling says:

"There is no justifiable basis not to allow students in both school districts to return to fulltime, in-person learning while observing three (3) feet of social distancing in classrooms, when the transmission rate there is less than 100 per 100,000."

In March, a group of Williamsville School District parents, on behalf of their children, filed a lawsuit against the Williamsville Central School District, Williamsville Board of Education, Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Education looking for five days of in-person learning to be offered every single week.

Robby Dinero, owner of Athletes Unleashed, who filed a lawsuit against the state and Governor Cuomo last year also filed a lawsuit in March "on behalf of his minor children and on behalf of all other similarly situated" against the Orchard Park Central School District, Orchard Park Board of Education, Governor Cuomo, NYSDOH and NYSED.