WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — It was the first day of school for many students in the Williamsville Central School District but more than a thousand still have no start date.
That's because of an announcement made on Friday to delay the start of the school year for students in grades five through 12 in the fully remote online learning model.
Tuesday night, many parents voiced their concerns to the Board of Education during public expression at a virtual board meeting.
Nearly all the comments revolved around what the district is doing for the students in grades 5-12 who opted for the all remote learning model.
“I wondered what the time table was for the remote start and whether asynchronous and synchronous teaching were going be reconsidered so that we could start as soon as possible," asked one parent.
Another said, "Because of the absolute disaster with the lack of remote instruction, our daughter has some regrets that she has chosen the health of her family over her education. This is not something that any child should ever worry about or even contemplate.”
Parents worry the students enrolled in fully online learning are being left behind.
They also raised questions about who will be teaching the remote students -- and if they'll be as qualified as the teachers who are already in the district.
This all comes just one day after the school board placed Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott G. Martzloff on a leave of absence.
Now, Dr. John McKenna, the District’s Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, has stepped in as the acting Superintendent of the Williamsville Central School District.
While some parents applauded the move by the district, many said they still demand action.
One explained, "I beg you to move quickly. My kids were lost today. My kids are pretty resilient. They were sad. I can tell you right now, their mental wellbeing is not okay. You need to move quickly to get these kids to feel like they belong someplace.”
The acting superintendent reassured parents that the district is working on this and they hope to have an update soon.
We also had several questions we wanted to ask board members and the acting superintendent, but we were told there would no media availability before or after the meeting.