BPS announces full reopening with masks, other safety precautions

‘This is a very serious matter. This continues to be serious business and we want to do everything possible to protect our children and our staff at this time, ”said Dr Kriner Cash.

BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Public Schools School Board has passed a resolution for the district to move forward with its plan to return all students to school buildings five days a week starting September 8.

It’s with several safety precautions in place – including masks required for everyone inside buildings regardless of vaccination status, social distancing, and assigned seats at school and on buses.

The district is also urging all adults to get the vaccine.

“It is very important that we review and adhere to the layered approach to the safety and protection of all of our staff and students and that is what this resolution essentially supports,” said the Superintendent, the Dr Kriner Cash.

He added: “This is a very serious matter. It continues to be a serious matter and we want to do everything possible to protect our children and our staff at this time.”

During an Education Council meeting, parents and community members had the opportunity to express their thoughts on the plan. A few have expressed their opposition to a mask warrant.

However, Dr. Cash’s resolution was still passed 7-2.

Here are some of what the District Addendum describes with COVID 19 security and protection protocols:

  • The district said all students will attend school full time, in person, five days a week. Exemptions for specific medical reasons will follow updated district requirements for medical leave instructions.
  • Computer devices are currently undergoing a thorough disinfection process and are ready to provide students with secure access to educational resource tools appropriate to their level for gradual redistribution for the start of the school year. New computers are being purchased and are expected to arrive in the district by the end of the fall.
  • Physical education classes must be held outdoors in acceptable weather. When classes are held indoors, the students will be masked. Teachers should make special efforts to establish properly distanced mask breaks for students.
  • The district will participate in our regular Section VI varsity sports program. All other athletic programs normally in place in the district will be relaunched on September 8th. All COVID-19 security protocols previously in place for all BPS sports programs will continue.
  • The after-school BPS program is on hold until further notice.
  • Community Saturday school programs, in conjunction with Say Yes Buffalo, are scheduled to begin gradually throughout the district in October.
  • Until further notice, field trips will not be scheduled. Internships, work assignments or other release programs for high school students will begin as scheduled on September 8.

To read the full resolution, click here.

BPS officials have warned that as the situation evolves, some elements of the plan may be subject to change.

As other districts still prepare their plans, new Governor Kathy Hochul has weighed in on what’s likely to come.

Hochul told reporters: “Mask warrants are something the health ministry has the power to ask for. They have that authority now and I will assess if it is necessary. But I think we will need warrants from mask to get the kids back to school and that will have to be universal. It will be statewide. “

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Susan W. Lloyd