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Ken-Ton school district makes changes ahead of hybrid start

K-4 students registered for full-time virtual learning may get a new teacher to help accommodate hybrid learning.

KENMORE, N.Y. — Ken-Ton students in kindergarten through fourth grade who are registered for full-time virtual learning could be assigned a new teacher starting October 13.

Currently, all students are learning remotely. The district will be phasing in its hybrid learning model that day.

During a virtual parent meeting held Thursday evening on YouTube, Superintendent Sabatino Cimato talked with parents about the change.

"If you are electing to stay in the virtual model, we're probably going to have to change your teacher temporarily while you are in that virtual model," Cimato said. "Understand the reasoning behind it is because we know the instructional model will be better."

The decision comes as the district works to address the question of how to teach kids coming into the classroom and kids fully virtual at the same time. 

District officials told 2 On Your Side that teaching simultaneously doesn't work at the elementary level. Cimato said by adjusting the model right now, it puts teachers in a better position to deliver a higher quality instruction for both groups.

Special area teachers are expected to remain the same.

"We are learning as we do," Cimato said. "This is some of the learning that we have taken away from not only ourselves but from the research we've done throughout our nation in a virtual learning environment."

For parents who originally selected the full-time virtual model, they have until September 25 to switch into the hybrid model if they would like.

Ken-Ton parents Samantha and Alex Garretson have enrolled their son in the hybrid model for kindergarten. Though they won't be impacted by the teacher change, they say things have been smooth sailing thus far this year.

"I think it's gone better than expected," Samantha Garretson said. "I think that it's been harder on our parents who watch the children more than it has been on us because we work full time. We haven't experienced that as much, but overall I think it's gone really well. I think Ken-Ton is doing a really good job."