BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Public Schools have announced preliminary plans on the possibility to close schools over concerns of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
On Monday, all Buffalo Public Schools will be closed to students. Teachers are still to report. Teachers will work on lesson plans for the students.
On Tuesday, students will return to school to receive packets, devices and other materials needed to complete their education plan. The packets will contain enough work should the students be out of school for up to three weeks.
On Tuesday evening, Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash will talk to state education officials on when schools should start closing, if they need to be closed.
"If you live here, and you're a teacher and your school system is closed, you're not going to come to a school system where you work. You're going to be at home with your children, so we're trying to do a unified coordinated approach to this," said Dr. Cash on Friday.
If Buffalo schools close, students will still be able to get breakfast and lunch.
Community schools will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for kids to grab lunch and breakfast for the next day. Churches and community centers might also be distribution places.
"But if students aren't able to, or folks are quarantines for any other reason, or a whole community is quarantined, we will provide transportation services to deliver food to our students and our families," Dr. Cash said.
And if there's a situation where Buffalo Public Schools are closed, Dr. Cash says breakfast and lunch would be offered to all kids in Buffalo, even if they don't go to a public school.
The district is also working on how to help with child-care issues.
Some schools in Buffalo have already announced they are closing.
Nichols School and Elmwood Franklin are planning to close their campuses to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Nichols sent a letter to parents on Friday, letting them know that their campus will be closed from March 14 to April 12. The plan is for students to return to class on April 13.
On March 16 and 17, teachers will work to set up virtual school experiences. They will create assignments for students that can be completed online.
Elmwood Franklin School informed parents and students that they will close their campus from March 14 to April 12.
A notice was posted on the school's website.
Teachers and students will begin distance learning from March 18 to 27. More information will be sent to parents and will be online in the coming days, they said.
Nardin Academy said Friday night that it would close its Cleveland Avenue and West Ferry campuses for all students until March 30, starting Monday. The school will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for students who need books, computers or other materials.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said it will be up to schools to decide locally on whether they should close or not and for how long.
"The state, at this point with these numbers, does not believe we need to close schools statewide," Cuomo said Friday afternoon.
Several school districts in Western New York have notified parents that students will be receiving course work should they have to close. At this time, no other school districts have not made a decision to close.
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