BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Teachers Federation has called for a delay in submitting plans for reopening schools this fall. As of right now, those plans are due by Saturday.
The reason for the delay, according to a statement issued Wednesday night, focuses on safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are considering educational issues and plans that, if not done correctly, will result in the loss of lives and permanent physical harm to students, parents, school staff and the community, as well as the deadly spread of the COVID-19 virus," BTF president Phil Rumore said in the statement.
The teachers federation is seeking specific details when it comes to plans, how they will be implemented, and when they will be done.
Among the questions the Buffalo Teachers Federation asked:
- How and how often are schools going to be sanitized and not just cleaned?
- What are the exact schedules for instruction?
- How will students and staff be assured that each student’s temperature is taken each day?
- What will be done if a student purposely takes off their mask?
- How will students who need to use the bathroom be assisted or monitored?
- What are the procedures when someone contracts the virus?
- Will there be a nurse in all buildings at all times? What if one is not?
- How will the plans be monitored and adjusted?
- How will art, music, and physical education classes be conducted?
- How is safety ensured when students take their masks off to eat?
The Buffalo Teachers Federation claims that that the school district's reopening committees met six times, with the length of those meetings being between 60 and 90 minutes.
It also wants the curriculum to be revised for distance learning, citing the possibility of a pause from in-school learning should something arise.
Rumore told 2 On Your Side last week that the Buffalo Teachers Federation can collaborate with the Buffalo Public School District to develop procedures and to address the concerns raised by teachers, parents, staff, and students.
"We're willing to work with the district to do it," he said. "We need to. But it doesn't seem like there's any interest in having people work together. Looks like they're just gonna make their decisions downtown."