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Buffalo Board of Education approves February 1st reopening for some students

Students in the Buffalo Public Schools have not been in the classroom since last March. That will change for some students in a few weeks.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — In their regular meeting Wednesday night, the Buffalo Board of Education officially approved the districts reopening plan.

Last month, Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash presented the plan to have some students return to in-person learning. Students in the district have not been back in the classroom since March of 2020.

As part of the reopening plan, students in Pre-K through second grade along with high school seniors will be the first back in the classrooms. High-need student populations are also part of the first wave of reopening which is set to begin Monday, February 1.

While discussing the phased-in reopening plan in December, Dr. Cash said that very young children struggle without having a number of educators and engaging activities. He also said its important to have high school seniors return so they can focus on graduating.

In the Board's resolution, Dr. Dennis Kuo, the BPS Medical Director, says: based on science and local Covid-19 data trends that it is generally safe to reintroduce students and staff back into the physical school environment.

Per the state's guidelines for schools in Orange Zones, Buffalo Schools will be responsible for testing a total of 20 percent of in-person students, faculty and staff per month. In December, Dr. Cash said he hopes to test more than the state requires. He also emphasized that the district has an "abundance" of PPE available.

Depending on science, testing and what is learned in the first phase of reopening, additional phases will take place in one to two week intervals through mid-March. Those phases will likely take place by grade level with input from the School Based Teams (SBTs).

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