New York school district delays start of year after massive quits and time off

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A school district near Buffalo, New York, delayed the start of its school year for distance-learning students on Friday, issuing a statement accusing the move of dozens of resignations and requests for teachers’ sick leave of the district.In a statement released Friday, the Williamsville Central School District said students learning remotely or through hybrid models would have their school years delayed indefinitely. Those returning to hybrid in-person learning models would apparently see their classes start on Tuesday.

The statement blamed the decision on 90 school employees who requested sick leave due to COVID-19 as well as the resignations of more than 100 employees.

“Delaying the start of our fully distance-based e-learning model right now is the best way forward,” said District Superintendent Scott Martzloff.

Officials from the Williamsville Teachers Association blasted the superintendent’s statement on Twitter, noting that only six district teachers had resigned and noting that that number also included dozens of retirements the district had been informed before March of the last school year.

“So we would expect that four teachers who retire and six teachers who resigned in the past five months would be expected to prevent the district from providing distance education?” Reads a union statement.

School officials across the country have struggled to find optimal ways to get students back to class in the fall; many large school districts in the United States have resorted to fully online models due to lingering fears of the coronavirus outbreak.



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