An Update to WCSD Families
September 14, 2020
To all of our Williamsville students, parents, and families:
I want to keep the lines of communication open and update you as much as possible as we move through this difficult situation.
I understand the anger and frustration over our decision to go to fully remote learning beginning this Tuesday. I am also the parent of a Hybrid High School student who is deeply disappointed like so many of you.
This change was very difficult, but necessary at this time. I cannot emphasize enough that this change is TEMPORARY. Teams are mobilized and already working diligently on finding solutions. And we WILL find a solution.
1. Every child deserves a free, appropriate public education of 180 days. It’s the law, and we were out of compliance.
2. We need to provide fair and equitable education for all students – we can’t leave 1,400 students behind without any education.
3. An immediate decision was necessary for us to move forward. We had to take one step back to take two steps forward.
Now, we are moving forward, and here’s what we’re doing:
- Strategic teams have been formed to address all the different aspects of remote learning, and find the best model to support our students throughout this process.
- Our teams include:
- A Virtual Learning Committee
- A Scheduling Committee
- A Social / Emotional Well-Being Committee
- A Creative Engagement Committee - to keep our students connected to their school.
Additionally, I’ve set up meetings with leaders from our middle school and high school Parent Teacher Student Associations to listen to your concerns and hear any possible feedback you may have.
This morning I had the opportunity to meet with the student leaders from our high schools. The students were honest and forth coming and I appreciated their input and I listened to everything they had to say. They also provided some excellent solutions to help us move positively forward. I will be working with the principals to set up more meetings with groups of students.
We have heard your voices at the recent protests and know that there are more protests planned.
We’d like them to continue to be peaceful, and I’d like to ask to please do them after school hours because it’s crucial that students attend their virtual learning at this time. A lot of important information is being shared by teachers that students need to hear.
My hope is that we can take this energy and passion and channel it into finding positive solutions moving forward. We need you to give us a little time to make our plans and ensure your children receive the highest quality education possible.
I will be communicating with you on a regular basis and updating you on our progress. Thank you again for your understanding.
Please work with us through this difficult situation, and I know we can be successful, together.
Dr. John E. McKenna
Acting Superintendent of Schools