Statement Regarding the WNY Regional Reopening Survey
Below is a joint statement from the 17 superintendents involved in creating the regional survey.
On Friday, June 19, the response window closed for the Western New York Regional Reopening Survey. The purpose of the survey, offered to stakeholders in 17 Erie County school districts, was to inform the views of school superintendents as we participate in conversations about reopening school in September with the NYSED Reopening Task Force, our own regional dialogue, and planning teams within individual school districts.
Most importantly, this survey gives voice to more than 25,000 stakeholders so that they can speak directly to the policy makers in Albany. The results of the survey have been sent to the New York State Education Department Interim Commissioner Tahoe, as well as to the attention of Governor Andrew Cuomo, for their information and review.
On the key issue of whether or not students should return to in-person instruction in the fall, 68% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that school should resume as normal in September with new procedures to reduce the spread of illness, while 10% strongly disagreed with the idea of returning to school as normal. Also, 21.6% agreed or strongly agreed that a hybrid approach (half of the students in school and half remotely learning) should be employed in September, while 55% disagreed or strongly disagreed with a hybrid approach.
Planning for the restarting of school in September, regardless of whether it happens remotely, on campus, or in a hybrid model will be challenging. You can be assured that our school superintendents will emphasize the safety of students and staff in our planning, be considerate of the feelings of our stakeholder groups, and will fully comply with the requirements for restarting school as set forth by the Governor, the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.
This snapshot of opinion taken between June 10th and June 19th gives school superintendents important information upon which we can reflect as we plan. We appreciate the fact that so many people took the time to share with us how they felt about this critically important issue, and we are each thankful for the opportunity to serve our respective communities as Superintendent of Schools.