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November 19, 2020 - 12:22pm

Soler: 'Combination of factors' leads to all virtual learning next Monday and Tuesday

Batavia City School District Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr. today said that multiple factors came into play in his decision to restrict instruction next Monday and Tuesday to 100-percent virtual remote learning days for all students, except those who attend classes at the Genesee Valley BOCES campus on State Street.

“It’s a combination of things,” Soler said. “Erie County went 'Orange' (a COVID-19 level, which is part of Gov. Cuomo’s micro-cluster zone structure) and so a lot of our employees live in Erie County, which sometimes impacts our ability to get quality substitutes, and it impacts our ability to get substitute teachers in general as there has been a shortage of substitute teachers.”

Soler said several students and staff members are finishing their days in quarantine, “so that also impacts us from having some in-person. We also have a growing number of cases in the region and in the county, so that was another variable that I looked at as well.”

And there’s the close contact piece, even if you’re not infected, he said.

“If you’re exposed to somebody for 60 minutes … you get deemed as close contact and you have to quarantine,” he explained. “And then we just have anybody who just feels ill – a headache, or sniffles or don’t feel well and can’t come into work; just regular absences.”

He said considering all of that, leadership determined to have no students in any of the district building on the two days prior to Thanksgiving.

“Hopefully, this will allow kids and families to have a good holiday without having more kids in quarantine or more positive cases coming up,” he said. “It’s just preventative. We’re still having remote instruction, and our kids are used to that model since they’re in that model every other day – with the hope that we go back to normal on the 30th.

A letter to district families concerning this change can be found on the school’s website.

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