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Dunkirk to return to in-person learning Monday

Pictured is the Dunkirk Middle School. One plan is for it to house students in grades four to six.

Dunkirk is looking at bringing the hybrid students back into the buildings beginning Monday.

At the Dunkirk School District’s Board of Education workshop this week, it was unanimously decided that students can begin attending in person classes again. “My own personal opinion is as long as you can keep us informed of where our staffing levels are, as long as we can hold staffing levels we can keep the schools safe and we have employees to be able to teach and monitor our children, I would be in favor of opening back up hybrid,” board President Dave Damico stated.

Other board members agreed. As long as safety guidelines and staffing were satisfactory, opening up was fine with them as well.

“I’ve had so many phone calls over the weekend with parents wanting their kids to get back into school, some seem like they’re struggling so I’m in favor of bringing the kids back,” board member Robert Bankoski said.

“I stand by what we did for the last four weeks because I don’t know how we would have done it with the issues we were having,” Ken Kozlowski said.

“Having heard that then we will inform the parent community that we will reopen the hybrid program on Feb. 1,” Superintendent Michael Mansfield finalized. “That’s the start of the second semester which is good timing. We will be putting out information to our parents and the community that we will be reopening and any kind of details that they need will come from their buildings to restart that schedule.”

In addition to the reopening of the buildings once more, winter sports were also touched upon.

“Most schools in the county have been holding preseason conditioning,” Sports Director Al Gens started. “On Jan. 22, Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo and the New York state Department of Health announced to begin high risk sports if local departments of health gave their respected OKs.”

Gens stated that he was Involved in a meeting Tuesday and received word that the five counties in Section 6, Niagara, Orleans, Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus’ respective health departments agreed to allow high risk sports to begin practicing as of Feb. 1.

There’s an opt out option that has to be put forth by today if a district, however, chooses not to participate. No spectators would be allowed to view these contests on site.

The board also agreed unanimously on this as well.

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