FRANKLINVILLE — The Franklinville and Portville central school district superintendents said Tuesday that their districts had indeed submitted reopening plans for the upcoming school year — contrary to reports by the state that the districts were among four local districts that hadn’t done as directed.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that 107 districts had not submitted a plan for in-person learning. In addition to Franklinville and Portville, two other school districts listed by the state for not responding to the directive are Salamanca and West Valley. Cuomo had stated that districts that don’t submit a plan by this Friday can’t open.
In responding to a request by the Times Herald of the local school districts for comments on the issue, Franklinville Superintendent Christopher Swiatek said the district’s plan was submitted and accepted by the State Education Department on July 31.
“For us, the glitch was in the second submittal directly to the Department of Health,” Swiatek said in an email to the Times Herald. “For some reason that did not get received by them. We completed this (Monday) again” and had previously received an email of approval from the state regarding the submission.
“It is safe to say the district is prepared for all three scenarios in preparation for the (2020-21) school year,” Swiatek continued. “Our administrative staff worked diligently on all three scenarios (in-person, remote and hybrid learning) for about two to three weeks in order to include all of the possible scenarios that come our way.
He said the planning was a collective effort by CA BOCES and all of the component districts associated.
“The heaviest challenge is in the service of special education students,” Swiatek said. “In any other model other than in-person learning, the task of delivery services is incredibly difficult if not impossible.”
Portville Superintendent Tom Simon said an outline of the district’s plan went out to the community on July 23.
“The more detailed plan was put on our website on July 30, the same day we submitted it to (State Education Department) and NYS Department of Health,” Simon said. “It seems there was a third location we needed to upload to and check a box of attestation. As soon as we became aware of that (from the press release) we contacted the state and did the necessary last step. So, at this point we believe we are all set.”