Williams Valley School District abruptly cancelled the first day of school set for today over what it calls “concerns regarding live streaming”.
The school posted this message to Facebook just before 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, just hours before the expected start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Williams Valley opted for what’s become known as a “hybrid” reopening for the school year. That’s where students attend class in-person a few days a week and doing virtual schooling from home the rest of the week.
Williams Valley Abruptly Postpones Start of School Year Due to Live Streaming Concerns
In its social media post and on the district’s website, Williams Valley school officials state:
“Attention Williams Valley Families: Due to concerns regarding live streaming, school will be canceled until further notice.”
No other details are given on what concerns the school has but judging from comments from parents on social media, they’re apparently technical in nature. Williams Valley is easily one of the most rural school districts in Schuylkill County and internet access may be limited for many families.
School board officials and district administration have scheduled an emergency meeting for Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. to address the concerns and develop a plan to finally reopen school for the new term.
“You had all summer to plan for this. All summer. How about you just let us send our kids back to school full time 5 days a week and move on,” one parent asked on Facebook.
She writes, “This is ridiculous! Just send them back to school full time 5 days a week! If I can go to work everyday thru all this and the kids can play sports then there shouldn’t be an issue with them being in school everyday!”
One grandparent expressed frustration over the last-minute nature of this change and noted that the school had plenty of time to prepare for any challenges.
They write, “This is on your watch key administrative and school board personnel. Q: Was it known all along or just today that STEAMING [sic] had a problem..? Surely, there wasn’t a proper Test and Acceptance phase for streaming. Awful. So many parents, guardians and caretakers have prepared themselves for school opening and now this totally unexpected fiasco has all affected to scurry. Get your act together WV. I have 1 grandchild all ready and set to start school tomorrow.”
The school cancellation does not include Williams Valley students who attend “out-of-district schools” like Schuylkill Technology Center or the Schuylkill Intermediate Unit. According to a more recent social media post from the school, the busing and drop-off schedules for them this week will remain as they were.