The end of this past school year was a challenge for many Western New York families when districts were forced to move to virtual learning in the wake of the pandemic.

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The main problem according to sources turned out to be the inability of larger districts to properly socially distance students in a classroom setting.

The Orchard Park School District lost 243 students last school year.

The Williamsville Central School District began the school year with 9,913 students. By fall 2020, the district had lost 329 students.

Both districts are seeing an influx of students for the start of this school year, but some parents have decided to keep their kids in private schools wanting their children to be in the classroom, and concerned that public schools may not be able to maintain full in-school instruction if COVID-19 cases increase.

Since last year's transition to virtual learning, many parents feel their children have missed out on the ability to ask teachers questions or get one on one time in the event their child is unable to grab a concept.

Nichols School leaders say the school has seen roughly a 12% enrollment increase since the start of the pandemic in March. Last school year, the enrollment was 525 students, and this upcoming year 591 students are enrolled in the district.

Some WNY families felt this was the right decision for them, understanding that financially they were fortunate enough to be able to make choices between public and private education. While still others have opted to have their children tutored 2 to 3 times per week, to help them get back on track.


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