Western NY educator discusses benefits of students returning to classrooms

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Most kids are headed back to school next week, and for many, it’s a return to some sense of normalcy after learning remotely for much of the past two school years.

“Cautiously optimistic about kids coming back,” said Wendy Paterson, dean of SUNY Buffalo State’s School of Education.

She says the benefits of children being back in the classroom in-person outweigh the risks.

“We feel that more damage can be done to our children’s wellbeing, to their mental health, to their learning curves, you name all those dispositions of being in school, than their danger of contracting the disease,” Paterson said.

Many students spent big chunks of the last two school years learning from home. While it was important they stayed connected, Paterson says some kids tuned out.

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