The Delaware City Schools Board of Education decided Monday to stick with its plan to have the district return to the hybrid learning model on Jan. 11.
The board voted in November to move the final three weeks of the first semester to remote learning and to start the second semester with a week of remote learning before returning to the hybrid model. Under this model, students are divided into two cohorts. The cohorts alternate between two days of in-person instruction a week and three days of remote learning, and three days of in-person instruction a week and two days of remote learning.
During Monday’s board meeting, Superintendent Heidi Kegley recommended the board stay with the plan to return to hybrid learning, but she stressed how important it is that all rules be followed when in-person education returns.
“We know that our health and safety protocols that we’ve had in place are working, and we know that our families are supportive of following those protocols,” Kegley said. “We know everyone is committed to our students being in school, safe and participating in extra-curricular activities. It will be extremely important that when we return from this extended break that we not be lax in any of those protocols that we have established or need to follow.”
She added the district’s plans going forward will depend on the number of local COVID-19 cases.
“Our job to monitor the data,” Kegley said. “We will begin looking at our staff attendance and student attendance … and if we need to make an adjustment, we will need to make that adjustment.”
Kegley told the board the state plans to make vaccines available to school staff in one of the first waves, and the district will be sharing more information with staff when it has a firm timeline. She added the district has offered flu shots within the buildings in the past by partnering with the Delaware Public Health District, and she expects that the COVID vaccine will be done in a similar fashion.
Also during the meeting, student board member Mackenzie Collett said she is working with Hayes High School Principal Ric Stranges to attempt to put on as many senior events as possible.
“Obviously, a lot of the things that would typically occur can’t occur, but we are going to try our best to try and make sure they have some sense of normalcy and kind of a final closing,” Collett said. “(Many of us) have spent 13 years in Delaware City Schools.”
Collett added the return to remote learning for the first week of school went well according to fellow students she spoke to, and teachers did a good job of keeping in touch with students. She said students are “looking forward to being back in the schools next week.”
Additionally, the board elected its new officers for 2021 and voted Francis O’Flaherty and Michael Wiener into the roles of president and vice president, respectively.
The board also voted to approve its 2021 meeting dates. It will meet on Feb. 8, March 1, April 12, May 3, May 17, June 7, June 21, July 12, Aug. 2, Aug. 16, Sept. 13, Nov. 15 and Dec. 6.