Preparations for the return to school are underway at Delaware City Schools.
The district announced last month that when students return to school on Aug. 31, they will be instructed in a hybrid online and in-person model. Superintendent Heidi Kegley said students will be grouped based on their last name, and 50% of students will attend school in-person three days a week and do online learning the other two; while the other 50% of students will attend school twice a week, and do online learning three days a week. The groups will rotate days each week.
The district will require all staff and students to wear face masks, and Kegley said the district will be following CDC guidelines.
She added the district is also offering an online-only academy for students and families that don’t feel comfortable returning to in-person instruction.
Kegley said Wednesday the district is currently preparing the academy.
“As a district, we are reviewing the families who have opted in to our Online Academy,” Kegley said. “The academy will be staffed by our DCS teachers. The students will have access to an online learning platform in addition to Canvas. We believe this will provide the structure and flexibility needed for our families.”
Kegley said staff at each building are also working “to create their individual protocols for the safe and healthy restart plan.”
The district said it is planning to do professional development with staff before school returns.
“We are working with the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio … the focus will begin with implicit bias and systemic racism,” Kegley said. “We will also have learning opportunities for the use of Canvas and other online tools. There will also be time to review and share all of the health and safety protocols we will have in place for the 2020-21 school year.”
When the district announced its plans earlier this month, Delaware County was at a Level 2 emergency according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. The county dipped into a Level 3 weeks ago but was downgraded back to a Level 2 Thursday.
Kegley said that if the county ever reaches a Level 4, which the state describes as “severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services,” the district would move education online.
“We will continue to work with our state and local health officials as we well as our (Delaware City Schools) Board of Education to make these decisions,” Kegley said. “However, if we are at a Level 4 then all learning would move to remote learning for our students … If we are unable to have students come to school for the blended model then we would also cancel all extra curricular activities.”
More information about the district’s reopening plans can be found at www.dcs.k12.oh.us/.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.