‘Give our students a breather’: Lorain Schools makes changes to its Thanksgiving holiday break

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LORAIN, Ohio (WJW) – Children in the Lorain City School District will be home a little longer this Thanksgiving holiday than originally planned.

Parents were informed that Monday and Tuesday of that week will now be “remote learning” days at home. All of the buildings will now be closed the entire week.

School Board President Mark Ballard explained why.

“We just thought we’re already out for a couple days during the Thanksgiving holiday, so this would be a good time for us to reboot and really, really give our people a breather and give our students a breather,” Ballard said.

Ballard said, like many districts, they have been under tremendous pressure dealing with quarantine issues and the pressures of keeping students and staff safe.

For example, when a teacher is placed in quarantine, they’re finding it hard to find a substitute teacher on top of dealing with making sure everyone is following safety protocols and wearing masks.

“Just a lot of pain and angst,” said Ballard. “It’s our way of saying let’s reset, let’s put people first and this is what we came up with as a board and a district.”

Parents learned of the new plan Thursday and there was mixed reaction on Facebook, but in a statement, Lorain City Schools CEO Dr. Jeff Graham likened it to a marathon and said, “It’s time to listen to our hearts and take a breath so that we can be more effective in the long run.”

Other districts across the country are actually announcing similar plans, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Denver, Colorado.

Some are also incorporating remote learning days while others are just taking the entire week off.

That did not influence Lorain’s decision. In fact, Ballard told FOX 8 they weren’t even aware of what other districts were planning in other states. However, he does understand it.

“We weren’t really looking to our left or our right, but it was just the right thing to do for our situation here in our community,” said Ballard.

Ballard said they hope parents understand the move and they welcome any feedback or questions.

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