GREEN, Ohio (WJW) – While there are many uncertainties about what school districts can and cannot do to start the coming school year, Green Local Schools has revealed a plan that gives parent options.
In a letter just released to parents, the district explains that it expects to be able to welcome students back inside classrooms.
But the district will allow parents the option of full-time online learning as well.
“We felt it’s so important to make that choice. There are numerous reasons, health reasons, that a family would say ‘my student is not going back until there is a vetted vaccine,’ and we appreciate that, we understand that,” said Julie McMahan, the district’s communications director. “It has really challenged us as a district to kick it up a notch and offer this to our students at any grade level.”
The plan also includes modifications to the district’s visitor and volunteer policies, providing hand sanitizer dispensers in classrooms, hallways and offices and abiding by whatever guidance comes from the governor’s office, the Ohio Department of Education and local health officials regarding social distancing and personal protection wear.
The district also understands that any plan needs to be flexible and able to change and adapt in a moments notice.
“At our last administration meeting that was one of the words that we really, really harped on,” said McMahan. “We all need to be flexible during this time. It’s crucial and we always want to say, ‘think outside the box.’ I like to think it more of we are thinking with an expandable box.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to release more detailed instructions for what school districts can and cannot do as early as Thursday.
Plans for most school districts will have to include the possibility that sometime in the fall the state could be closed down completely again.
Green Local Schools says students from grades 1-12 already have personal chromebooks at home, and after completing the last school year with online learning they are confident they can offer a “robust” educational opportunity to those who choose to learn remotely.
For those whose parents choose to physically send to school, they are confident they can provide as safe an environment as possible.
“That robust learning experience, has it been clearly defined? No. We are not able to do that yet, but we felt it was very important to have our families and our taxpayers at least hear from the school and say ‘we know this is a struggle for parents, we are working through this. Here’s some information to at least get you started,'” said McMahan.