School district looking at returning to in-person classes
By Jim Spezialetti
As the Carlynton School District reaches the halfway mark of the first 9 ½-week grading period, Superintendent John Kreider said the district’s goal is to move from remote learning to either a hybrid or traditional learning model by the end of the first grading period.
Back in July, school board members voted to begin the 2020-21 school year with remote learning.
“We received a lot of valuable feedback from our parents and students in regard to how the delivery of services is going, and to this point, we received very positive responses in that regard,” Kreider said.
Regardless of the model of learning, Kreider stressed consistency of instruction on a daily basis.
“We do recognize that a face-to-face environment has many advantages. “In some cases, we recognize that remote learning can be a little bit more challenging for some grade levels and some populations of students.”
As district officials continue to gather information from the state and health department to determine the best model of learning, Kreider said the district could deviate from its original plan of remote, hybrid or traditional learning.
“We may take a look at certain subgroups of students and may take a look at certain grade levels to deliver instruction,” Kreider said.
“We value that consistency, whether it’s remote or face to face. If we move to a traditional model, most likely it won’t be 100% across the board K through 12.”
Kreider said nothing has been determined except that the learning model will be consistent among grade levels.
More than 60 community members participated in the Sept. 15 Zoom meeting, with at least a dozen parents asking various questions. Kreider said Carlynton’s health and safety plan is posted on the district website. The plan outlines the different learning models, as well as transportation and cleaning schedules.
Some parents were concerned about instruction for remote learners when most students are back in the classroom.
Kreider said the goal is to maintain the services being provided.
“We definitely want to make sure we’re not having students lose opportunities for interaction with their teachers and peers,” Kreider said. “However, our goal is to bring students physically back into the schoolhouse and have the least disruption on all students.”
Kreider said the district will provide at least a two-week notice prior to transitioning to another learning model.
With all district students receiving a Chromebook for learning, a question was raised about snow days. Kreider said the district received permission from the state to use up to five flexible instruction days. Those days would be remote learning in case of inclement weather or a building emergency. The days would count as regular classroom instruction.