DAYTON — UPDATE @ 6:35 p.m. (July 31): Dayton Public Schools will follow a Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County recommendation and suspend all extracurricular activities including football, soccer and band until it is safe for these activities to resume.
“DPS understands that many students, families and staff will be disappointed by this news, but it is our hope that activities will be able to resume when it is safe to do so. As always, the safety of students and staff is the district’s top priority,” district officials said in announcement via Facebook.
EARLIER REPORT (July 29)
Dayton Public School will spend the first nine weeks of the year with classes online only, with the start of the school year now delayed 22 days.
Wednesday, the district announced the 2020-2021 school year will now start Sept. 8, weeks later than the planned Aug. 17 start. The delay in the school year’s start will push back the conclusion of the academic year to June 11, 2021.
School leaders said parents should be prepared for distance learning to potentially continue beyond the first quarter of year year.
At a news conference Wednesday, superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said the current spread of COVID-19 made starting the year with students in classrooms unrealistic.
“We anticipated that if we came back and we were back in school for maybe two weeks, that we might have a case that would close the school down,” Lolli said Wednesday. “We felt like, instead of being inconsistent with that probability, that we should be consistent with at least the 9 weeks of virtual.”
Lolli said the district has Chromebooks and wireless hot spots on hand to distribute to families, and believes the district has made improvements to its online learning tactics that should prove more beneficial to students this fall.
Students PreK to grade 12 will be expected to watch a prerecorded lesson from a Dayton Public School teacher each morning, Monday through Friday. After the lesson teachers will meet virtually with small groups of their students to provide additional instruction, answer questions and assist with work.
Lolli admitted, she remains concerned about students being out of classrooms for an extended period of time, as well as the impact Wednesday’s decision will have on families. But she said she believes it is the safest path forward.
“It’s a concern for me that we have working parents who won’t be there to monitor their students’ time,” Lolli added. “We weighed all these things.”
All students will be issued a “Ready Pack” containing a Chromebook, dry erase board and marker, a notebook, a pack of pencils, crayons or colored pencils and paper math manipulatives, if grade appropriate.
One WIFI hot spot per family will be distributed for those that need access to the internet.
Attendance will be taken daily in virtual classes and all truancy practices will be followed. Grades will be based on the district’s standard grading policies.
The district was prompted to reevaluate the initial plans made in June out of concern for the safety and health of all staff and students, a release from Dayton Public Schools said.
The learning situation will be reevaluated after the initial 9 weeks are over. School may continue in the virtual format or may switch to the initial plan of in-person classes or the option for totally remote learning, dependent on the COVID-19 situation at the time.
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