Wayne County students will return to the classroom for in person instruction on September 28, on an alternating day schedule providing smaller class sizes. The school board met Thursday, September 17 and discussed how they would bring students back into the classroom as safely as possible, after several weeks of virtual instruction.
Safety, in-person instruction, and consistency for everyone's well-being were the board's motivating considerations in making the new plan. Their goal is to provide the best opportunity to get the most in person instructional days for students.
Originally, the district had looked at a number of different schedule options that allowed parents and students to make decisions on how they wanted to return to the classroom, either on a four day a week schedule, an alternating day schedule, or virtual learning at home. But during the meeting last night, board members said they were more comfortable with the schedule they referred to as the A-B alternating days. Virtual learning will continue for days when students are not in school. Students can also opt to do all classes virtually as well.
Superintendent Wayne Roberts provided board members with the latest information provided by the Department of Public Health which is providing school districts with guidance regarding instructional methods. Wayne County is currently a county designated in the orange, which is determined by the seven-day average of active cases (see link below).
Because of that designation, board members expressed that they were more comfortable going back to school with smaller class sizes due to the alternating day schedule. The board also agreed to keep the plan in place through Christmas break unless the situation changes.
Students will be divided alphabetically, according to the discussion. More information will be forthcoming to parents about the plan.
Teachers have been focused on the best practices regarding their delivery of online instruction. While they have been very creative with their instruction, perfected their online skills, and very motivated to communicate with their students through electronic means - the general consensus is that in person instruction is preferred. The schools are prepared for safety protocol when students arrive in the classrooms. The buildings have been stocked with all kinds of hand sanitizer stations and classroom dispensers, extra cleaning products, masks and health initiatives. The CDC guidelines will be followed.
Also during the meeting, the board approved the working budget for the current school year. It totals approximately $35.5 million in all funds. The general fund is approximately $22.3 million.
Click here for COVID-19 Mode of Instruction Metrics introduction.