BLANCHESTER — Options are available for Blanchester students for the upcoming school year.
A reopening guide from the Blanchester Local School District Administration team gives students one of two options for the 2020-2021 school year.
The first option is traditional learning.
“Students learn within a physical building and classroom with face-to-face instruction,” the guide states.
The second option is virtual learning.
“Students learn from home in an online environment. BLSD teachers will facilitate, monitor, and support the learning outside of school hours,” the guide states.
For parents wanting option two, they need to complete a Google form by 2:30 p.m. on July 31.
The guide was prepared by the school district’s administrative team with guidance from the governor’s office, the Ohio Department of Education, the state and county health departments, district attorneys, the local school board, other county school districts, technology department, individual meetings with staff from each building, and info from two different surveys sent to parents.
“Results from our parent survey indicated 84% of parents would send their child into one of the district’s school buildings if the school were to reopen in the fall,” said Superintendent Dean Lynch.
According to Lynch, 83% preferred traditional in-person learning or a blended learning model. When given a choice between traditional and blended learning models, 77% of those parents preferred the traditional model, and only 5% desiring blended learning. 17% liked a virtual learning (online) format.
“Parents were split, with 51% not wanting the district to require students to wear face coverings,” said Lynch. “Our plan mirrors Governor DeWine’s guidelines regarding face coverings which strongly recommends students to wear a mask and mandates district employees to do so.”
Included in the guide is the possibility of another school shutdown, which Lynch said is “very plausible” and could be announced quickly. He advised parents should begin planning now for another school closing.
“The district plans to move students’ first day of school back to Monday, August 24th for the purpose of allowing teachers extra time to plan for remote instruction in case there would be another school closing,” he said.
The plan details expectations of what each option will look like for employees, students, and parents.
“Each building’s expectations will look differently. Therefore, I would encourage parents to contact their building principals if they need clarification of the plan specific to their child’s building,” he said.
An email address for parents to ask questions regarding the guide was created. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org, the password is Blan2020. The address will be open through Friday, July 31.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574