The Colonial School Board will meet on Thursday, August 6th to revisit its reopening plan that offered students a choice of a hybrid model (two days in school with three virtual or 100% virtual). Under consideration for Thursday’s meeting is switching to a 100% virtual model for everyone with a potential reconsideration in November. Schools across the country closed to in-person instruction in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday, Superintendent Michael L. Christian explained the situation and current thinking in a letter to families:
On July 23, the Board of School Directors approved our school reopening plan which provided two options for the 2020-2021 school year. The models included an all virtual option and a hybrid option that provided two days of in-person instruction and three days of remote instruction. During the discussion and presentation, I reminded the community that we would need to continually evaluate this situation every few weeks.
Because the COVID-19 situation in our area continues to remain fluid, the Board of School Directors has scheduled a Special Board Meeting on Thursday, August 6 at 7 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and vote on proposed revisions to the school reopening plan. The Board will consider an exclusively virtual option for all students until late November; however, we will continue to evaluate our plan throughout the fall. The link to the meeting will be posted on the District website and BoardDocs page on Thursday.
This potential move to 100% virtual has led to the creation of a petition to stick with the current plan. Over 500 people have signed it as of Wednesday morning. The introduction paragraph to the petition reads:
Colonial School District parents/guardians need our schools to continue to offer an in-person/ hybrid option in September. We need to be given the freedom to make a responsible choice as to what we feel is in the best interest for our children backed by data from the CDC, AAP, county and state. The CDC and The American Academy of Pediatrics have clearly outlined the importance of reopening in person school for children. According to the CDC, extended school closures have far reaching negative effects on the social, emotional, behavioral, physical health, economic well-being, and academic achievement of children and their families in both the short and long term. Schools who have the capacity to reopen should be permitted to do so.