DPS Board of Education meets virtually for first time since in-person classes canceled

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – On Tuesday the Dayton School Board met for the first time since Governor Mike DeWine canceled in-person classes for the remainder of the academic year. 

In these early stages there are still a lot of unknowns, including logistical issues like how graduation will be handled and how students and staff will get their belongings from school. And the academic challenges are ongoing, but the Board is confident DPS is on the right track. 

Board member Dr. Gabriela Pickett says “Three family members have or had it, and I’ve lost two friends.” The devastating effects of the coronavirus are painfully clear. 

On Tuesday she and the board met virtually, the board’s first full meeting since in-person classes were canceled for the rest of the school year. “One of the good things that’s going to come out of this pandemic is the fact that everybody is going to appreciate teachers even more than before.” 

May 21 will still be the final day of school, but teachers, students, and staff won’t be there to celebrate. Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli says, “For the parents out there, please know that we are working on making plans for what will happen with graduation and when those plans will actually happen.” 

This week Dr. Elizabeth Lolli said student resource officers would call every student in their schools for a wellness check. On Tuesday she said, “We still have some students who are missing, but we are out there looking for those students and trying to make sure they get the education we’re offering.” 

Hundreds of DPS educators -individually and in teams- are working nearly around the clock to rebuild the curriculum for online and distance learning, and the board took notice. Board member Dion Sampson said, “Thank you for taking on a first shift, second shift, and third shift job during this unprecedented time.” 

The distance-learning system is still being perfected, but the board and superintendent are forging ahead. Dr. Lolli says, “Let’s keep moving forward, it’s about our students and the kids we serve. And we need to keep that focus and keep making sure that we do the very best we can in these troubling times.” 

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