DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Dayton Public Schools returned to face-to-face learning on Monday for the first time since March. According to the district, the new hybrid model is what 65% of parents wanted based on an online survey.
“Our students were so excited to school today and we’re so excited to have them back,” said Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, superintendent of Dayton Public Schools.
The 35% of students who chose to remain virtual will log in to their classrooms five days a week and continue learning as they have for the past nine weeks. Half of the in-person students will attend class on Mondays and Tuesdays. The other half will attend class on Thursdays and Fridays. All students will learn virtually on Wednesdays and have an early dismissal.
Students learning in-person can expect several changes, including new signs and plexiglass installed throughout school buildings. Officials said parents and students should also expect a longer process to get into the classroom because it takes more time to conduct temperature checks and unload buses.
“In the lunchrooms, students can expect that they can see their friends, but plexiglass surrounds them so they really can’t sit across from their friends and they really can’t shout down the table at their friends to talk to their friends,” Lolli said.
In the classroom, all desks are at least 6-feet apart. Masks are required, but mask breaks will be permitted by teachers. Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County said parents should make sure precautions are taken outside of the classroom as well.
“When students are in school and being supervised by teachers and officials at the school, there’s really good mask compliance and social distancing. It’s when you’re outside of the school when you’re mingling with other students at home or at other activities. That’s where the spread can really happen,” said Dan Suffoletto, public health supervisor for Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County.
If anyone tests positive, Lolli said they will be quarantined or the building will be closed, however, the entire district will only shut down if a large number of people test positive and they aren’t able to cover classes.
“We need our students face-to-face. And in all honesty… I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again. COVID-19 is here for a long time, and we have got to learn to live with it. We’ve got to learn to manage it,” she said.
A list of the schools COVID-19 information and resources can be found here.