Dayton Christian planning to be back in classroom; masks optional for students

Local News

MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton Christian School has rolled out a plan for students to return in the fall.

Dayton Christian School officials say enrollment is up for the 2020-2021 school year, and retention is at its highest rate in years at 94%.

“We’re seeing visitors every day,” says John Gredy, Head of Dayton Christian School.

As families tour the building and walk the halls, they’re expressing concern about what school will look like in a few months.

“We are working on the next phase, the next plans,” says Ohio Governor Mike DeWine at Monday’s news conference.

Governor DeWine is expected to give more specific guidance later this week regarding K-12 students returning to school in the fall. As school officials await the governor’s plans, they have a plan of their own. Dayton Christian is planning for students to be back in the classroom in August.

“We really believe strongly in education that’s holistic, one that really needs to take place in a physical location. Kids need community. They need social interaction. They need mentors mentoring them,” stresses Gredy.

The school is taking its guidance from the recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, detailing the benefits of having students in a classroom environment.

“They’re saying children need to be back. We were just saying ‘yes!’ This is great for families because families want to return,” states Gredy.

Gredy says the school has been taking precautions all along. The average class size is 20 students and the school has already adapted to social distancing guidelines.

“We had already gone through a model on our classrooms to make sure that we could have adequate space between desks,” states Gredy.

In addition to social distancing, the school is installing hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the building and designating a centralized area for daily health checks.

“We’ve actually purchased equipment to sanitize things including the playground,” says Gredy.

Masks will be optional for students.

“I think it will be a great benefit to the teacher in the classroom to see the child’s face, work closely with them,” says Gredy. “Recently you probably saw the survey throughout the state. And I think it was the majority of parents did not want their children wearing masks, so that’s what we’re planning.”

Gredy says in younger grades, masks can be more of a distraction than a benefit.

For students and teachers not comfortable returning, the school will be looking at virtual options.

“There may be some families who are high risk. Or they may have a child with a compromised immune system. We’re going to take care to help them navigate this,” says Gredy.

Dayton Christian is set to go back August 19.

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