DPS parents divided on unexpected holiday break changes

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton school board has voted unanimously to extend Thanksgiving break through the end of the year.

Thanksgiving Break for students will begin Monday, Nov. 23. They will return for hybrid instruction, or virtual learning if they have requested it, on Monday, Jan. 4. During the extended holiday, virtual instruction will not take place. 

School officials say this change will allow the district to fight the surge in COVID-19 cases and return strong in January. The school year will be extended to June 29 for students, and Feb. 8 will now be a regular school day. 

“With our number of illnesses and our absentee rate, we need to make a decision that’s going to help our students be able to catch up and pick-up the information they need to pick up and we can’t do that when everybody’s absent,” said Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, superintendent of Dayton Public Schools.

Some parents agreed with the plan, and said they hope it will help bring the number of cases down.

“With the spike in the coronavirus, I feel it’s a direct correlation to the kids going back to school. I know a lot of them are asymptomatic or just carriers but I feel like they are spreading and passing it once they go back home,” said Gary Young, a DPS parent.

Other parents said they’re worried about their kids being prepared for the next grade level.

Nikea Smith said “I feel like they should be out for Thanksgiving break and then go back and then be out for Christmas break. They’ve already had such a big gap of being out that I think it’s putting them further behind.”

“It needs to be something consistent. It doesn’t need to be back and forth. Either we’re going to do online and keep them online until we figure it out or do hybrid,” said Courtney Mitchell.

Other parents said they’re faced with finding child care.

“For parents like me that’s a single mom, it makes it harder because how are we going to find somebody to watch our kids?” asked Amber Mitchell.

DPS athletics will also be put on hold. The school will continue 7-day meal pick-ups for students in need. Visit DPS Restart for updates.

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