Parents, educators weigh-in on whether a two-day school schedule can work

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- During Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing, Governor Mike DeWine suggested that schools may move to a two-day schedule to make social distancing easier in school buildings.

No official announcements have been made on how school will look in the future but already some parents are worried and say the model won’t work for them.

“My concern is that I may not have my job in the fall and I might have to go to work somewhere else,” said Kelly, a concerned parent who says she’ll have to put her children in daycare if she ends up going to work outside the home.

“I don’t know if reducing schools is the right solution when these kids are going to end up in public situations regardless,” she continued.

Kelly also has a son who has special needs. She says the school provides essential learning service.

“Many of us rely on the services that the schools supply which are, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social groups, mental health treatment,” said Kelly.

Brookville superintendent Tim Hopkins says the size of his school district could make a two-day system difficult.

“A district our size with about 1,500 students…I have one 8th grade math teacher. So if that one 8th grade math teacher is teaching then who is teaching her online students?” asked Hopkins.

According to Hopkins, Ohio teacher licensing rules means teachers of other grade levels or subjects won’t be able to fill in if needed. With school districts expecting budget cuts, Hopkins says he sees only one solution for his district.

“The state is hurting right now financially so I’m not expecting that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to pay for additional staff. With the staff that I have, I don’t think it’s realistic to pull that plan off,” said Hopkins. “So it’s either an all in or all out situation. We’re either going to not return to school in August and continue our remote education or we’re going to all come back.”

Dayton Public Schools superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli says a recovery team for the district is already working on how to coordinate a two day schedule in the event that the governor decides to move forward with that plan.

“What we need to think about is how to bus those students in. Because once you determine that you have half of your class coming in, how do we determine who gets on the bus and how you social distance on the bus?” asked Lolli.

Dr. Lolli, however, says she is split on which plan is best for the DPS students.

“Our kids are going to have an even more difficult time catching up [at home] and that’s a real problem for me. So for me I would prefer we come back to school, but I am also very aware of the health concerns so I really can’t say which is the best,” she said.

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