SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The Springfield City School District Board of Education approved a staggered in-person reopening plan at its meeting Thursday night.
Students will be phased back into the schools as follows:
- Wednesday, August 26: High school freshmen, 1st through 8th graders with last names A through L
- Thursday, August 27: High school sophomores through seniors return
- Friday, August 28: Remaining 1st through 8th graders return
“We wanted to give our staff a little more time to get adapted to the policies and protocols of a much smaller population,” Superintendent Bob Hill said.
More than 5,200 Springfield students will learn in-person this fall, and nearly 2,600 students chose virtual learning.
Hill said because so many chose the online option, the district was able to designate Springfield teachers to teach the online classes.
“We believe in them, our families believe in them,” Hill said. “I would much rather have our educators in front of our kids, even if it’s virtually, opposed to someone else.”
Representatives of the Springfield Educators Association said this plan doesn’t give teachers enough time to prepare.
“We were either hoping to move back the start date or open virtually so that teachers were given the time to collaborate with each other, with their building administrators, to develop these plans a little more thoroughly,” association vice president Mollie Wagenknecht said.
Wagenknecht said while teachers want to return to their classrooms, right now, online may be the safest option.
“We would love to be able to get back to normalcy, unfortunately, given this pandemic, that is not the case,” Wagenknecht said.
Hill said the district came up with this plan following the recommendations from the Clark County health department.
Students in elementary school will not move throughout the building for classes, middle school will move minimally, and high school will move between classes following social distancing.
Hill said if a school does have to transition to all-virtual learning during the year, all teachers are expected to prepare their lessons using Google Classroom so they’ll be ready to make the switch.
The district is also working on a way to stream all athletic games and events online for families and the community to watch.