Marshfield (OnFocus) – The School District of Marshfield provided an update regarding the school district’s ongoing planning and preparations to reopen schools for the 2020-21 school year.
Planning has so far been based on three possible scenarios for the upcoming school year; traditional in-person instruction, blended approach (i.e., Cohort model), and 100% remote online learning.
In a parent survey conducted earlier this year, the school district received 2,319 responses, with respondents’ choosing the following:
- “Traditional” in-person instruction = 65%
- Blended approach (partially online and partially in-person) = 27%
- 100% remote online learning = 8%
“While our hope is to provide as much in-person instruction as we can when schools reopen, the school district understands the necessity of being prepared for the other two alternatives,” stated Dr. Ryan Christianson, Superintendent. “We also understand we have families who will prefer to keep their children home regardless of the safety measures the school district puts in place for the reopening of schools.”
Approximately 9% of parents indicated on the survey they were “not at all comfortable” with having their child(ren) return to their school(s) in the fall.
“Rest assured, we intend to provide a 100% remote online learning option for those families who prefer to keep their child(ren) home and want to stay with virtual learning for the entire 2020-21 school year,” said Christianson.
Regarding a blended approach (this would involve dividing students into cohorts and having students attend school intermittently on separate days in their cohort groupings), the bulk of the district’s recent planning has been focused on devising the type of “cohort model” they believe will best suit the school district.
“Our focus is safety for students and staff, while being logistically feasible based on the size and layout of our school buildings,” said Christianson.
A document recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics, called COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry, has been considered during the district’s planning.
“Our planning takes into consideration the potential implementation of strategies based on the age groups of students. This may result, for example, in approaches that could differ between elementary, middle, and high school students,” said Christianson.
The next phase of planning consists of two district-level committees in the areas of “Teaching and Learning” and “Operations and Safety”. These committees will be meeting over the next several weeks to fine tune the greater details of the district’s reopening plans. Plans are expected to be announced later this month, after July 27. This will include the instructional approach the district will be taking when school begins on September 1, 2020.
“I wish to extend great thanks to all our families and staff for your patience and understanding as the school district continues to take careful consideration of the many important and difficult decisions that will impact our students and community moving forward,” said Christianson. “The only certainty that lies ahead of us, unfortunately, is the continuation of uncertainty. But, together we can, and together we will persevere and endure.”
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