YELLOW SPRINGS — Yellow Springs Schools will operate entirely online for the first quarter, according to the district’s official plan released on Friday.
The district made the decision to adopt an all-remote educational setup based on multiple factors, including data collected from a survey of Yellow Springs parents.
Fifty-two percent of parents surveyed indicated they would prefer full-time online instruction conducted by Yellow Springs teachers, while 44 percent preferred the district’s proposed hybrid model. Only four percent of respondents indicated in favor of online learning facilitated by a third party company.
The district is working to establish provisions to accommodate students whose parents are essential workers, and other students whose parents or guardians cannot work from home. Certain school buildings will become a Safe Center for Online Learning (SCOL), where students can go to complete their online work in a supervised environment. These students would work in groups of eight, with appropriate safety protocols in place. The district estimates they can accommodate at most 20 percent of the student population, with priority given to the youngest students of essential workers.
The district will also issue Chromebooks to each of its students, as well as WiFi hotspots for families who need them. Families will be able to pick up these and other necessary school materials, such as art supplies or supplemental texts, before the school year begins.
As for what an average school day looks like, the school released sample schedules that implement elements of both synchronous and asynchronous learning. These schedules include time for independent and small group work, as well as time for recess and play. Teachers will customize daily and weekly schedules to ensure students participate in the required number of hours.
“Our strength is project-based learning and a commitment to the whole child,” the district stated. “To that we will begin aligning our curriculum in a way that provides a rigorous standards-based foundation in the academic core, challenges students to engage in their own learning, and expands student horizons through participation in the fine arts.”
High school students will be able to take their full load of regular courses, including fine arts, band, engineering and AP classes. Students with IEP plans will be able to schedule one-on-one tutoring that takes place either online, in person, or a combination of the two.
The district’s plan will be re-evaluated in October.
“I am hopeful that in those three months, we’ve turned a huge corner,” Superintendent Terri Holden said during a district special meeting. “Our children need to be in school, but we’ve had to take a lot of different data points into consideration.”
Reach London Bishop at (937) 502-4532
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