Jackson Local Schools Board of Education approves eLearning plan

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

JACKSON TWP. During the regular Jackson Local Schools Board of Education meeting on Nov. 17, the board approved the district pivoting from in-person learning to eLeaning 2.0 POLARIS starting in December.

Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto asked the board to approve the plan due to staffing issues.

DiLoreto said the pivot to eLearning is not because of coronavirus spread in the district, instead it is because of staffing issues caused by staff members having to quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive or someone who had been around someone who tested positive.

The district’s COVID-19 coordinator and director of security Dave Morgan told the board that the has been 43 cases of coronavirus to date with zero spread in the district.

Adding to the shortage of staff is the shortage of available substitute teachers.

Students in grades 9-12 will transition to all remote learning beginning Dec.2 and students in grades K-8 will transition to all remote learning starting Dec. 7. All students are scheduled to return to in-person learning Jan. 4.

“We are keeping the K-8 students with in-person learning a few extra days to give the parents time to get child care in order and because we can reallocate staff to the K-8 buildings through Dec. 7,” DiLoreto said. “We recognize the incredible work being done by our teachers, who have provided 60 days of in-person and eLearning 2.0 instruction. Their work has provided our families with flexibility. However, at this time community spread of COVID-19 continues to negatively effect our ability to provide in-person instruction. Our learning models were built with the intention to pivot between in-person and eLearning 2.0 POLARIS instruction when needed.

“We are appreciative for the support we have received from our parents, stakeholders and community members. We believe this path forward during December gives us our best opportunity to remain open after Winter Break.”

In other actions, the board:

• Approved purchasing two school buses at a total cost of $182,671 from the capital improvement fund. One bus will be a conventional 72-passenger bus at $87,289 and the second bus is a 54-passenger at a cost of $95,382.

• Approved contracts for core substitute teachers, certified supplemental contracts, athletic supplement contracts, classified employees and student workers for 2020-21.

• Accepted a grant of $160,000 from the CARES Act funding through Jackson Township. DiLoreto said the district appreciated the trustees approving the district’s grant request to help cover COVID-19 related expenses.

UP NEXT: Meets 5 p.m. Dec. 15 at Lake Cable Elementary School