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Jackson Local Schools Board of Education approves restart plan

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

JACKSON TWP. The Jackson Local Schools Board of Education unanimously approved the restart plan for the 2020/2021 school year during its July 21 regular meeting.

Superintendent Christopher DiLoreto presented the plan to board members and parents who attended the meeting. The restart plan includes the following the following three options for parents to select:

Model 1: In-person instruction where the district provides instruction in the classrooms five days a week based on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System color coding.

Model 2: For those students who don’t feel comfortable attending in-person classes, eLearning 2.0 is an online learning model. It will be taught by the same teachers the students would have if attending in-person classes with the option of synchronous (live) or asynchronous (video). The coursework is designed for K-12, for five days a week with curriculum led by Jackson Local teachers.

Model 3: Digital Academy with curriculum designed outside of the Jackson Local School District and taught by educators outside of the district. The district will assign a support specialist from the district to those families choosing digital learning.

Families can transition from in-person to elearning or from elearning to in-person.

Masks will be required to be worn by all students from K-12 with age appropriate breaks given where students can put their masks down off their faces. Masks must be worn on buses at all times.

During times of elevated communicable disease community spread, all school staff, volunteers and visitors (including vendors) will have to wear appropriate face masks/coverings on school grounds unless it is unsafe to do so or where doing so would significantly interfere with the district’s educational or operational processes. Face coverings/shields will be provided by the district to employees. Employees can elect to wear their own face coverings if they meet requirements.

DiLoreto said the options were developed after receiving feedback from two district surveys sent to parents. The first survey was sent out before the state of Ohio developed its color coded COVID alert system. The second survey went after the system was implemented. The district received more than 8,000 responses for both surveys which indicated that 70 percent of parents supportd the return of in-person classes; 50 percent supported a blended learning model of in-person and online; and 27 percent supported a return with classes only being offered online.

When surveyed a second time, 76 percent of respondents indicated they would send their kids to in-person classes if the county is coded yellow; 60 percent if coded orange; 31 percent if coded red and 18 percent if coded purple.

“We are excited to be able to offer our students and our families these options for restarting school on Aug. 20,” DiLoreto said.

There were about a dozen parents who attended the meeting and many asked questions. One question was about whether activities such as band, choir and other extracurriculars would be offered. DiLoreto said the activities will be offered and the district is working on what those will be like.

To get complete details of the restart plan, visit https://www.jackson.stark.k12.oh.us/ and click on the Restart Jackson report.

Other actions:

• Treasurer Linda Paris said that district ended with a net gain of $212,000. The district lost $1.4 million in Ohio Department of Education cuts but with lower expenses from being closed and with moneys from the CARES Act, the district ended the year with a net gain.

• Approved academic fees for the next school year.

• Approved the Jackson Township School Resource Officer memorandum of understanding for the 2020-21 school year for six specially trained officers.

• Heard the 2019-20 School Harassment Intimidation and Bullying Semi-Annual Incident Report with two incidents being reported.

UP NEXT: Meets 5 p.m. Aug. 25 in the library at Jackson High School