Parma City School District rolls out back-to-school plan with coronavirus precautions

Parma City School District rolls out back-to-school plan with coronavirus precautions

PARMA, Ohio (WOIO) - The Parma City School District laid out its approach on how it plans to start the new school year and deal with the on-going public health threat of Covid-19.

19 News investigates on how the district plans to keep students and staff safe.

On Thursday the district laid out its approach to starting the school year.

The Parma Schools created a model for students who want to return to the school buildings, as well as for those who want the option of the virtual academy.

Parma City School Board President, John Schweitzer, says “We know that many students are experiencing some difficulties at home right now. Whether that be a lost loved one due to Covid-19. Whether that be lost employment and the sense of security that can come with that type of loss.”

Schweitzer says nearly everyone wants to be back in school five days a week but making that transition during the coronavirus has to come with a lot of emotional support for the students and a number of precautions. So the district presented its plan for how to open its schools this fall with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s risk level guidelines in mind.

“We also have to know that we have to consider the core conditions especially in Cuyahoga County. Research tells us that,” Schweitzer said.

The district plans to decide every Thursday how to proceed for the next school week.

“So our model looks like this: if we are level 1 we will be traditional, meaning that’s a five day week for all students. For level 2 we will also be traditional. A five day week for all students,” Schweitzer said.

However, if Cuyahoga County is in the red or Level 3 as they are right now, that's when things will change.

Schweitzer says, “We’re in Level 3, we’re a 1-2-2 hybrid.”

That means teachers and students would be out of the classroom on Monday, and back in the classroom for two days, and based on their last name the days would alternate to keep classes from being over crowded.

“If we are level four it’s fully distanced learning. The same model you saw in the spring,” Schweitzer tells the group.

But parent Heather Cairns who has three children in the Parma District feels the plan is confusing when you get to level three. She feels either keep the kids in school all five days or pull them out all together. “Just pull the plug period, and just do virtual if it’s unsafe.”

Students who want to be fully virtual can sign up for that option. In fact, 500 families already have.

The start date of school in Parma has been pushed back to Sept. 8.

You can learn more about the $1 million the district says has been spent on cleaning supplies, and other safety measures for the school due to the coronavirus on the Parma City School District’s Facebook page.

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