LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - Lorain City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Graham announced in a letter Saturday that the first day of school for students will now be September 8. This is not the full draft of the plan.
“While we don’t have a draft of the plan to present to you today, we can share a number of details, which are included below,” Dr. Graham said. “Perhaps the most significant right now is that we are postponing the start of school for students.”
Dr. Graham also said in the letter that the 10-month staff will still report for their first day on August 4. Teachers will still report for their first day on August 17. However, the typical three days of professional learning will be extended to three weeks, which the district said is to provide them the time they need to prepare for all that is to come.
The full draft of the district’s plan will be released at their upcoming joint Board of Education/Academic Distress Commission meeting on July 30 at 5 p.m.
- Remote learning will be part of our plan.
- We know what it will take to provide a quality remote learning experience, where we are in regards to our level of expertise, and what it will take to get from where we are to where we need to be.
- We have many staff members who are experts in this form of delivery, and they are eager to lead and support their peers along the way just as we have many staff who are eager to learn.
- As mentioned above, it will take approximately three weeks to arm our staff with the skills needed to provide a quality education remotely.
- At the same time, our families were clear that caregivers of younger students shouldn't be forced to choose between working and parenting — this dynamic creates many challenges for the families we serve and we cannot ignore the impact that a lack of income has on our children because they become more vulnerable to hunger and homelessness.
- Students have varying needs that are often difficult to meet remotely. Therefore, we are investigating our capacity to offer a blended model — one which includes some form of in-person learning — all while defining exactly what that would look like in the Lorain City Schools.
- That being said, we cannot ignore that half our staff meet the CDC criteria for being at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness, which greatly limits our options for in-school learning.
- In order to participate in any kind of remote instruction, our students will need technology and internet connectivity at home.
- Lorain City Schools will be providing a device to any student who needs one.
- We will also provide internet access to any family in need who has a child attending the Lorain City Schools.
“It is less than ideal to share critical information in pieces as opposed to sharing the entire plan all at once,” Dr. Graham said. “And I know that anxieties become heightened as neighboring districts announce their plans. However, as promised, we will take our time to listen, learn, and understand the needs of those we serve before launching a plan which affects thousands of children and adults.”
You can view the full letter here.