Akron Public Schools grappling with decision to have students return to classrooms

Akron Public Schools grappling with the decision to have students return to classrooms

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Akron Public School board members are facing a tough decision.

They are trying to decide whether or not it is safe to send their students back into the classrooms.

“We’re talking about life-altering situations here. We’re talking about situations that could delay your graduation,” said Lisa Mansfield, board member for Akron Public Schools.

A survey showed 60% of Akron Public School parents want kids back in the classroom at least some of the time.

Forty percent of the district’s want to keep with the remote learning process.

“If we make one decision, we’re going to have 60% of the people who are satisfied and 40% who are not,” said Patrick Bravo, board president of Akron Public Schools.

Meanwhile, the board had a marathon session on Monday night going over a ton of possible options.

In the end, they still want more time and more meetings to think about the decision.

We did get some valuable insight into what a return to school could look like.

In the plan, elementary school and middle school students would go to school two days a week and learn from home the other two days.

“I’m really concerned about those groups mostly because we know they are the ones who are probably falling the most behind,” said Dr. N.J. Akbar, board member

High school students would stay remote except for things like labs where they need to be in the classroom.

“You have to have lab time. You can’t get a welding degree certificate without spending some time welding,” said Ellen McWilliams-Wood, academic officer for Akron Public Schools.

Some board members are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t going away and that the whole year may need to go remote.

“If we were in the same position or relatively the same position would we then choose remote for the third and if we chose remote for the third quarter would we bring them back for the final quarter,” said Bravo.

There will likely be another board meeting next week.

Board members will continue to discuss the best options that will keep students safe throughout the school year.

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