SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Shawnee schools will switch to a day a week of virtual learning and four days of in-person learning starting next week, the Shawnee school board decided Friday.
In a meeting that lasted just a few minutes at noon Friday, the board voted 4-0 vote to vacate Tuesday’s approved vote that would’ve given a two-hour delay on Mondays. It replaced it with the four-one model, with Monday through Thursday for in-person education and Fridays for virtual learning. The district has been attending classes in person five days a week.
The change came at the request of teachers in the district. They were concerned about having enough time to make lesson plans and enter grades while picking up the extra tasks involved with a COVID-19-era classroom. The superintendent can scale back the schedule as needed.
Kanable emphasized this wasn’t in reaction to a larger number of coronavirus infections but to the teachers’ needs.
“If we see spikes in certain areas, then we can adjust and may take actions appropriate to the needs,” Kanable said.
Statistics updated Thursday by the Ohio Department of Health showed three new student cases of COVID-19 at Shawnee schools in the past week and five total. There were two new staff cases and three cumulative cases. Kanable said the school currently has a sixth-grade team in quarantine for two weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Kanable said the district conducted a survey showing 60% of families were OK with more virtual learning as part of the school’s mix. He said his concern was the remaining 40%. Of those, 30% said keeping students at home caused difficulties for them.
Still, Kanable said it made sense to give the teachers more time to prepare their lessons for both in-person and virtual learners. Roughly 10% of the district’s students learn remotely.
Jerome O’Neal, the lone vote against the change in Tuesday’s meeting, did not attend Friday’s special board meeting.
Eleven district residents packed into the back of the board’s meeting room, but they weren’t permitted to speak at Friday’s special meeting.