CORNING — School districts across Perry County have been asking their students and families for input on how it should proceed as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to plague Ohio. Southern Local School District has updated locals on how it will proceed given the current climate.
According to the Southern Local School District, it will resume its educational operations on Aug. 24. However, the school district is still finalizing plans for the 2020 to 2021 school year.
According to the school district, parents will have the option to choose remote learning from home. Further, classes are scheduled to be held, in person, five days a week. Start times are to remain the same.
Dismissal times have been adjusted, according to the district. Students will be dismissed at 1:30 p.m., for high school, and 2:30 for elementary.
All plans are subject to change based on orders from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, other state officials and the Perry County Health Department, which may come in the next coming weeks.
The district added that Tuesday, Aug. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be drive-through registration for kindergarten. If parents cannot attend, they are requested to call the school administration beginning Monday, Aug. 3, to have a packet mailed to them.
From the Southern Local School District’s Facebook page, it published a school survey wanting to hear from local parents and guardians about concerns coming into the school year.
One of the questions asked by the school district is how the schools should format classrooms for the year. Parents and guardians had the opportunity of choosing a first, second, third, fourth or fifth option.
According to the google forms survey, 107 individuals opted to have in-person learning five days a week as their first choice. Another 94 individuals chose to have in-person learning as their fifth, last option.
There were also 140 respondents who chose to have complete online learning as their fifth choice for the school year.
As parents and students are aware, riding a district bus can prove to be a difficult environment especially in a social distancing climate. The southern district asked its population if they would allow their children to ride the bus if physical distancing is not possible.
According to 249 respondents, 49.4 percent of parents would allow their children to go onto a bus for school. Additionally, 26.9 percent of parents opted to not have their children ride the bus and 23.7 percent chose to drive their children to school.
At some point during the school year, the district anticipates that facilities will be forced to close and go to online instructional learning. Almost 55 percent of respondents said they have reliable internet and can stream video if needed.
Another 23.3 percent of parents said they have internet capabilities, but it is not reliable or it’s not fast enough to support video streaming. Another 18.1 percent of parents said they only have internet access through a cellular device. Four percent stated they do not have any access to the internet.
With school operations set to take place inside facilities, 53.8 percent of respondents said they would send their child to school if they are required to wear a mask. Further, 68.3 percent said they can provide a mask for their child. Roughly 32 percent said they would require a mask.
The google form survey gave parents the choice to share comments with the district after completing all of the questions. There were 79 respondents who chose to leave their thoughts for the district to look at.
“I don’t want my kids coming home sick. I have [underlying] conditions,” said one respondent.
“If we have to do online school, I would prefer to do worksheets or paperwork,” another person wrote. “Our internet is not reliable and she is better with paperwork sheets. If masks are required… all day I would prefer to do online. She is in kindergarten and wears eye glasses… Masks [are] very hard to keep on her.”