London City Schools reviews return-to-school survey responses

(Posted June 25, 2020)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

London school board members discussed potential teaching methods for the return to school in the fall at their regularly scheduled meeting on June 23.

The district sent out a survey to parents and teachers, asking their opinions on various options. Roughly 530 parents and 90 teachers responded. More than 50 percent of the parents responded that they want courses to return in-person. One-third of parents responded that they want to reserve judgement on whether to return in-person until Madison County Public Health and the state of Ohio solidify health and safety guidelines for in-person classes.

“Obviously, I think it’s our belief that as long as we can (follow) the health and safety guidelines approved by Madison County Public Health, we would like to have students safely on campus,” said London City Schools Superintendent Lou Kramer.

“While there are many resources we can (provide) online…there really is no substitute for regular contact between a teacher and a student.”

In-person teaching allows educators to better and more quickly respond to student needs, he added.

However, roughly 12 percent of responding parents noted that they were concerned about their child returning to in-person classes. The district is considering offering online or blended options to best assist concerned parents and students.

A blended online and in-person approach could take many forms. The board is considering alternating days that students visit campus for in-person learning, with half to one-third of students on campus at a time, while all other students receive supplementary online education. The board is also considering prioritizing coursework that must be in-person, such as science laboratories, to return while other courses remain online.

Ultimately, the board is still waiting on more direction from the governor’s office and state education leaders before they are able to make concrete decisions.

“We want to provide answers as quickly as we can to our community,” Kramer said. “In the same respect, we don’t know all the parameters that we will be required to meet. So, we want to plan quickly but we also (don’t) want … to have to backtrack.”

The district hopes to have a plan in place for the fall term by mid-July, Kramer said.

In other news, the district’s sport teams are now allowed to hold contact drills, including within-team scrimmages.

In the beginning of June, the governor allowed sports teams to begin conditioning with a limited number of students at a time. Teams are now cleared to practice all together.

The district is waiting to hear from the governor’s office to see when scrimmages between various teams will be allowed.

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