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Beavercreek delays start of school year by 11 days

Beavercreek High School
Beavercreek High School

Beavercreek was on track to be the first local school district to start the 2020-21 academic year, but its school board on Thursday pushed the first day of classes back 11 days, to Aug. 24.

A statement from the district says the switch “allows our staff ample time to better prepare their instructional spaces for the opening of the 20-21 school year” amid COVID-19 concerns.

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Superintendent Paul Otten told the school board Thursday that about 64% of families in a recent survey listed regular in-person classes as their first choice for a school restart. He said that’s down from about 80% in the district’s previous survey.

Beavercreek’s two-prong back-to-school plan is based on the state’s Public Health Advisory Alert System, which currently lists Greene County at Level 2, or orange, for “increased exposure and spread.” Under one pathway, families could choose a fully online school option.

In the other pathway, at Level 1 or Level 2, students would attend school in-person, five days per week. At Level 3, students would be split into two groups, with each group attending school two days per week and learning from home the other three days. This would allow more social distancing inside school buildings. At Level 4, all learning would be remote.

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Under the changes approved Thursday, families have to pick fully online school or the pathway determined by levels by Aug. 5. From Aug. 14-21, school staff would have extra time to prepare their classrooms, as well as do training on safety issues and online teaching.

The first day of classes would be Aug. 24 for students with A-K last names, and Aug. 25 for students with L-Z last names. Aug. 26 would be the first day that all students would be in attendance.

The last day of the school year will be May 28.

School officials said the district must remain flexible in case they have to respond “to new guidance concerning the current pandemic.”

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