Dayton Public Schools to return to in-person learning March 1

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Dayton Public Schools will return to full-time in-person learning March 1, however students will still have the option to continue with remote learning.

Because teachers will be working with in-person students, those who select remote learning will use a self-paced learning software, SchoolsPLP, and will have access to an online coach to provide help on a weekly basis.

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All district staff who want to receive the coronavirus vaccine will have both doses by the end of February. The first dose will be administered today and Friday through Kroger and the second dose will be given on Feb. 25 and 26.

About 65% of DPS staff have signed up to be vaccinated, Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said.

Lolli said she’s pleased with the number of personnel who opted to get the vaccine, but noted that it’s a personal choice and that she respects the choice made by the other 35% of staff. Lolli added that some staff may decide to get the vaccine through their regular health provider instead or were already vaccinated.

A form is available at DaytonPublic.com for parents and guardians to select in-person or remote learning. An option must be selected by Feb. 19.

If parents and guardians do not select in-person or remote learning, the district will assume the student is coming back for in-person instruction. Lolli noted that only the students who signed up for remote learning will be sent the link needed to access SchoolsPLP.

If a student is not signed up for either option and is not in class on March 1, it will be counted as an unexcused absence.

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The district will use preventative measures to protect students and staff from the coronavirus. Measures include mandatory masks, socially-distanced classrooms, plexiglass barriers to separate students or staff where needed, no shared supplies and frequent cleaning and sanitation of classrooms, bathrooms and cafeterias.

DPS’ ability to have both doses of the vaccine before the end of the month helped factor in the district’s decision to go back ton in-person learning on March 1, Lolli explained.

“In order to have everyone feel comfortable, we decided to wait until everyone had the second vaccine,” she said.

After nearly a year since teachers and staff have last seen students in person, the district is excited to resume face-to-face learning, Lolli said.

Lolli noted in-person instruction will allow teachers to better see what is going on with students and help them give additional instruction quicker.

“Being physically present I can call you over to an area where we can socially distance and connect there,” she said.

By retuning to full-time in-person instruction, teachers won’t have to split their attention between students in class and students learning remotely.

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One change the district will see is having student resiliency coordinators physically at schools for the first time. The resiliency coordinators work with students to make sure all mental and behavioral needs are being met, Lolli said.

The resiliency coordinators have been in place since Aug. 1, but previously met with families virtually and in socially-distanced meetings when needed.

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