Yellow Springs joins Trotwood-Madison in going to fully online school for the first quarter. A few other districts, including Centerville, Oakwood and Bellbrook, expect to start the year with students in school two days and learning from home the other three. More local districts are having students choose between a five-days-in-school model or a fully online model.
In Yellow Springs, nearly all students, whether at home or in SCOL program, would take online classes run by Yellow Springs teachers, at least for the first quarter until the district can reassess.
But families who want to commit to doing the entire year online would be enrolled in a third-party online setup, with education from SchoolsPLP or Virtual Learning Academy.
Yellow Springs originally planned a full return to in-school classes, but adjusted as the outbreak worsened in the Dayton area. Holden hosted a virtual town hall meeting last week to get parent input on fall back-to-school procedures.
Yellow Springs’ teachers union had called for a 100% online start to the school year, citing safety concerns. A school district survey showed respondents preferred online school with Yellow Springs teachers by a 52-44 ratio over a partial in-school option.
The schools will issue Chromebook computers to all students in Grades K-12, plus connectivity hotspots for families that need internet access. Near the first day of classes, the district will offer multiple technology training sessions for students and families.
District officials said students must attend online classes for six hours daily to meet Ohio Department of Education guidelines on minimum hours of instruction.
The district’s plan said that model will continue “until health conditions change sufficiently to support a safe in-person educational environment.”