Whitehall school board members are expected to learn this week what form classes will take when school resumes next month for the district's 3,400 students.

As of July 2, the first day of instruction for Whitehall students had not been determined.

"We're not ready to make that public yet," said Ty Debevoise, director of communications and marketing for Whitehall schools.

The board is expected to approve a district calendar for the 2020-21 school year when members meet in person at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 9, at Whitehall-Yearling High School, 675 S. Yearling Road, Debevoise said. The meeting is open to the public.

The calendar will include the date of the district's first day of classes.

The board also is expected to hear how students will be educated when classes resume.

Chris Hardy, director of accountability and instruction for Whitehall schools, said he would outline the district's plan at the session.

Hardy said July 1 he will present a proposed plan "that will involve a blend of in-person and remote learning" that is "flexible enough to serve students appropriately in the midst of our global pandemic."

Hardy said he would not disclose the details of the proposal until the meeting July 9 to allow board members the first opportunity to hear it.

Debevoise said a task force worked to develop the instructional model that Hardy will discuss.

"This presentation will represent the broad strokes of our plan," he said. "If the board chooses to approve the plan, we will continue to drill down into the finer details."

However, that vote will not occur July 9, Debevoise said.

Whitehall students, like those throughout Ohio's more than 600 public school districts, have been out of the classroom since March 13 after Gov. Mike DeWine ordered schools closed for three weeks and eventually extended the order for the remainder of the school year to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

DeWine announced guidelines July 2 for schools, including a mask requirement for teachers and staff.

Hardy said the plan, like many responses to the pandemic, remains subject to change.

"Moving forward, we will be relying on the expertise and guidance of our local health department," Franklin County Public Health, Hardy said.

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