New Albany-Plain Local families may opt for remote-learning program

SARAH SOLE
ssole@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

Before the end of July, New Albany-Plain Local School District families will have to decide if they want to opt into a remote-learning-only program for their children.

“We will be sending a communication to all district families tomorrow (Friday, July 10) with information about that option,” said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway. 

Gallaway said they would be required to submit an online form.

Superintendent Michael Sawyers said parents must opt into the program for at least a semester.

Aug. 19 is scheduled as the first day of school, though that could be subject to change, depending on the progress of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, according to Gallaway.

Meanwhile, the state’s color-coded alert system for counties will influence how the district educates students if parents choose to send them back to buildings.

Gov. Mike DeWine on July 2 announced the alert system, which uses several data indicators to determine a county’s level from 1 to 4, with corresponding colors of yellow, orange, red and purple. Franklin County has been at Level 3, the red indicator.

Based on the state alert levels that were created, different actions would be taken for learning, Sawyers said.

Still, “nothing’s an absolute,” he said.

The learning models are subject to change, he said.

Yellow and orange levels would mean students remain in school buildings with increased safety and protocols and maintain 3 feet of social distancing when possible, Sawyers said.

Students would need temperature checks before school, Sawyers said.

Masks also would be required all the time for grades 3 and up. Students in grades pre-K through 2 would be required to wear masks anywhere except in classrooms.

All students on buses also would wear masks.

For a red level, social distancing would be increased to 6 feet, Sawyers said.

“I cannot bring all the kids to campus because I don’t have enough square footage to do that,” he said.

Students would be divided into two groups, Maroon and Gold, with each group attending in-school classes two to three days a week, he said. Those not in school buildings would learn remotely.

If Franklin County should hit the purple Level 4, all students would learn remotely, Sawyers said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah