Local school districts mulling over reopening plan

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Local school districts consider options for the upcoming academic year
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Local school districts consider options for the upcoming academic year

WAYNE, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- As parents and students in the tri-state area anxiously await word on what school will look like this fall, three school districts proposed their alternative plans on Tuesday night.

The classrooms in every room within the Radnor Township School District will look different, spaced out and rather bare.

If the state remains in the green or yellow phase of Governor Tom Wolf's COVID-19 reopening plan, students will be allowed inside.

Radnor officials are considering five different plans for grades K-5 and two possible options for 6-12th grade. One plan includes all students in the building, while another includes a hybrid schedule of in-class and remote instruction.

There will also be the option of full-time virtual learning for every student K-12.

"If parents want to choose to be online for whatever reason, we will have a program for them that is being taught by Radnor teachers," said Kenneth Batchelor, superintendent of the Radnor Township School District.

Nothing is set in stone at this point, but the administration says if the state would go back to the red phase, everyone goes back to online learning.

The Colonial School District superintendent recommended a hybrid plan on Tuesday night which includes two days of in-class instruction and three days of virtual learning. There will also be a full-time virtual option available.

"The hybrid model allows for a mixture of in-person instruction with half of our students remote learning from home and the other half in the classroom," said Dr. Michael Christian, the superintendent with the Colonial School District.

On Monday night, the Lower Merion School District was planning to vote to bring all students back, but new guidance from health officials now recommends students be six feet apart, so they've delayed the vote.

This has been a challenge for many districts.

"Our classrooms just aren't designed for that if everyone is in there," said Robert L. Copeland with the Lower Merion School District.

READ MORE: Camden, Cherry Hill school district officials to release updated school plans next week

Over in New Jersey, Cherry Hill and Camden School District superintendents held a joint press conference on Tuesday.

They both say they're considering hybrid options of in-class and virtual instruction.

"We have staff members that are medically fragile, we have family members at home who are medically fragile," said Dr. Joseph Meloche with the Cherry Hill School District.