Delaware to decide on school reopening scenario next month

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Delaware Gov. John Carney will make a decision next month between three different scenarios for how schools should restart amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Delaware Department of Education Secretary Susan Bunting spoke of the guidance concerning the minimal, minimal to moderate, and substantial scenarios during a Tuesday afternoon press briefing with Carney.

In regards to the minimal scenario, schools would reopen using in-person learning with precautionary measures.

The minimal to moderate scenario would see a hybrid learning experience. Remote learning would be paired with in-person learning, along with precautionary measures.

For the substantial scenario, school buildings would be closed and all learning would be done remotely.

Bunting said guidance on all three scenarios will be released to district and charter school leaders either Tuesday or Wednesday.

A decision by the Department of Education is expected in early August. Whichever scenario is chosen, masks, social distancing, and transportation precautions will be a requirement.

Bunting said district and charters will use this guidance to support the continued development of their individual reopening plans. She called the DDOE a support agency assisting the schools with their plans.

She said the reopening guidance is "What schools must plan for" and the individual district and charter plans are "How schools will do it."

More than 20,000 people - from students to teachers to school leaders - in Delaware responded to a survey concerning school's return, Bunting said.

According to the survey, 50% of students reported feeling extremely or very comfortable with going to back to school, compared to 40% of families and 44% of teachers, and 39% of school leaders.

Bunting said $39.1 million from the CARES Act funding went to district and charter allocation. She said $12.2 million from the CARES Act went to state allocation and some will be used for the Department of Education, with $4.5 million going directly to the district and charters for instructional support, mental health support, and professional learning.
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