The topic of hybrid learning will be brought up again this week at the School District of Washington’s (SDOW) Board of Education meeting Wednesday.
Per the meeting agenda, the board is expected to “revisit” the plan for how the district will move forward.
District administrators announced Aug. 7 that its board of education voted to begin the year in a hybrid learning model that features rotating in-school and online learning.
The result was an outcry from parents who opposed the decision. A Facebook group, SDOW Parents For Full Time In Person Schooling, was formed shortly after the board announced its decision.
“We understand that there are people who disagree with our decision to begin in the hybrid model of learning,” Dr. Lori VanLeer, superintendent for SDOW, told The Missourian. “We also know many that are grateful or understanding.”
At last month’s meeting, 16 people addressed the board regarding the hybrid learning model, with the majority speaking against it and few speaking in favor of it. The board did not discuss or take action on the model.
“I am going to assume we will have above normal attendance,” VanLeer said, adding the meeting also will be livestreamed.
Administrators and board of education members have been regularly monitoring staff and student attendance, substitute fill rate, building protocols, and positivity and transmission rates throughout the county and region since school started Aug. 24.
The district currently has 3,550 students enrolled in its schools. According to its COVID-19 data, from Aug. 3 - Sept. 8, there were 47 students who self-quarantined and 42 students were quarantined by the health department.
Twenty-nine students self-quarantined and 54 were quarantined by the health department after four students tested positive for the virus from Sept. 9-14.
Forty-four staff members were quarantined and seven tested positive for the virus from Aug. 24 and Sept. 11,
The school district has seen a decline in the substitute fill rate, resulting in positions going unfilled and schools having to make adjustments for teacher absences. The weekly average since Aug. 24 has been 65 percent, as opposed to last year which had about an 88 percent fill rate.
The board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Technology and Learning Center, located at 4245 Highway 47.