When the new school year opens next month, students in the Rock Island schools will stay home. That was the decision Wednesday night by the school board, based on recommendations from Superintendent Reginald Lawrence.
Doctor Lawrence says students will use remote learning until Labor Day, then possibly start coming to school two days a week if the pandemic allows. The decision to start with remote learning for at least the first month was based on surveys of parents and staff.
"With staff members not being comfortable coming back in, with parents - more than 44 per cent going to keep their children at home, it just made sense for us to continue looking at the use of remote learning in a more robust fashion and to keep safety at the forefront and start with remote learning."
In September, he hopes the district can transition to what he calls "blended learning," with a combination of in-person and remote learning. Half the students in the district would spend a full day in school on Mondays and Tuesdays, while the other half would attend on Thursdays and Fridays.
That's in contrast to some other districts in this area that will use half-days.
"And we just felt that having a full day, a five hour day to meet our state guidelines, would give students the opportunity for the socialization and opportunity to ask questions and get all of their content area with their teachers."
Lawrence says the district learned a lot from the spring when it had to close suddenly and teach students remotely. And they'll put that experience to good use when remote learning begins next month - the district opens for staff on August 3rd, and for students on August 6th.