LR5 community members divided on district’s plan to reopen for the fall

LR5 community members divided on district’s plan to reopen for the fall

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Lexington-Richland School District 5 community members who were present for Thursday’s meeting were divided on the district’s plans for school in the fall.

Some parents are asking for a full return to in-person classes five days a week, while others say it’s just not safe enough right now.

Before the meeting started, district educators gathered outside to protest in-person learning saying schools must remain virtual for the safety of both the teachers and students.

“We are literally scared to death of teaching face-to-face,” said Peter Lauzon, the president of the Lexington-Richland Education Association.

The board presented an updated plan which would give parents two options for schooling in the fall.

One of the options is a hybrid model where students would attend in-person classes two days a week, in what the district calls “cohorts”. The students would then do distance learning for the other three days.

The other option is a full digital distance learning program that the school is calling “F.I.V.E” or Flexible Innovative Virtual Education.

The reaction to this new plan from parents and teachers remained mixed.

Some working parents have expressed that trying to maintain their jobs as well as monitoring their children’s education is too much to handle.

“The hybrid model only extends the difficulty that working parents have because now we have to manage multiple days of different options,” said April Donnelly, a parent within the district.

Teachers still worry about their safety when it comes to returning to school in the fall.

“One hundred percent virtual to start back school is the best option, but I think that the hybrid model is a good compromise, but nothing is ideal right now,” said Meredith Tashkandi, a teacher who lives in the district.

Lexington-Richland School District 5 says they hope to return to full in-person learning by Oct. 8 but add that they will re-evaluate the situation at that time and make a decision that is best for the safety of students and staff.

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