The results from an online survey about how the Franklin County School System should handle classes in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic show that 60 percent want normal classes this fall.
Director of Schools Stanley Bean updated the County Commission about the developments and said a decision will be made on the first week in July about how the classes will be conducted when school resumes in August.
Bean said another option being considered is an alternate schedule with some grades going to school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with other classes going on Tuesdays and Thursdays to allow for social distancing.
He said the schedule would alternate the next week where students going on Tuesdays and Thursdays would go on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
However, he said the split schedule could make it difficult for parents to get their children to and from school and present scheduling problems.
A third option would involve 100 percent online learning, but Bean said the logistics need to be worked out to ensure all students have computer learning devices and proper internet access.
“It’s been a trying experience for all of us,” Bean said about trying to figure out how to handle class schedules amid the coronavirus threat.
The survey included questions that asked general information to gather numbers on each schools’ student bodies, and it also asked how students had gone to and from school before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey asked guardians if they will use transportation provided by the district with Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plans materializing.
Phase 2 allows movie theaters to reopen, nonessential travel to resume and social gatherings with up to 50 people as long as social-distancing practices are followed.
If the School Board determines learning at home would be safer if the pandemic doesn’t subside as much as hoped, questions about internet availability for home-learning purposes were asked.
The survey also asked about household work arrangements and whether guardians are likely to work from home or outside of their residences.
Childcare requirements are also being addressed.
The survey asked questions about temperature checks, eating meals in more isolated classrooms instead of the cafeterias, regular disinfection practices and sharing spaces such as gyms and playgrounds.
It also asked about what the best way is to have guardians be in contact with the system — emails, text messages, district social-media options, phone calls or viewing information on school websites.
A key topic is to what extent guardians and system employees favor or oppose time frames to have instruction time.
Options include extending the upcoming school year into June 2021, extending school days to account for missing 2019-20 class instruction or compressing the 2020-21 schedule to teach all of the missing 2019-20 content and the new 2020-21 material during the upcoming regularly scheduled academic year.
The survey asked about online-learning concerns, such as having access to specific computer programs and students being held accountable for online learning, plus concerns about communication among teachers, students and parents/guardians.
It also asked about preferences for work packets, such as whether they should be picked up weekly or bi-weekly and how they should be returned to the school system.