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Capital School District to go virtual during Firefly

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

The Capital School District is going all virtual while the Firefly Music Festival is in Dover next month.


In previous years, the Firefly Music Festival did not occur when school was in session.


But this year’s edition of the  four day event was moved to late September because of COVID-19.


Capital School District’s superintendent Vilicia Cade made the decision to make classes virtual on the Thursday and Friday Firefly is in town.


She says anticipated traffic in town, coupled with a shortage of bus drivers means in-person learning would almost be impossible.


“As we’re beginning to approach school, anticipated delays in traffic I believe were just exacerbated in terms of where the location of some of our schools are in proximity to the concert,” she said.


Cade says this is part of an effort to get students and teachers more familiar with the use of technology in learning.


“People are like, oh, we can go back to the way things were, we can go back to our 19th century learning models — No, we can’t,” Cade said. “We have to continue on this trajectory to what I said, breaking the glass ceiling on 19th century teaching and come into the 21st century.”


She says schools that were already using technology in their learning were much more prepared for the pandemic than those that didn’t. And she wants to ensure the Capital School District builds on their usage of modern tools in teaching students.


The music festival is a big draw for young adults, with Lizzo and Billie Eilish headlining this year, so Cade says they can expect Dover teens to attend Firefly.


She says being proactive with weekly testing availability, mask wearing, and encouraging vaccinations will help ensure festival goers don’t start an outbreak in school.


While Firefly will probably return to its spot as a summer event in future years, Cade says virtual learning days will become a tool used more often, such as during inclement weather.


Roman Battaglia is a corps member withReport for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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