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Red Clay School District to open remotely in September

Red Clay Consolidated School District Facebook page

Gov. John Carney is already seeing districts break with his recommendation of a hybrid school reopening.


The Red Clay School District will open the year with remote learning only.

Red Clay is the first district in the state to announce it will start entirely online. 


It plans to use remote learning exclusively for the first six weeks as part of a phased reopening plan that will transition to hybrid learning later - an approach Superintendent Dorrell Green called a “”safety first “ approach in a letter to district families and staff.


The move comes just days after Carney announced the state supports a hybrid model, using a combination of in-person and remote learning.


Kelly Firko is the president of the Red Clay Education Association. She says Superintendent Dorrell Green stuck to his word when figuring out the plan to reopen schools.


“So I think a combination of listening to his constituents and working with the union and a combination of his philosophy of safety first and I think that’s what helped him make that decision.”


Teachers across the state have expressed concerns over the safety of students, their families and themselves if in person is employed this fall.


Firko says it would be very difficult to enforce social distancing, the wearing of masks, and keeping classrooms and other parts of the school clean on a regular basis.


“With the requirements that we had to meet that a lot of people weren’t confident that those requirements would be able to be met. With the 6 feet distance and the wiping down of surfaces every fifteen minutes to two hours, class sizes would have to be super small to meet those needs.”


Firko adds as a kindergarten teacher, she’s not confident school is the best place to learn social distancing, handwashing and mask wearing, especially when it’s the place where small children make new friends.


Other districts are expected to announce reopening plans soon. Colonial School District previously announced William Penn high schoolwill start completely online -while lower grades use a hybrid approach.

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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