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Gov. Carney calls for a return to hybrid learning in Delaware schools

Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney is urging schools to resume hybrid learning after a switch to remote learning before the holidays.

Carney called for a pause to in-person learning two weeks before Christmas with the goal of resuming a blend of in-person and remote learning January 11th. Many districts followed this recommendation.

In a letter to districts Tuesday, Carney urged them to return to hybrid learning on the 11th and prioritize younger and more vulnerable students for in-person learning if operational challenges continue.

“Given the incredibly important role of educating, and the task of educating particularly our youngest children—those learning to read, those with educational challenges—we really need to lean into this effort to get as many children in front of teachers in classrooms,” said Carney at a Tuesday press conference.

According to state Education Sec. Dr. Susan Bunting, it’s not quite clear yet how far kids have fallen behind in their studies as a result of remote learning, but she says plans to complete any unfinished learning are possible - when it is safe to do so.

“Saturday schools or afterschool programs are not able to be had at this point when our kids are not with us, but we will be watching the progress of students and we are planning, hopefully, that something will be able to occur during the summer,” said Bunting. 

Carney adds he’s looking into recently passed federal legislation to see if there are available resources for additional learning opportunities for children who may have fallen behind in their studies during the pandemic. 

Bunting says during the in-person break she was able to meet with all of the state’s 19 districts. She says they expressed concerns about a lack of transparency from the state, a lack of substitute teachers during the pandemic and asked questions about vaccine distribution.

As schools now look to return to hybrid learning, there is new school specific COVID-19 data available on the state’s coronavirus website.

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