Schools looking at what classes will look like in the fall
FREMONT – A vast majority of Fremont City Schools’ students have educational-level Internet access at home, according to recent surveys returned to the school district.
Superintendent Jon Detwiler said the school district sent out surveys to staff, students and parents to gauge what kind of Internet access students had during the months they were restricted to online learning, due to coronavirus safety concerns.
Fremont City Schools and other county school districts switched to online classes only in March, as the coronavirus pandemic resulted in the closure of schools across Ohio.
Detwiler said between 80 and 90% of all three survey groups responded that they had educational-level Internet access at home.
“It’s a little higher than we thought,” Detwiler said, noting that it was not a scientific survey and involved about one-third of parents, students and staff in the district.
The superintendent said district officials speculated that only half of students and parents would have educational level Internet access at home.
He said a question in the survey to parents in the survey included “do you have Internet access at home to be used for at-home learning?”
Students were asked what specific challenges they had during for remote learning and how comfortable they would be to continue at-home learning in the fall.
Fremont City Schools is looking for guidance in the next couple of weeks from not only the governor’s office regarding funding, but also the Ohio Department of Education and the state’s health department regarding what classes will look like this fall and whether students will be attending in-person classes, doing remote learning or a combination of the two.
Detwiler said the school district still expects to hear from the state around July 1 as to what reopening would look like for Fremont City Schools and other school districts.
He said the district has had discussion with the Sandusky County Health Department about how to handle safety and social distancing issues regarding students in hallways, on buses and in classrooms.
About 10 to 20% of families are hesitant to send students back for in-person learning in the fall, Detwiler said.
While the district has not definitively decided how it will handle classes in the fall, Detwiler said that fewer students on buses and more parents carpooling with family members might be a solution to social distancing-related concerns.
“It’s difficult to get kids on a bus and maintain six feet of social distancing,” Detwiler said.
Detwiler said he expects Gov. Mike DeWine to speak more on schools and reopening at a 2 p.m. press conference July 1.
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