With 3,800 students and 250 teachers returning to seven school buildings for the first time since early March, district Director of Curriculum Jack Dibee said Avon Lake schools had a “positive” opening day Aug. 31.

Dibee made his comments to the school board at its regular meeting Sept. 8.

School officials opted to have all students in grades K-12 physically attend classes five days a week. Parents could choose to have their children attend remote classes. Approximately 640 students (17% of the student population) are taking classes online. Among the district’s 1,292 high school students, 171 are taking classes remotely, said high school Principal Michael May.

The schools had a soft opening. Half the students physically attended classes Aug. 31, while the other half went the following day. All students were in classes Sept. 2 and 3.

“I believe the opening day was smooth and our first couple weeks have been as well. We even obtained feedback from parents, students, staff,” May said.

“From the start, our staff modeled and continue to model appropriate health behaviors such as wearing masks and physical distancing. The students were and have been outstanding with the ability to hit the ground running with the mask wearing, physical distancing, hallway traffic and overall positive attitudes,” May continued.

The schools require masks or face coverings for all students K-12 and all staff.

“We received a lot of positive comments from staff and students,” Dibee said. “Overall, we’re really happy with the way things went.”

Prior to the start of the school year, teachers had the opportunity to take professional development classes dealing with teaching school during a pandemic. Several classes dealt with computer programs such as Clever, which allows teachers to log into and use any building electronic resource. Students’ socio-emotional issues also were discussed and pointers were given on teaching remote classes.

There were 24 online workshops, according to May. He mentioned topics such as blended learning along with Google Classroom and Clever.

Contact this reporter at tcorrigan@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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