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Lawrence ESC: Districts working on school restart plans

Details could come next week; Start date still planned for Aug. 19

Superintendents across Lawrence County are meeting to put a plan into place for the reopening of Lawrence County’s public schools from the COVID-19 closure, Lawrence County Educational Service Center Superintendent Jeff Saunders said Wednesday.

He said the hope is an announcement will come after Tuesday of next week.

“We’re currently meeting and we’ve had a couple meetings,” he said. “And the superintendents have been meeting with their staff and getting together.”

Saunders said the plan, as of now, is for the academic year to begin around Aug. 19, as originally planned, though he said, depending on the district, some may start a day or so later.

“We’re still planning to use that calendar,” he said.

He said the meetings will determine whether remote learning is employed, a hybrid system or schools having in-person classes five days a week.

He said they are also in talk with the county health department.

Due to the situation with high-speed broadband availability, Saunders acknowledged remote learning is easier for some districts than others.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered schools closed in March for an extended spring break due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

As the pandemic and its associated shutdown progressed, DeWine extended the school closure through the end of the academic year.

Sanders said he hopes to have a plan available to the public as soon as possible.

“We understand that everyone needs to know,” he said.