Saline Schools Extend Hybrid Learning Model An Extra Two Weeks

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Citing "local conditions" and "internal metrics," Saline Area Schools have extended the hybrid learning model for students transitioning toward full-time in-person learning.

Students whose families elected to send their children back to in-person learning returned to school with a hybrid model last week. Of the students returning to school, half attend in person on Mondays and Wednesdays and the other half attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They engage in online learning the other days. That model was originally supposed to give away to full-time in-person learning beginning Oct. 12.

"However, given local conditions and internal metrics, we will be extending our hybrid format another two weeks," Superintendent Scot Graden wrote to families Monday.

Graden said that the administration will announce its plan for the week of Oct. 26 by Oct. 18. Graden also advised residents to tune into to the Oct. 13 Board of Education meeting, which will be broadcast on Facebook.

"Your flexibility has allowed us to evaluate our systems and plan for the coming trimesters. We will seek additional feedback from you (via survey) in mid to late October. Thank you for your continued patience and support," Graden wrote.

At the Sept. 29 Board of Education meeting, Graden hinted at delaying the return to full in-person learning. Graden suggested in-person learning might be challenging, especially at the high school level.

"Particularly at our high school level, when I think about 1,300 or 1,400 students in that school, it's problematic, honestly," Graden said.

Hybrid student counts mean lunchtimes and hallway passing time are manageable, Graden said.

Graden said the district is not able to cohort students in grades seven and up.

"We may need to look at different schedules at different levels, in terms of the amount of time in person," Graden said.

Graden suggested at that meeting that full in-person could begin at some levels while hybrid continued at others.

"I want to be open with the community. I'm not looking to increase the levels of stress or anxiety. They are already high enough. But I also don't want to say we're just going plow through a plan and say that everyone's going to be in person, five days a week," Graden said.

Saline Area Schools launched a COVID-19 Dashboard Monday. The dashboard shows one high school student and one middle school staff person have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition, one high school student is in quarantine, one Heritage student is in quarantine and two members of the Heritage staff are in quarantine. The dashboard is updated every Monday.

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