When: Octorara School District board meeting, Dec. 14.
What happened: The board gave the administration approval to proceed with a plan to accommodate children returning from Octorara Virtual Academy to in-person classrooms at the end of the semester at the beginning of February.
Background: Families of elementary school students have had the option of in-person learning, remote learning with their Octorara classroom teachers or the Octorara Virtual Academy. Junior and high school students could opt for the academy or the hybrid option that has been in place since the buildings have been open. The academy currently has 116 elementary students and 106 secondary students. Administrator Elena Techau reported that 28 of kindergarten through eighth grade students’ families have asked for a return to the classroom.
Why it's important: Most of the returning students can be accommodated, but extra classroom space will have to be found for six returning kindergarten students. Techau suggested hiring a long-term substitute as a teacher for this group, and as a co-teacher partnering with another kindergarten teacher.
What happens next: Some families may still reconsider returning to the classroom. The decision to hire staff will come back to the board in January.
Other happenings: The district has added a COVID-19 dashboard to their website.
Quotable: “It’s just a very simple approach to let people see that 14-day rolling average (of COVID-19 incidents) in each of our schools,” Superintendent Michele Orner said.