Schools to continue virtual learning this fall

Kent County High School students will be attending classes virtually for the entire first semester, which runs through late January. Elementary and middle school students here will start off with distance learning for the first quarter, which runs into November.

ROCK HALL — The Kent County Board of Education unanimously approved tonight starting the school year on a virtual platform.

The three elementary schools and Kent County Middle School will conduct remote learning for the first quarter, Sept. 8 through Nov. 10. The first semester at Kent County High School, running Sept. 8 through Jan. 28 will be fully remote.

The board also approved a block schedule proposed for the middle school and a new four-period schedule for high school students.

The votes came after more than two hours of presentations by Kent County Public Schools administrators, discussion among board members and public comments submitted via email and read aloud.

Among the concerns raised were the amount of screen time for students — especially the youngest ones — and how parents who have returned to work will be able to manage their children's at-home education.

One public effort to help with the latter issue could lie in community learning hubs.

Superintendent Karen Couch spoke about churches and other sites offering to allow students to use their spaces and internet connectivity with supervision. Couch said the local advocacy group Support Our Schools is working on creating a list of such community learning opportunities.

Check back with the Kent County News for a more detailed report.

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