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Wayne County Schools Superintendent Todd Alexander says the county should work to get students back to in-person school four days a week.

WAYNE — Wayne County schools could transition to a four-to-one in-person school week after the holidays pending reactions and responses from parents and other school districts.

Wayne Superintendent Todd Alexander told the Board of Education on Nov. 10 he thinks the county should work to get students back to in-person school for four days a week, but he wants to hear how parents feel about the transition and find out if other schools that are already on the four- or five-day week have been consistently in person.

“We’re looking into school districts that are currently operating on the four or five days a week schedule and what kind of impact that is having on the area,” he said. “Are they seeing any more COVID cases than we are? Are they seeing any more COVID spread? Are they able to stay open under the state metrics map? That’s what we’re looking for just so we can know what to expect.”

In a poll conducted in October, Alexander said about half of students’ parents said they would pull their students from in-person learning if the school transitioned to four-day in-person classes. Alexander said he wants to see if parents will still feel that way if students return after the holidays.

Alexander’s plan would keep students on the blended schedule of two days in person, three days online until Jan. 1. When students return from the holidays, Alexander said the schools could slowly reintegrate students coming back to in-person classes.

Alexander said he hopes to have students in grades K-2, 6 and 9 come back the first week starting Jan. 4, grades 3-4, 7 and 10 return the second week and have all students back in person the third week. This timeline would set the schools up to have students who opted for in-person courses back in the classrooms at the start of the second semester on Jan. 26.

Wednesdays would still be left as a virtual learning day to allow for detailed cleaning each week. Alexander said if the county would fall into the orange or red categories of the color-coded system where students have to refer back to virtual learning, the transition could be smooth.

“We would maintain a remote learning day on Wednesdays, and we think that’s important,” he said. “It keeps students and teachers engaged in virtual learning. It’s important we maintain that virtual connection so that we can have seamless transitions in and out if we need to.”

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