Solon Springs plans return to on-site learning
District administrator: Safety and flexibility will remain the guiding philosophy.
Students in the Solon Springs School District will resume on-site learning Monday, Jan. 4.
Parents were informed of the decision in a letter dated Dec. 22. Students will attend school five days a week. Virtual learning options will remain available for families who request them.
Parents were also informed of a shortened 10-day quarantine period for those who have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for the COVID-19, which has been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
The district made the move to all-online classes Nov. 16 amidst a surge in positive COVID-19 cases in Douglas County. The decision to return to in-person classes is based in part on lower county case numbers and the fact that, according to both local and state officials, transmission rates appear to be low in schools.
“The county is very consistent with its feedback that school is the safest place for kids to be in COVID times,” said Frank Helquist, district administrator told school board members Dec. 21.
Although the district plans to resume in-person classes, he said, they will remain flexible, keeping all instruction options on the table moving forward.
“We learned that no matter what decision you make, you will get criticized for it. If you are virtual, you get criticized. If you’re face-to-face, you get criticized ... It’s the nature of the business,” Helquist said. “What we’re going to do is continue to use the philosophy that we really want to serve the kids here (by providing options)."
Board members also viewed a five-year history of the district's combined cash and investment funds. That reserve amount has risen significantly from $57,757 in 2016 to $590,991 in 2019. The 2020 reserve, which includes some unspent funding to address COVID-19 challenges, was $719,326. District officials plan to use some of the funds in the reserve to purchase two new school buses.
"To be able to pay cash for large items is huge," Helquist said.
In other business, the board was informed that the Solon Springs Educational Foundation has extended its nomination period for the Wall of Honor awards to Feb. 15 and that current board members whose seats are on the ballot for the spring elections, Jason Clifton and Brad Hunter, have filed candidacy papers for the positions.
The Maple School District is also set to resume on-site classes Monday under its hybrid model.
In-person learning is scheduled to restart in the Superior School District Monday, Jan. 11 under the hybrid model.