Parents in the Cardinal Local School District want children to return to the classroom full time when school resumes in the fall, according to partial results of a district survey.

Superintendent Bill Kermavner told the school board during a June 10 meeting that the Planning Crisis Committee tallied data from 33 percent of the surveys returned so far from parents, teachers and others in regard to reopening the school district for the 2020-2021 academic year.

“Highlights include, parents want students to go back with safeguards every day. Not every other day, every day,” Mr. Kermavner said. “Internet was accessible according to the parents that did respond and 97.7 percent have reliable internet access.”

Ohio closed school buildings statewide in mid-March to stop the spread of COVID-19. Students finished the academic year by engaging in remote classes.

Mr. Kermavner said that Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration is recommending that children return to school a few days to a week after Labor Day. More feedback and parent interaction are needed before the Cardinal district can make final decisions, he said. Cardinal likely will fine tune a plan into three possible scenarios over the coming weeks, he added.

The most difficult option would be to have school as traditional as possible while following as many social distancing guidelines as possible, Mr. Kermavner explained.

“The other plan to follow social distancing with hands-on sessions or labs only,” he said. “Students will also be participating in online learning, which will be called distance learning. We’re looking at the online component because many parents don’t feel comfortable with sending their children back.”

The third option would be distance learning “like we’ve done for the past eight or nine weeks. We’re ready to do a better job with that,” the superintendent said.

In other business, the board discussed during the Zoom meeting summer projects aimed at getting buildings ready for fall.

The district recently received three new electronic sprayers, which the schools’ cleaning staff will use to sanitize buildings after being trained on how to use them. Mr. Kermavner said crews are renovating the band room in-house over the summer, painting the interior of the room and removing a dilapidated cabinet. He added that a project to replace the roof in the high school is currently underway.

In other business, the board hired Bill Fisher, a casual laborer, for the year starting Aug. 1 for $10 an hour. They also approved supplemental contracts for employees, pay to participate fees for extracurricular activities and other standard contracts.

Federally-required lunch price increases were approved, as well as a $1,200 donation that former school staff member Paulette Cutujian gave to the district special education department at Jordak Elementary School in Middlefield.

After a report from Treasurer Merry Lou Knuckles, the board approved the $1.27 million in bills for May and June.

The board is considering holding its June 24 meeting in person instead of on a virtual platform.

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