JEFFERSON — Do you have any concerns, suggestions or comments about your child returning to school in August?

That’s one of several questions on a survey the Jefferson Area Local School District emailed to parents Wednesday about reopening in the fall.

The online surveys are due back by the end of today [Friday, July 10]. Questions range from thoughts on masks and social distancing to transportation and food service.

School officials hope to have the results sent out to parents, staff and members of the community by July 20.

“We look forward to welcoming our students back for the 2020-21 school year,” Superintendent John Montanaro said. “We are working on a plan for reopening that includes two learning possibilities for our students: in-person learning, and remote learning.”

The plan will be grounded in the public health science and data provided by the Ohio Department of Health, the Governor and Ohio Department of Education, the Ashtabula County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and input from faculty, staff, parents and students, according to the letter accompanying the survey.

“We have had teams of teachers and administrators thinking about the reopening plan and how to best serve students in school while managing the many health concerns and procedures that must be put into place,” Montanaro said. “We also realize that some parents may not want to have their child return to school in the fall because of the risks posed by the COVID-19 virus. Our opening plan will include a full-time remote learning program to meet their needs.”

In case they district may be required to close based on decisions by a health authority or in response to a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19, the district is updating its remote learning plan.

More than 280 families responded to the district’s May 2020 survey evaluating its efforts during the school closure last March, so Montanaro is optimistic about the number of participants in this survey.

The final step will be for principals and building teams to align their building operations to the district plan.

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