SCCPSS considers 5 new learning models, parents weigh in

Education

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As Savannah-Chatham County Public School students remain online, the school board is considering five different learning models for the second semester.

The district has recommended an expanded in-person learning option but some parents say they just want the option to make their own decisions.

“We lasted six days into the fall semester of 2020 and we decided it wasn’t going to work. It was a disaster,” Former SCCPSS parent, Betsy Hunter Hughes said.

Hughes had two teens enrolled in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) but she said the school district’s handling of COVID-19 forced her to make the tough decision to enroll her kids in private school.

“We were seeing the chaos and the confusion. It wasn’t a good learning environment,” Hughes said.

School board members have been split on the idea of having kids return to the classroom or doing virtual learning.

Five learning models were proposed at Thursday’s board meeting. District officials recommended splitting students into two groups. Group A would do in-person learning three days a week and virtual learning the remaining two days. While group B would do two days virtual and three days in-person. The groups would rotate every two weeks. Students would also get learning partners.

“I have seen the value of peer-to-peer collaboration between students and I just think it is a fantastic approach,” District 1 Board Member, Denise Grabowski said.

Hughes and other parents believe this plan would create chaos.

“How is an employer going to allow the employee to stay home for three, and then not for three. And come and go to work from home and not work from home,” Hughes said.

In the meantime, board members are discussing other possibilities like having elementary students back in the classroom and middle school and high school students learning virtually.

The five models include modified traditional in-person learning, elementary students learning in person while secondary students learn virtually, a half-day rotation, and a two-week rotation with a learning partner.

An announcement is expected on Feb. 3.

The school district also released new information on graduation this spring. Curbside graduation events will continue this year.

The goal is to have a modified in-person ceremony. Graduating seniors will be allowed a limited number of guests and masks will be required. Those in attendance will be asked COVID-19 questions and get a temperature check.

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