GROVE CITY – Grove City school officials are finishing instructions plans for the 2020-21 school year, but they’re still waiting on some families to submit survey responses.

The district sent out roughly 1,850 surveys, and about 1,700 have been returned, Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Finch said at Monday night’s school board meeting.

It’s important to get all of the responses as soon as possible, and quick replies are appreciated so the district can be prepared in time for the Aug. 31 start date.

“That feedback is critical to our planning,” Finch said.

The district may try to reach those families by phone, he added.

Each family is being to asked to choose one of three instructional models, which the board approved on Monday night:

• A full-time online/cyber learning model;

• Traditional in-person instruction; or

• A blended model that has students attending class at school on certain days, and completing online learning other days.

The survey explains that several stakeholder groups have been working on these plans, and families are asked to stay committed to their selection for the first nine weeks of the school year.

All students are being provided with a Chromebook, which is strictly for educational use at home and in school.

For the students who will be learning in the classroom, their parents or guardians must take their temperature and complete a basic wellness screening tool each day.

The district understands that mask wearing is a sensitive topic, and they are working to maximize social distancing strategies and outdoor spaces as well as provide “mask breaks.”

All staff and students will be required to comply with the state’s face covering mandate when necessary.

If the district has a reduction in staff or there is an immediate health concern, some of the students who are part of the in-person instruction model may be moved to different building or asked to take on remote instruction on certain days.

The district expects to conduct a school reopening analysis between Oct. 15 and Nov. 1. Families will be asked to provide feedback.

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In other business at Monday’s meeting, school board members:

• Held an executive session before the meeting that lasted just over an hour. They discussed the out-of-state tuition agreement between the district and George Junior Republic; collective bargaining agreement for fall supplemental positions; a sabbatical leave request; a gender-discrimination complaint against the district; and a multi-state class action lawsuit related to special education.

• Heard from Amy Trezona, president of the football boosters, during public comment. She said coaches, students and parents will continue to abide by pandemic guidelines set by the state.

• Heard from Finch about the athletic fall sports season start date and facility access. The fall season was supposed to start Monday, but that has been postponed by the PIAA for at least two weeks pending further discussion. The district still has a voluntary summer conditioning workout program, which follows pandemic guidelines, he added.

• Heard from Finch that an audit of the district’s special education program was recently completed. There were no findings, and no corrective actions, which he said is very rare for school districts.

• Announced the next meetings: 7 p.m. Sept. 9, standing committees and work session; and 7 p.m. Sept. 14, voting meeting. Both meetings will be virtual for the public, and connection information can be found on the district’s website.

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