Morrow County to Start School Later to Prepare for Virtual Teaching

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The Morrow County School District Board of Directors met Tuesday and opted to push back the first day of school until Tuesday, Sept. 8, after Labor Day.

The calendar change will allow for staff to receive professional development in virtual learning.

Teachers will return to their buildings on Aug. 24 with the expectation of working from their schools as long as county metrics and state guidance allow for it. Students’ first day of virtual instruction will be Sept. 8. No additional adjustments have been made to the district calendar.

Restrictions by the state, along with local cases of COVID-19, are dictating that Morrow County School District will begin school with Comprehensive Distance Learning for all students. This model will be different than the Distance Learning for All approach implemented by districts in the spring where districts had to pivot almost overnight from traditional, in-person instruction in schools to online learning.

Dirk Dirksen, district superintendent, said the district is committed to providing robust professional development for teachers and staff to ensure they can successfully implement Comprehensive Distance Learning.

“We didn’t have adequate time in the spring to prepare our teachers for online instruction and we have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t, which we know will help as we start the year,” Dirksen said. “Along with the accountability measures set out by the state, we are confident that our professional development efforts will support all of our students, including our most vulnerable students. As a district, we look forward to welcoming our students back for face-to-face instruction just as soon as state metrics as defined by ODE and our local government officials support doing so.”