CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KDVR) — The Douglas County School Board voted late Tuesday night to move middle and high school students from a remote learning model to a hybrid learning model starting Monday.
The issue over in-person versus remote learning has been contentious among parents and school board members. One parent said he would contribute $100,000 of his own money to launch a recall effort to remove board members who stalled the return of in-person learning. The union representing Douglas County teachers pushed back and said recalling school board members is not the answer.
At Tuesday’s meeting, board members said they needed reassurance from health officials and the district’s superintendent that a hybrid learning model would work for the district. After presentations about logistics and safety, board members commented they felt reassured in their decision to switch to a hybrid model February 8.
Board members voiced concerns about the challenges of implementing a hybrid learning model. DCSD Board of Education Director Elizabeth Hanson asked parents for patience.
“I’d like to ask our parents to take a deep breathe before you fire off a hurtful email. Our teachers have been through the worst year of their career,” said Hanson. “For now this is the best option we have and we need your tolerance and your grace to make this succeed.”
One student who spoke at the meeting cited a survey he conducted with the help of several other students. The survey was distributed to all middle and high school students throughout the district. He said 4,000 middle and high school students have responded to the survey so far. Of those who responded, 54 percent said they preferred to continue to learn remotely while 46 percent said they preferred a hybrid model. Students have until Friday to respond to the survey.
Any students who do not feel comfortable returning to a hybrid model can opt to stay online instead. Students who stay remote will learn live online alongside students learning in classrooms.