Red Clay Consolidated School District will begin the school year with all remote classes.
The district, which includes A.I. Dupont High School, Cab Calloway School for the Arts and Charter School of Wilmington, will start classes on Sept. 8.
Red Clay made its announcement online one day after Gov. John Carney said state health data meant that schools would be allowed to start with a mix of in-person and remote classes. It’s called a “yellow” or hybrid scenario.
The in-person classes are expected to be younger children still learning the basics. They are less likely to get infected with the novel coronavirus and less likely to infect others, health officials have said.
The Delaware Scholastic Education Association, a union of teachers and educators, immediately weighed in and asked for a remote start for everybody to protect workers and students.
Red Clay became the first system to announce an all-remote start of the year.
Dorrell Green, superintendent of the Red Clay district, said in announcement posted on the district’s web page that the system had been planning for various scenarios.
“After much deliberation, consultation and synthesis of state guidance, we have decided to continue embracing a ‘safety first’ approach to learning this fall,” Green said in the announcement. “We will phase in our instructional model and all Red Clay students will start the 2020-21 school year in a remote learning environment for the first six weeks.”
The announcement said a device will be provided for every student and the system will work to ensure all families have internet access.
Each school will survey families in the coming weeks about whether to transition to hybrid learning later this fall, which it called Phase 2, Green said.
“We will phase in a hybrid learning environment for specific grade levels/programs, with families that choose in-person learning,” the announcement said. “In this scenario, families that wish to keep students home would be provided with remote learning support.”
Families will be asked whether they prefer an in-person learning option once schools reopen or staying with remote learning, Green said.
In Phase 3, the announcement said, all students will return to campus full time.
“Families that wish to keep students home would be provided with a remote learning option,” the announcement said.
“We all understand that this is a stressful time for you, for your children, and for our community as a whole,” Green wrote. “Our primary mission is to provide meaningful instruction in a safe and healthy environment.