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Plymouth schools to start in virtual mode

July 30, 2020
By

Plymouth Community Schools

PLYMOUTH – In a Thursday afternoon, press release Plymouth Schools Superintendant Andy Hartley told parents that the school year would begin online.
“Based on a recent recommendation we have received from the Marshall County Health Department to slow the start of in-person school, PCSC will begin the school year virtually for all students,” Hartley said in the release.
Plymouth schools will be in virtual participation mode from Aug. 12 to Aug. 21. The current plan then calls for students who registered for in-person learning to return on Aug. 24 following “all previously communicated safety protocols,” and those who registered for the virtual learning option will remain virtual.
“Really it’s a matter of leaning on the experts,” said Hartley. “The Marshall County Health Department and those at St. Joe Health Systems advised us that with the current spike in our area that has gained a lot of attention they had a concern.”
The increase in numbers of those infected with the virus gave health experts the concern that the start of on-campus learning at schools should be pushed back.
“We really need to see a trend going downward to feel safe,” said Hartley. “The biggest number of concern is the per capita rate of infection.”
“It’s really a matter of no right answer right now,” he said. “We have to determine if we wait to decide (on e-learning) in hopes we can be back in the classroom and if numbers don’t change start e-learning late when we could have started on time? We feel we’ve been doing virtual learning for quite a while now so why not start that way and return as quickly as we can.”
Parents of new students to Plymouth schools, you will be notified by that student’s school regarding how and when to pick up their iPad.
So far as extracurricular activities that “have been operating or have plans to operate” may continue to do so under the direction of their respective administrators.
“I’m optimistic that we will get there,” said Hartley. “I hated doing this. As a Dad with two kids in the school system. It hurts. But at the same time, we have to respect the recommendations of the experts and do all that we can to keep our community safe.”
“I really feel if we keep taking the right steps as a community we will be able to keep the spread down,” he said. “If those numbers keep going down we will get there.”
Hartley said that more specific information will be sent soon to students from their schools.

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