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School District Five will start 2020-2021 school year with a hybrid schedule, Sept. 8 start date for students

Lexington-Richland School District Five will start the school year with a hybrid schedule plan, district officials announced at a school board meeting on July 23.

A hybrid model is a blend of face-to-face instruction and distance learning with students attending school in-person two days a week and learning virtually for three days. District officials said students will be assigned to one of two cohorts, and parents and guardians with multiple students will have the ability to request that all of their children be placed in the same cohort.

The July 23 announcement of a hybrid model is a change from the district’s earlier plan to offer a five-day in-person option and virtual option for parents. Parents will still have the option of choosing an all virtual model, in addition to the hybrid schedule, for their students.

“We continued to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in our area and continued to listen to the input of our families,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Melton. “While we had hoped to start the year with a five-day, traditional offering, the data at this time simply does not support this option. It’s our hope that we can transition to a five-day, in-person model as soon as possible. We all want the same things. We want the numbers of COVID-19 to go down, and want our students and teachers back in the classroom...But we want to do these things safely and with the best interest of our staff and students in mind. We will continue to monitor the numbers and make adjustments as needed.” 

During the July 23 meeting, Board of Trustees members also approved revisions to the school year calendar. The first day for students will now be Sept. 8, while the first day for teachers will be August 20. 

“We are planning for the hybrid option to be temporary,” Melton said. “We hope we can begin a five-day, traditional option after October 8 (beginning of second interim period), but we will continue to watch the numbers of COVID cases and adjust accordingly.”  

Features of the School District Five 2020-21 School Year: 

  • The District will offer two options for the start of the school year: A virtual schedule option and a hybrid schedule option. 
    • Hybrid Schedule: This is a blend of face-to-face instruction and distance learning. Students are assigned to one of two cohorts. Each cohort attends two days of face-to-face instruction per week and three days of distance learning per week. Students’ application of new learning and skills will continue on distance learning days. Teachers will take attendance, and students’ participation will be monitored.
    • Virtual Schedule: (FIVE) Flexible Innovative Virtual Education includes live classroom lessons, daily attendance and the exclusive use of technology resources for teaching and learning. Face-to-face classes are not a part of the regular planning, teaching, learning activities or submission of materials.
  • The school board has approved revisions to the 2020-21 school year calendar. 
    • The first day for teachers in School District Five will be August 20. 
    • The first day for students in School District Five will be September 8. 
    • Leap Days will be August 31 - September 4. 

District Five officials also clarified the district’s mask requirement for students during the July 23 meeting. School District Five will require the use of masks/face coverings for students and staff. The district will provide face coverings to all staff and will provide face coverings for any student who cannot provide their own. Masks will be worn while entering, exiting and moving throughout the building and during any congregant interaction inside and outside the classroom. Masks may be removed when students are seated at their work spaces. 

A revised version of the district’s complete reentry plan will be posted on the reentry website next week. Commitment surveys are being provided to parents on Friday, July 24, and course catalogs for the district’s FIVE virtual academy will be provided during the week of July 27 along with school plans. 

View the district’s revised school year calendar: www.lexrich5.org/calendar

View the presentation to the School Board on July 23 by visiting: www.lexrich5.org/20-21reentry

Please view your email or click the following link for an important message from School District Five regarding school reentry: https://www.lexrich5.org/Page/25507