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Chesapeake schools begin all remote learning

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CHESAPEAKE, OH (WOWK) – Chesapeake students picked up laptops this weekend to get ready for the first day of school, which they will be spending at home.

Chesapeake schools will only teach through ‘remote learning’ this fall; something that’s upsetting to several parents.

“It doesn’t make any sense and it’s not feasible,” said Jamie Epilon, a parent of two Chesapeake students. “There are a lot of us that want our kids in school. They need to be in school. They aren’t learning at the same level that they would be in the classroom.”

Epilon says she’s frustrated because of the uncertainties and unanswered questions.

“The way it’s being portrayed, is there are no teachers logging in to teach. They’re only making contact once a week.” Epilon said. “You could ask the same question to three different educators and get three different answers. There is no consistency within this district of what is actually going on.”

The Lawrence County Health Department held two meetings with superintendents throughout the county, before the start of the school year.

“The whole thing comes down to room,” says Arthur Suiter, president of the school board. “We don’t have the spacing to do what the health department is requiring. We cannot possibly put our students spaced the way they wanted it done.”

“They all sent their plans to us. We read them, had our board president look at them,” says Debbie Fisher, public relations officer for the Lawrence County Health Department.

They reviewed school plans, then sent a letter.

“It was a basic letter that said ‘your plan has been reviewed and you meet the minimum requirements set by the Governor and Department of Health,’” said Georgia Dillon, health commissioner.

Although the letter said they met the requirements, members of the Chesapeake school board said they still didn’t feel comfortable.

“We just felt like this was the best thing we could do and follow the guidelines we can meet,” said Suiter. “That’s totally why this was done.”

“The school made their decision and that was their right,” said Dillon. “But that is why we cannot make those decisions for each individual school.”

Suiter also says this ‘remote learning plan’ could change.

“I’m not saying this is set in stone for nine weeks; if we can go back to school,” Suiter said.

On September 8th, all Chesapeake schools will be handing out lunches for their students. Every day starting Tuesday, families who normally receive free lunches can pick up a free lunch at any of the campuses. Students who normally pay for lunches will also pay for the pick-up lunches.

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