Sylvania Schools sticking with online learning, sports can continue

Parents and students gathered at the administrative building to voice their thoughts on the back-to-school plans
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 8:48 PM EDT
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - After a recommendation was made by the Lucas County Health Commission for schools to remain online this fall, Sylvania Schools released an update to parents on August 7th, informing them of the switch to their remote learning “red” plan for the start of the school year.

As a result, school board members showing up to the administrative offices for a meeting today were met by dozens of parents, kids, and high school athletes who want to be in the classroom and play ball.

Allison Caputo, a parent with multiple children in the district, held a sign stating “Remote learning is cheating our kids from the education they deserve.” Caputo says she and her children struggled with online schooling.

“I didn’t go to school to be a teacher, I’m their parent, and I can help them the best I can but some kids don’t want to listen to their parents,” says Caputo.

Quentin Lutz, whose daughter attends Northview high school, held a sign that read “Students want school, teachers don’t.”

“They think a safe environment for the teachers is to have our kids at home, and we think a safe environment for our kids to be in school,” explains Lutz. “That’s where they need to be, that’s where they learn the best.”

The president of the Sylvania Teacher’s Association, Dan Greenberg, who is also an English teacher at Southview High School, says that blanket statement about teachers is not true.

“It’s not so simple as just saying we’re remote and therefore teachers don’t want to be in school, because we definitely do,” says Greenburg. “We miss the kids, we miss being in school, and absolutely it would be a misrepresentation to say the teachers don’t wish that we could find a way to start in person.”

The association is not taking a stance either way, but Greenberg says he wanted to clarify that decisions are being made for everyone’s safety.

Julie Turner, a substitute teacher in the district, says she believes in faith over fear.

“We can’t live off of fear, I just believe that faith is going to get us through this,” says Turner. “If we stay safe if we wear masks if we take precautions if we wash our hands.”

A big concern for parents and students alike was sports and the fear of losing another season if the school went completely virtual.

“We really want a season and a school year,” says Meghan Coakley, a Junior girl’s soccer player at Northview High School. “We don’t want online so we’re coming out here just to show support and hopefully we can get them to change their minds”

Ultimately, the school board decided to stick with their current plan for remote learning, and current rules that will follow state guidelines for sports. Contact and non-contact sports may continue to practice.

Sylvania Schools Superintendent Dr. Veronica Motley spoke to 13abc at the end of the meeting, telling us “Our goal for our students is to have our children back in class, that’s our primary goal and even though we may start on a red plan, what we do want to ensure to our parents and make sure they understand is that we want to have our students back in the classroom as soon as possible.”

The board will have another meeting Thursday, August 13th, to discuss the duration of the remote learning “red” plan.

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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