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Sylvania Schools re-open virtual academy enrollment after families express mask policy concerns

TPS also has hundreds in virtual academic year
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:33 AM EDT
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - With the start of the new school year just weeks away, many schools in the area are making adjustments to their COVID-19 safety protocols and providing virtual options for the upcoming academic school year.

An outcry from parents will bring a big change in plans for the Sylvania Schools this fall after the district announced its optional mask policy.

Sylvania has now re-opened enrollment for the virtual academy, SALA. Superintendent Veronica Motley said the district is committed to accommodating the diversity of families’ needs, with 140 students enrolled for the upcoming school year. Enrollment is now open through Friday on their website.

Dr. Motley said the virtual program provides more flexibility for families but still provides the traditional schooling components, including attendance and regular meetings with Sylvania teachers for live feedback, direction, and remediation.

“We want to continue to make sure our families have the best of both worlds, being able to have a remote learning option, and also being supported by our Sylvania teachers,” Motley said.

Last year, Toledo Public Schools had 2,500 in its virtual program, and this year, 700 students are still opting for the virtual alternative, with a year-long commitment.

According to Jim Gault, executive transformational leader of curriculum at TPS, virtual students will have the same credit and learning opportunities as in-person students, equipped with Wi-Fi-enabled Chromebooks and certified teachers.

For in-person students, masks will be mandated for elementary students and strongly encouraged at high schools, as well as vaccines. Regardless, Gault said most students and faculty are thrilled to return to a sense of “normalcy.”

“They know that we’ve got quite a bit of work to do as we work with our parents to take on the effect of what’s been caused by the pandemic, not only academically, but also socially and emotionally in terms of our students that had been in isolation,” Gault said.

For more details and to get on the waitlist at TPS, go to tps.org.

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