The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020

L’view board OKs remote learning plan

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The Lincolnview Local Board of Education approved a remote learning plan that would be put in place if schools were closed again, but there appeared to be little consensus on one portion of the district’s reopening plan — specifically, whether students should wear masks in class — among parents and even board members. 

The remote learning plan, which was approved unanimously by the board, will be released next week, according to Superintendent Jeff Snyder.

Superintendent Jeff Snyder listens to questions and statements from those who attended Thursday’s meeting of the Lincolnview Local Board of Education. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Snyder also noted that, per a plan that was developed through meetings with other county school superintendents, as well as local health officials, Lincolnview classes are being moved back from the original opening day of August 19 to a new date of August 24. Teachers will meet August 19-21 to work on how the new reopening plan will be implemented in the classroom.

The board then approved new amended calendars for the district, including Marsh School, reflecting the new information.

As the question of whether students should wear masks, Snyder himself seemed a bit conflicted himself on whether it was necessary for students to wear masks, but said he felt it was a precaution he could live with to keep students in class every day.

Snyder said that, whether that was the best decision or not will ultimately be decided when students and staff return to school on August 24. 

“Unfortunately, until a thousand people show up here every day — I’ll know then, and we’ll start to react, but I don’t like to react, I like to be proactive, and that’s why we have a plan,” Snyder noted.

Snyder acknowledged that, with Van Wert County Covid-19 levels lower than many other Ohio counties, it might be harder to justify a mask mandate to some parents, but said he felt it was a reasonable choice to wear a mask to avoid higher exposure levels that could lead to closing schools again.

While parents who attended were mostly in favor of kids being in class, rather than having remote learning implemented, the wearing of masks was still a sticking point for some.

If a child already has health issues, or a doctor feels it would not be advisable, Snyder said those students would likely be excused from wearing a mask, although, as one person pointed out, per the Ohio Department of Health, all students in grades 3-12 are mandated to wear masks while in the classroom.

Board member Brad Coil questioned whether it was 

Bus driver Lucy Rice noted that, while wearing a mask is not fun, she felt it was a necessary precaution to ensure everyone is protected. She also noted that, while masks can be hot and uncomfortable, she has had no problem breathing through the three-ply mask she had worn to the meeting and felt it was “common courtesy”, as well as “no big deal”, to wear a mask to protect others.

Rice said that, while teachers, bus drivers, and other school staff want to do their jobs, they also want to not be potentially exposed to Covid-19 in the enclosed spaces of a bus or a classroom if students don’t wear masks.

“I’ve followed the rules all the way through this,” she noted, but also said she could not return as a driver if she didn’t feel she was adequately protected from exposure.

Another parent felt that the board should follow the wishes of the majority of parents on the issue of wearing masks, whatever those wishes are, noting that board members were elected by district residents to represent them.

Also Thursday, the board approved a memorandum of understanding with the Lincolnview Local Education Association related to supplemental payment provisions for staff.

The next regular meeting of the Lincolnview Local Board of Education will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, August 27, in the Neubrecht Lecture Hall.

POSTED: 07/31/20 at 7:44 am. FILED UNDER: News