SCRANTON, Pa. — The Scranton School Board, in a special meeting on Monday, approved a plan for virtual learning to start the school year.
The school board approved the plan for online classes unanimously. However, that does not mean classes will be virtual for the entire school year. The decision will be reviewed quarterly as the year goes on.
School board members in Scranton considered plans for a hybrid model with some virtual and some in-person learning, but in the end, the board voted for online-only classes.
"We all want to see our kids back in school as quickly as we can, and as soon as it's going to be safe for them and for the staff," school board member Tara Yanni said.
"While complete or even some in-person instruction would be the ideal teaching and learning environment, for now, we are not living in an ideal world," school board member Sarah Cruz said.
When classes begin next month, 100 percent of Scranton classes will take place online.
Staff will also be working with students who have disabilities to figure out what technology works best for them to learn remotely.
Some parents we spoke to in the Scranton School District have mixed emotions about online learning versus in-person classes.
"I agree that they should go back to school, but on the other hand, I'm on the fence about it. I think further studies should be done," parent Jason Smith said.
"I don't believe that they should. We have concerns in our own family because of health risks to myself and my wife who are in the higher risk area," parent Allen Bevan said.
"My son's grades did go down last year from being at home. So, I think that the classrooms would work a lot better as long as they social distance," parent Billie Smith said.
All classes will be recorded, and teachers will be expected to take attendance.
Online classes begin in Scranton on September 8.