Mother in Lexington 5 School District creates petition after board returns to 5 day in-person learning

COLUMBIA (WOLO): Students in the Lexington 5 School District, part of the hybrid learning model, are headed back to 5 day face-to-face learning next Monday. But many students and parents are concerned with the district’s decision.

At 6:00 P.M. Monday, the district started their public board meeting, leaving room for parent participation and comments. Students at Irmo High School protested the district’s decision saying they don’t feel safe returning as COVID cases rise. Now a petition circulating online is catching some attention. 

“We’re much higher above the 10% positive that the CDC recommends. County transmission remains high. I know they’re doing their best to maintain social distancing and protocols, but from what I’m hearing, especially in high schools, it’s not always happening,” said Joann Claspill. 

Former educator and mother of a freshman high school student, Joann Claspill doesn’t want her daughter to return to full time in-person learning, and says they need another option. “What they’re offering students that are quarantined is called live streaming which is essentially when teachers turn their webcams on and just teach like they normally would, still posting assignments in google classroom, they’re already doing that,” said Claspill.

Right now, hybrid students attend in-person classes 4 days a week. The change, Claspill says, would eliminate Wednesday as a deep cleaning day. On their website, though, the district writes schools can continue to use a 100% distance learning model in response to COVID-19.

But Claspill says that’s no longer an option for many students. “Not taking anything away from people that are fine going 5 days face to face. The virtual academy is full, so that isn’t an option right now, so we’re just trying to think outside the box.”

So she created a petition asking the board to allow live streaming classes to count towards attendance. As of Monday afternoon, the petition had received 330 signatures of a 500 signature goal. Claspill says, “this is a starting place, so let’s get the discussion opened about whether or not this is even feasible and then we can fine-tune it and tweak it as it comes to fruition. “

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