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Caesar Rodney to reopen with hybrid model Sept. 8

School board voted 4-1 to approve the plan

Emily Lytle
Dover Post
Caesar Rodney School District logo

This story has been edited to clarify a parent quote. 

Caesar Rodney students will return to school under a hybrid model after school board members approved the reopening plan in a 4-1 vote Aug. 18.

Most students will be learning remotely starting Sept. 8 through Oct. 16. During this six-week period, some students will come into the buildings for small group instruction, assessment, evaluations and specialized programs. For example, driver’s education students may be one of these groups that must meet in-person, Director of Instruction Tara Faircloth said.

After that, students will be phased into in-person learning for two days a week, starting with the youngest students and those in the Caesar Rodney county-wide programs.

The district will post the full plan on its website and send out letters to families Aug. 19. Each student will be given a Chromebook before Sept. 8.

Newly elected Board President Mike Marasco thanked the district leadership for their hard work. “Although it is not a perfect plan, I feel confident in the plan that is presented to us,” he said. 

The only dissenter was board member Scott Wilson who said the plan does a “disservice” to the Caesar Rodney families and community.

Several parents spoke during the public comment period before the vote, many concerned about supporting their students during remote learning. Kelly Robin spoke on behalf of military families at Dover Air Force Base where she has a fourth grader and a rising kindergartner. She said she is worried a remote school year would leave her children without an important emotional outlet. 

“My concern is adding remote learning to the already overwhelming plate of a military spouse is dangerous to our deployed families,” she said. 

Parent Lauren Purcell echoed her thoughts and said she was worried about added stress from the uncertainty of the coming school year. “Delaying this decision could’ve been avoided. It’s not only affecting [students’] schooling, but their social emotional well-being,” she said. 

Joe Hartman, president of the Caesar Rodney Education Association, said many teachers are feeling the same things. “We are as heartbroken over the fact that it’s not a traditional school year,” he said. Still, he thanked the district staff and principals for asking questions and finding a solution. “Whatever you do I just want it to be the safest for everybody,” he said.  “We’re going to do our best to transition into whatever normalcy that we can.”