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Capital plans for combination of in-person and online classes

School board to decide on hybrid model Oct. 20

Emily Lytle
Dover Post
Kindergarten teachers line up along the front of East Dover Elementary greeting students as they drive by for the start of the school year. Classes are online now, but the school board will vote on a partially in-person plan Oct. 20.

While Capital School District has faced new challenges since students and faculty started the year online on Sept. 8, Interim Superintendent Sylvia Henderson said there have been some bright spots. 

Henderson said she has seen the relationship and communication strengthen between families and the district. 

“Our parents have been great. They’ve been supportive and very understanding,” she said. “We really appreciate when they reach out, so we can problem-solve together.”

As students continue online learning through the end of this month and most of October, Henderson gave a brief update about remote learning and the proposed hybrid model, a combination of in-person and online classes, in an interview with the Dover Post. 

Remote learning

Before the school year started for Capital students, teachers spent eight days preparing for the fall. Henderson said that helped make the opening days and weeks smoother, but “it has been stressful because it’s new, and it’s different [from] the normal way that we’ve started school.”

The district has been troubleshooting sporadic connectivity issues on a day-to-day basis. Attendance has hovered around 90%, which Henderson said is slightly lower than a typical year. She said working remotely has made it more difficult to confirm which students are still a part of the district to get a final count.

A scene from the Dover High School ninth grade drive-thru to pick up class materials.

Students and families have been taking advantage of opportunities to connect through virtual open houses, meet-the-teacher events and drive thru beep-and-greets. 

Another positive is when students can see their teachers in the classroom, Henderson said.

“Because they’re remote, we have seen a lot of teachers use the classroom and the buildings to teach from,” she said.

Hybrid option

Capital school board members unanimously voted Aug. 6 to start school online until the Oct. 20 board meeting, when they will vote on a hybrid model.

In this model, families can choose between two options: 

1. Students come into the school building two days a week and learn from home for three days. 

2. Students continue learning remotely for five days a week.

Henderson sent a survey to all families, and they have until Sept. 30 to decide whether they feel comfortable going back to school buildings. Everyone who doesn’t respond will automatically enroll in a completely online plan. 

To view the Oct. 20 meeting, visit https://www.capital.k12.de.us/discover_capital/public_meetings