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Parents disapprove of Pickerington schools hybrid learning proposal


Some parents of students attending Pickerington Local Schools are urging school administrators not to enact a hybrid learning schedule for junior high school students in the fall.

The hybrid learning plan was presented this week at a school board meeting. It would have 7th and 8th grade students take online classes two or three days a week to alleviate overcrowded buildings.

Parent Courtney Green has three students attending Pickerington Schools. Her 8th grader would be affected by the change in the fall.

"I would say this is not a good plan,” said Green. “I feel very strongly about that and supporting and advocating that we've got to have these kids in school five days a week."

Green said she understood when district officials had to adjust in-classroom learning during the height of the pandemic, but believes now is different. Green believes there is enough space to teach all the children in the buildings. She does admit district officials need to plan for new buildings.

"The reality is, is we are going to hit a point of being overcrowded in the existing buildings that we have,” said Green.

Green said she has supported school levies in the past and will in the future.

"What I really think is important for the community to understand is this isn't just about people who have children currently in school,” said Green. “It is the entire community. It is those who want people to want to move here for the home values, to be in the community, to be in the district. And with that, we have to provide an attractive reason to be here."

Since 2017, three ballot issues for schools have failed. Green said she does not think school officials are using the hybrid learning proposal to convince Pickerington voters to approve a new levy.

"We can't change the fact that those [levies] haven't passed, but what we can do is really as a community understand that this is where we are, accept that we need to rally around this as a community to provide these buildings for these students and really get ready for that November bond campaign that is coming our way,” said Green.

Pickerington school officials were not available for an interview prior to this article being published. A spokeswoman sent an email stating that the “team is discussing the matter further and considering feedback.”

District administrators are expected to reach a final decision within two weeks.

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.