One fourth of Aurora students will be online

Some virtual instruction in school for larger classes

APRIL HELMS Reporter
The Aurora City Schools Board of Education and administration is still fine-tuning plans for the new school year.

AURORA – The administration with the Aurora City School’s back to school plan will have students in the buildings as much as possible, with virtual instruction offered for both safety and for larger classes for the older students.

The Aurora school board unanimously approved the plan at its July 27 meeting, which includes a combination of in-person and virtual learning.

Michael Roberto, who officially became district superintendent Aug. 1, said 76% of families responded they would prefer their children to attend school in the buildings, with 24% preferring to have their children take all of their courses online. This was with about 93 percent of the districts’ students names registered, he added.

Details on the district’s reopening plan are available at www.aurora-schools.org.

Roberto added during the meeting “a little more than half of the parents” planned to provide their own transportation for their children.

“If this number climbs,” Roberto said, “we might need to implement state minimum busing. I wanted to put this on the board’s radar in case we need to make changes.”

Student desks will be 4 feet apart, with safety shields in all grades over kindergarten.

To cut down on interpersonal contact, a modified block schedule will be in place for 6th through 12th grade. Steps will be taken in lower grades to limit the number of different people in classrooms. Class sizes will be limited to 24 in elementary grades, and 20 in middle and high school grades.

Because some classes at the middle and high school are larger than 20 students, students will be in the same room with the teacher for three out of four sessions, attending every fourth class virtually from a different location on a rotating basis, Roberto said.

“One such alternate setting could be the school library,” Roberto said previously.

Students who have a severe cough, rapid breathing, vomiting or loss of taste or smell will not be allowed in school.

Students, staff and teachers will be required to wear masks, with limited exceptions.

Families of kindergartners who opt for all-online courses will be registered as a part-time kindergarten student and will not be charged tuition.

Students in sixth through 12th grade in the online only program will have the same teacher, the same Google classroom and will be following the same block schedule as other students. In addition, teachers will be available for office hours either before or after school.

New student orientation for students in sixth through 12th grade is Aug. 25; the first day for all students is Aug. 26.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com