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Appo schools expect to end on time

Amanda Parrish * Delaware
aparrish@doverpost.com
Middletown Transcript

When Gov. John Carney announced schools would be closed until May 15, he said schools will not remain in session beyond June 30. Based on the academic calendar changes approved by the Appoquinimink Board of Education, the district does not expect this to be a problem.

Unless there are “unforeseen circumstances,” Superintendent Matt Burrows said during the April 9 online Appo school board meeting he expects school to end around the same time as originally scheduled. That’s with the shift to remote learning and missing days of instruction due to the software, Schoology, crashing.

On Appo’s first day of remote learning March 30, the state reported a record volume of more than 600,000 users. That caused the website to crash, according to the district. Burrows said the site was working again by the end of the week.

Based on guidance from the Delaware Department of Education students need a certain number of hours of instruction, and teachers have to meet a certain number of working days for the year.

Ray Gravuer, the chair of the committee that plans Appo’s academic calendar, said those in grades K-11 need to hit 1,060 hours, 1,032 hours for seniors, 188 days for teachers and 185 days for paraprofessionals.

Burrows said the state will count remote learning days and hours toward student and teacher requirements, but board president Richard Forsten questioned if the other board members were satisfied with counting them.

As parents with children in the district, board member Michelle Wall and Burrows strongly agreed with the state’s decision.

The board approved moving the last day for seniors to June 1 from June 2 due to the revised presidential primary date. June 2 is now a professional development day. K-11 students' last day will still be June 11. Teachers’ final day was moved from June 16 to June 22 to make sure they hit their contractually-obligated work days.

Appo plans to resume in person May 18, unless the governor amends his directive.