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Canfield plans online academy for students

CANFIELD — The Canfield Local School District is looking to offer a nontraditional way for students to stay updated on their studies next school year.

During a recent board of education meeting, board members and Superintendent Joseph Knoll discussed creating a digital academy.

Knoll said the decision to look into an online academy stems from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is in response to our concerns that we’re going to have some parents… still feel a little uncomfortable sending kids to school,” he said.

“This is our attempt to meet the needs of those families.”

Joseph Maroni, principal at Hilltop Elementary School, will be director of the online option, Knoll said.

Maroni is researching curriculum and vendors, he added.

Board members support the idea to move forward with a nontraditional education

setting in nontraditional times, said David Wilkeson, board president.

“One of the buildings could have an outbreak leaving that school in the district to shut down,” Wilkeson said, noting that as witnessed since March, mandates can change “at the drop of a hat.”

Once the district is ready to enroll students, Knoll said plans will be unveiled.

In addition to being ready for possible health-related closures, the district also is offering the online schooling to help students who may not perform well in a traditional classroom setting, both Knoll and Wilkeson said.

“This is another pathway, a tool on our toolbelt,” Knoll said. “It’s a win-win.”

The online academy also will be helpful as some teachers won’t be coming back in the fall.

Wilkeson said that the online courses come at a time when the board conducted surveys to gather data about returning to school.

Saying that there are concerns from staff and parents alike about returning to school, Wilkeson said that some older teachers may also be at risk for infection. Some have retired, which is also a cost-saving measure.

afox@tribtoday.com

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