More Ketchikan School District parents spoke out against the district's draft reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year during the Ketchikan School Board's regular meeting Wednesday evening.
Eight parents spoke for more than an hour total during the public comment portion of the meeting, all criticizing the district's revisions to its Smart Start reopening plan that Superintendent Beth Lougee announced on Tuesday evening.
Under the original plan, which the board unanimously approved at its May 27 regular meeting, students would learn through a mix of in-person and remote teaching methods according to the community's risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus.
At the board's June 11 regular meeting, more than 20 district parents expressed dismay with a host of aspects of the draft plan.
Parents on Wednesday reiterated concerns expressed at the board's June 11 meeting that students would not be able to learn effectively with remote teaching methods and with fewer opportunities to socialize with peers. Several said the district needed to think of more creative solutions that would allow students to continue to learn in person, rather than relying on remote teaching methods.
Lougee said that she understood the parents' concerns and emphasized that the draft plan approved on May 27 was always intended to be a continuous project. She said that she will make sure parents are informed as district administrators make decisions, and thanked community members who spoke Wednesday for sharing their thoughts.
"We are listening. We will continue to listen," Lougee said.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, the board unanimously voted to approve $1.36 million in routine end-of-year budget transfers for the district.
Further coverage of Wednesday's board meeting will be published in a future edition of the Daily News.