Ontario Middle School. (The Enterprise/Rachel Parsons)

ONTARIO – After a return to in-person instruction on Feb. 10 for Ontario Middle School’s 364 students, the Ontario School District has decided to move them to a four-day in-person schedule beginning April 9.

The change replaces a five-day schedule in which teachers were instructing students both in-person and online simultaneously. Now, that simultaneous instruction will continue Mondays through Thursdays, with Fridays becoming an online-only learning day for students to work on their own.

“That (teaching style) was an enormous workload for everybody,” said Lisa Longoria, Ontario Middle School principal. “It was interfering with the ability to have those one-on-one relationships and support.”

Fridays now will be a day when students and teachers will catch up not just with any work they may be missing, but with one another. 

Longoria shared feedback from teachers who said they would use the time to create “effective lessons” and “provide feedback to students and contact with parents and families.” 

Longoria said she hoped the shift would “give kids an opportunity to get a hold of their teachers, and open a two-way communication where the student doesn’t have to be logged into the classroom at a certain time, but they can (still) talk to their teachers.” 

Ontario’s elementary schools have had a four-day in-person schedule with online learning on Fridays since Feb. 10. 

Longoria said that other principals said that “it’s working well and that they’re able to communicate more, reach out to students and families.” 

News tip? Contact reporter Liliana Frankel at [email protected] or 267-981-5577.

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