By the Tuesday deadline, the parents of 1,413 Springfield elementary and middle school students switched how their children will be learning in January.
The majority, 87 percent, were moving from virtual learning to in person.
Superintendent John Jungmann provided an update during the Tuesday board meeting and the district followed-up with final numbers Wednesday.
Of the 1,236 shifts from virtual learning to in person, 722 were elementary and 514 were middle school.
“The majority of those we’re seeing is virtual to seated, knowing that we all want our kids in more of a seated environment, maybe overtime they have not been successful or they are more secure moving into that seated environment,” he said.
This fall, 25 percent of all elementary students, kindergarten through fifth grade, learn virtually, and that is projected to drop to 16 percent in the spring.
For middle school, 27 percent of students learn virtually this semester and that will drop to 20 percent next semester.
The parents of 177 K-8 students switched from in person to virtual learning for the next semester including 49 in elementary and 128 in middle school.
“We’ll still run full virtual and full seated options,” he said.
Due to the pandemic, the district offered parents two options for the fall semester: virtual full-time or a hybrid model with two days of in person learning and three days of virtual. In recent weeks, K-8 students in hybrid model moved to four days of in person.
The hybrid model for high school has remained two days of in person and three virtual and that is expected to remain in place for the start of the spring semester.
Top district officials have repeatedly said they want to resume in person learning for up to five days a week and will make that decision “in real time” based on the numbers and input from the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
Jungmann said setting staggered windows for parents to inform the district of a change helps with the planning and staffing process.
Parents of students in grades 9-12 have until Nov. 24 to notify their child’s school of any switch, in person to virtual or virtual to in person.
“I know it’s really hard for parents to choose,” he said. “…But there is a lot of work to do in order to prepare for second semester and we can’t let you choose on Dec. 20 and have all the right staff assigned and the schedules built in order to start school.”
In the board update, Jungmann said a portion of the students who opted not to enroll in the fall — mostly in the early grades — are starting to return. He said a majority of them were taught at home.
“We also know that we lost kids. If we looked at our enrollment trend from the beginning of the year, we were down nearly 1,500 kids,” he said.
He said families started to re-enroll students when the district moved to four days of in person learning for K-8 and talk about plans for the spring semester.
“We have had a total of 290 students re-enroll, 208 at the K-8 level,” he said.
Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to email@example.com.