WORTHINGTON — The Independent School District 518 Board of Education engaged in impassioned discussion Tuesday night about the right course of action for the 2020-2021 school year.

"This COVID thing ... we can't just sit back and wait for this to be over," said board chair Brad Shaffer.

While the district did distance learning the best it could this spring, he added, kids need face-to-face interaction every day.

"Our kids can't be collateral damage," Shaffer said, advocating for opening in-person school in the fall.

Worthington High School principal Josh Noble came to the defense of his team.

"I want to give our staff a tremendous amount of credit," he said.

Noble explained that teachers across the district worked in a short amount of time to adapt their curricula to distance learning, and spent the last several weeks of the school year delivering lessons remotely while also monitoring the general well-being of their students.

While distance learning did have a few hiccups in the spring, Noble conceded, it will be better in the fall, since teachers will have had more time to prepare and more experience teaching from a distance.

The school board will make a final decision about school after the state releases recommendations next week.

In other school board news, members voted unanimously to approve a three-credit math program (which meets the state standard), down from a four-credit plan, following a committee discussion last week. This change will make it so that students who are at grade-level math do not have to take a math class as seniors that covers concepts they have already learned.

The board also:

  • Set the third Tuesday of the month at 5:15 as regular school board meeting dates and times for 2020-2021
  • Approved The Globe as its official publication
  • Approved milk and bread bids for 2020-2021
  • Passed a resolution to call the school district general election
  • Passed a resolution suspending policies that conflict with executive orders