Lowellville parents upset in-person learning option was abruptly taken away from them

Local News

The Crilleys said the school board had been very transparent -- until recently, when they say the board decided to go solely remote without parent input

LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – On Monday, the Lowellville School Board abruptly decided to switch to remote learning only to start out the school year. The decision eliminated parents’ option for in-person learning for the first nine weeks. Two parents are not happy with it, saying there was a “lack of transparency” in how it was handled.

All was quiet Thursday afternoon outside of Lowellville Schools but three miles away, Chris and Gina Crilley decided not to remain quiet.

“A board meeting took place that the community did not know was occurring and there was no input at that meeting,” Chris said.

“We’re just in conversation with an attorney, just figuring out what our rights are here at this point and what we can do to get our kids back into the building. That’s what we want, that’s our choice that we want to make with our family and we feel that our decision is not being respected,” Gina said.

The Crilleys said the school board was very transparent, surveying parents and holding a public Zoom meeting, before deciding on the July 27 plan to provide both in-person and remote learning.

Then, to the Crilleys’ surprise, the board voted again Monday and decided to go solely remote. The superintendent cited the number of students and staff at-risk and not planning to return.

“In fact, when I’ve discussed it with them after, they will not say anything additional except there’s other things that go into the decision. The problem is, the public doesn’t know the other things that go into the decision,” Chris said.

The Crilleys want another meeting — this one open to the public. They are also supportive of parents and teachers who don’t want to participate in person.

“We respect not only the teachers’ decision to stay home and teach remotely, we respect the other parents who choose to keep their children home and learn remotely,” Gina said.

“Our kids need to be in school,” Chris said. “I have a child that is a type 1 diabetic that, maybe, is as high-risk as anybody. Our doctors are confident — ‘Send them to school.'”

We tried contacting the Lowellville superintendent and two members of the school board. At this point, we have not heard back from them.

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