Both teachers and families in the Colonial School District remain split on the learning approach they'd like to see their schools to take to start the 2020-21 school year.

In a staff preference study discussed during Tuesday's board meeting, District Superintendent Jeff Menzer said 668 teachers responded, with 43% preferring to start virtual, 38% face-to-face, and 19% being fine with either of the two models. 

Menzer added the district has not reached the point where they can meet their teachers' preference requests.

The district has already announced that William Penn High School will start remotely, but Pre-K through 8th grade families were given an option, with the caveat that anyone opting for remote learning had to stay that way through the end of the first semester in mid-January.

61% of over 4,300 parents to respond have chosen remote instruction, while 39% want face-to-face. Both would be provided for five days a week.

Menzer said he's getting reminders how important it is to get any decisions right.

"I got my first email from a parent this week that said 'I chose face-to-face for my child because I believe that it's the best way to learn, and it's important, but I'm trusting you with my child's life."

Colonial's staff are expected to begin on August 24, with the first day of class, in-person or remote, set for Tuesday, September 8.