By ERIC VICCARO
STE. GENEVIEVE HERALD
Ste. Genevieve R-II School District’s Board of Education met on July 21 in the high school commons, its first in-person gathering in four months.
The board convened to discuss whether to have in-person, on-campus instruction for the Fall 2020 semester or not – with COVID-19 (coronavirus) still playing a major role in the decision-making process.
“We would love to have everybody back in school,” said SG R-II assistant superintendent Dr. Paul Taylor. “We are (currently) sending out information to families, and we will identify our plan.”
Meanwhile, a few blocks away at Valle Catholic Schools, it’s “full steam ahead” for in-person, on-campus instruction.
“My fellow school administrators here and elsewhere all agree how difficult it is to make decisions that have no precedent,” said Rev. Edward Nemeth, president of Valle Catholic Schools, “and will only be judged with the luxury of hindsight.
“Regardless, we move forward making the best decisions possible with the best information at hand,” Nemeth continued, “in consultation with medical and communal health experts.”
Nemeth reported in a Facebook post dated on Wednesday, July 22, a full set of policies and procedures will be released the first week of August – coinciding with plans from other schools in the Mineral Area Activities Association.
Nemeth stated that students will not be required to wear face coverings during the entire school day. However, middle and high school students will be required to wear a face shield (provided by the school) during passing time or other cases.
Teachers may require, however, face shields to be worn in their individual classrooms, Nemeth added.
Both SG R-II and Valle Catholic Schools have been in consultation with the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department. Both systems will run using local health department directives.
Tentatively, Valle Catholic will begin its school year on Wednesday, August 19 – with Ste. Genevieve starting on Monday, August 24.
New teacher professional development days are expected to begin Aug. 12 for SG R-II. Elementary school registration is set for Aug. 10-11, with middle and high school Aug. 12-13. So, the calendar is flipping fast toward a possible re-opening.
Taylor reported various grade levels will have differing instructional options.
From kindergarten through fifth grade, there are three models in play – traditional, blended and what’s considered alternative methods of instruction, or AMI.
Sixth through 12th-grade students have been offered either blending learning or AMI.