By ERIC X. VICCARO
Ste. Genevieve Herald
Dealing Ste. Genevieve R-II School District unveiled its 2020-21 calendar year reopening plan on Friday evening.
The focal point of the plan is that it allows flexibility for parents as they handle the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic – which is entering its seventh month affecting the United States.
“It was a collaborative effort,” said school district communications specialist Bailey Otto. “We reached out to parents and community members.”
The school district had a special meeting on the matter this past Monday in the R.W. Thomas Library projection room. The first day of school is set for Aug. 24.
Parents were asked to fill out a lengthy survey.
However, the most important question boiled down to a ranking system based on parental preference for traditional, blending or virtual learning environments.
“There were enough parents who voted for all three options as their first choice that we decided to offer all of them,” Otto noted. “So, multiple options is the direction we are going in.”
School officials thanked parents, faculty, staff and the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department for their input with the reopening plan.
Elementary school parents who have not filled out the survey yet must contact their building sites (Ste. Genevieve or Bloomsdale) this week to indicate their preferred method of instruction, Otto said.
The survey for high school and middle school parents will be online through today.
Additionally, families who have not yet completed online registration, should do so immediately. Information on how to access and complete it was included in a summer packet mailed to parents.
Ste. Genevieve and Bloomsdale Elementary Schools will be offering traditional, virtual and blended learning.
“All students will remain with the option they choose for the entire semester,” said literature in the 30-page reopening plan, “so please weigh all of your options and decide what will work best for your child over the next several months.”
The district explains all instruction will follow normal grade-level curriculum, with traditional grading criteria.
Otto explained additional reasons for offering all three learning methods were social support, access to the food service and other provisions related to child care.
In the traditional model, students will attend in person five days per week with face coverings required during certain periods – on buses and during passing time. Students will stay with the same group of peers each day.
In blended learning, students will attend in person two or three times per week. Attendance days will be determined by each school. New instruction will occur on days when the student is in attendance.
Virtual instruction means what it says, with the following requirements: daily participation, engagement with material, assignment completion, meeting assigned due dates and attending scheduled online meetings.
SGHS AND SGMS
At the middle school and high school level, blended and virtual instruction will be offered.
Students choosing virtual instruction will continue to participate in the Missouri Assessment Program. Students choosing virtual courses will be subject to district policies.
In the blended setting, students will attend two days per week. The attendance days will be chosen by each school.
Non-attendance days will feature virtual learning from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Remote assignments will be graded and students will be accountable for all their work.
Otto reported the district has ordered face shields and masks for staff. They will be worn when in close proximity to other staff and students, the reopening plan explains. Two masks and one face shield has been purchased on the district’s dime.
Even though the district will not administer temperature checks inside the building, employees and students will still participate in daily screening. New thermometers have been purchased, regardless, in case of dire health circumstances.
Students also will be asked to bring their own water bottle, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, depending on availability, as part of the school supply list.