Reopening Plan

School Reopening Plan
UPDATE - December 17, 2020

Learning Models Set For Spring Semester

At their business meeting Thursday night, the School Board designated a return to full in-person learning as the primary learning model for all students, PreK-12th grades, beginning with the start of the spring semester on January 25. This marks a shift away from the hybrid model for grades 6-12 that has been in place since the start of the school year. PreK-5th grades have been full in-person since school started. 100% virtual will continue to be an option for families through the remainder of this school year.

“The hybrid model served us well in grades 6-12 to get the school year started with so many unknowns. Half the school year has now passed and there has not been significant spread of the coronavirus in area middle and high schools where learning has been 100% in-person. The Board feels strongly that it is time to allow all middle school and high school students back into schools every day, as long as gating criteria conditions are met. Students will stay engaged with their teachers every day, even on days when we are not able to have in-person school. This daily personal engagement with teachers was not possible using the hybrid approach.” - Eddie Saffell, School Board President

The Board also authorized gating criteria, which are conditions that need to be met for in-person learning to remain in place. Daily monitoring of our school substitute fill rate is the dominant gating criteria for our ability to maintain in-person learning. The school substitute fill rate is reported as a percentage of school staff absences filled with a substitute, divided by the total school staff absences for the day that require a substitute. The district’s daily school substitute fill rate will be reported on our COVID-19 District Dashboard on the district website each afternoon beginning January 4. A school substitute fill rate below 65% for five consecutive days would result in a shift to full virtual learning, most likely for two weeks. Community data that will also be closely monitored include the total cases per 100,000 and the 14-day positivity rate in Eastern Jackson County.

The sub fill rates of individual departments, including transportation, food service, and custodial/operations, also impacts our ability to safely operate and to provide supporting services. Absences in these departments will continue to be closely monitored and any disruptions to services will be shared with those impacted.

We will try to give families and staff at least two days’ notice before any shift to full virtual. A shift to full virtual could be for any length of time, but would most likely be for one to two weeks to give those who are under a two-week quarantine or isolation the time needed to return to work and improve our school substitute fill rate to a tolerable level. Priority will be given to keeping elementary schools and early childhood programs in-person if a shift to virtual learning is needed in some but not all schools.

Wearing a mask and other safety protocols will continue to be emphasized in our schools. Social distancing is not feasible in classrooms with 15+ students, but all students have assigned seating to keep the same close circle of classmates together each day.

When the school district’s gating criteria warrants virtual learning, all students will receive instruction at home similar to what has been experienced by middle school and high school students since Thanksgiving, and what elementary students experienced just before Thanksgiving, when students followed a modified class schedule and used Google Meet to connect with their teachers and classes each day.

Virtual Option

All families will continue to have the option of 100% virtual for their children. Families have until the end of the day on Thursday, January 7 to select 100% virtual for their child for 3rd quarter. This deadline is firm because many middle school and high school students’ class schedules will need to be re-worked before the start of 2nd semester due to the shift from the hybrid model and due to changes in our 100% virtual for grades 6-12. Enrollment information for 100% virtual is available at “Instructional Options” under the Reopening Plan tab on our website. Students who have previously been 100% virtual will need to register their intention to remain virtual or return to full in-person by January 7. No action is needed for families who plan to transition from hybrid to full in-person learning.

Families whose high school children have been 100% virtual this fall will notice significant changes beginning January 25. Beginning with the start of the new semester, all high school students who have elected to remain 100% virtual will be expected to be on a Google Meet call at the start of each of their class periods throughout each school day. These students will receive direct instruction from the teacher with their in-person peers for the first 30 minutes of each class period, followed by 15 minutes of teacher support of virtual students, before leaving the call to complete their learning tasks independently. These students will need to keep a protected and devoted learning schedule as though they were in school. Not all courses are available to students who are enrolled in 100% virtual.

The experience for middle school students who are 100% virtual will depend on the number of students who are enrolled in virtual learning. If the numbers remain roughly where they are now, then the middle school virtual instruction will continue to be led by teachers devoted to virtual instruction - the same as during 1st semester. If enrollment grows significantly, then the model will shift to resemble what was previously described for 100% virtual at the high school. We will follow up with all families who register their middle school child in 100% virtual after January 7 with more information.

The learning experience for elementary and early childhood students in 100% virtual will continue to look mostly as it did for the fall semester unless enrollment in 100% virtual among elementary students increases significantly.

More details on what families can expect from a 3rd quarter and 4th quarter 100% virtual learning experience, including possible scenarios for middle school students, are located under the “Instructional Options” section under the School Reopening tab on our website.

Course/Class Schedules - All in-person middle school students will follow their seven-hour class schedule each day beginning January 25. High school students will follow their eight-course A-day/B-day schedule as in previous school years. Students will no longer take just four courses per quarter as had been in place this fall. This change affects both our in-person students and those in 100% virtual.

Class schedules for many middle school and high school students will need to be re-worked before the start of 2nd semester due to the district’s shift from the hybrid model and due to changes in our 100% virtual for grades 6-12. These schedule changes will impact many students who remain in-person as well as those in 100% virtual.

Grades 6-12 to Remain 100% Virtual Through January 22

At their business meeting Thursday night, the board also voted to keep all middle school and high school learning fully virtual through January 22. Making this decision now ensures families have time to plan for three more weeks of virtual and continues the structure of the daily Google Meet class schedule these students have been using since just before Thanksgiving. Instruction for students in grades 6-12 returns to full in-person on January 25, the first day of 3rd quarter/2nd semester. Elementary and early childhood students return to full in-person on January 4.

Instructional Options

Health and Safety

Frequently Asked Questions

Staff Reopening Information

Health and Safety Summary

Deadline for Requesting Virtual Model

January 7 is the deadline to request virtual instruction for the third quarter, which begins on January 25. Students who have previously been 100% virtual will also need to register their intention to remain virtual by January 7.

Register for 100% Virtual Learning


Help With Internet Access At Home

Wireless hotspots are available for families who need devices to help with internet connectivity at home. A wireless hotspot uses cellular data to broadcast a wireless signal to allow a computer to connect to the internet. Click the button below for more information and to request a device. Families who borrowed devices last spring will need to request a device again this fall if needed.

Request Hotspot

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