Area schools are gearing up for the upcoming year, and several have announced their tentative plans to hold classes as the coronavirus pandemic continues raging.
In Webbers Falls, the first day of school will be Thursday, Aug. 13. Because of the coronavirus, school officials have created two options: face-to-face learning or virtual learning.
“We realize that there may be a few parents or guardians who would prefer their child or children to not return to a traditional brick-and-mortar school setting. Webbers Falls schools will offer a full-time virtual option, but officials need to know in advance whether this is the option you will be choosing so school staff can begin preparations. The school released the following statement:
“Keep in mind the following: Students who are 100 percent virtual will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities. Also, if you choose 100 percent online, you must remain in this setting until the end of the semester, which is Dec. 17. If you believe virtual learning is best for your child(ren), please call the school at (918) 464-2580 to let us know. Officials will need to know the name of your child and what grade he or she will be in. Also, do not come to pick up the enrollment packets until we officially announce they are ready.”
Students who have limited or no Internet access will be assigned a T-Mobile hot spot that will give them connectivity for the most part in any location in the district free of charge. All school policies will be in effect in regard to the use of computers and hot spot devices and students will be required to only use the device for educational services directly related to Webbers Falls Public School. The hot spot device is equipped with content filtering applications that will notify the proper authorities if the device is used in an inappropriate manner.
The traditional classroom option will consist of a hybrid learning approach, with students in PreK-12th grades enrolled in classes in the usual setting and they will follow the lesson plans of their teacher or teacher using Google Classroom. This approach will allow for temporary or extended outages that may arise from virus-related issues. A daily check-in form will be kept by the student’s teachers and as long as assignments are completed satisfactorily and on time, absences will not be counted against the students.
The virtual learning option is available for students in 6th-12th grades. The students will use Edgenuity, a complete online, self-paced program separate from the regular classroom.
Students or parents interested in the virtual option should call and set up an appointment to meet with the principal and virtual learning teacher. This meeting will be an intake meeting to review the process and procedures and determine if this option is best for the student. Any student who enrolls in the virtual learning program will be required to finish the semester before being allowed back to the traditional classroom approach.
Gore Public Schools will follow all CDC, state and Oklahoma State Department of Education guidelines for opening. The first day of school for students will be Thursday, Aug. 27. Please refer to the school website for the entire school calendar on the main page, under the latest news link. Specifics on reopening will be posted on the school’s website and Facebook by Aug. 15, when it will have the most current CDC and state guidelines. The option for Gore students to go virtual will be available. The specifics on this option will be released by Aug. 15.
For Roland the 2020-21 school year will begin as scheduled on Thursday, Aug. 13, with extensive safety measures in place. The school district will monitor data related to COVID-19 throughout the school year. Decisions regarding the school calendar or attendance will be based on the most current statistics and with the advice of state and local health agencies. New developments or directives could cause other formats for classes to be considered, please be aware that plans are subject to change if events or new directives warrant.
The school is offering the following two options for students:
*Resume classes as scheduled Aug. 13.
*The regular school calendar will be followed
*Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures are in place for staff
*Students and staff will have increased access to sanitizer and handwashing opportunities
*Masks are required on buses. The school district will have disposable masks available, but it is highly suggested that students provide their own masks
*Masks are optional but recommended for students and staff during the school day. State guidance on this may be coming soon
*Health screening procedures will be in place for students, staff and visitors
*Students and staff are required to stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms
*New cafeteria procedures will be in place to allow for social distancing.
*Virtual classes will be available. Students will complete coursework through an online platform
*The decision to attend virtual classes should be made after careful consideration because of the level of commitment required from parents or guardians
*Attendance in virtual classes will be a semester-long commitment. A student will not be able to change from one platform to the other until the end of the semester.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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