In a special-called meeting on July 30, the Clinton Public School District’s (CPSD) Board of Trustees revised their plan to reopen campuses to students for the 2020-2021 school year.
The original plan called for all students to return in person to campus in two “teams” beginning August 13 and 14, with a hybrid schedule that put each set of students on campus only two days a week until at least August 31.
However, after discussions with state health officials and local physicians, CPSD’s Superintendent Dr. Tim Martin recommended the board amend Clinton’s Return to School Plan.
The recommended amendment is to have K-6 elementary students follow the earlier proposed hybrid plan and extend it through the Labor Day break (September 4). Team Clinton’s first day will still be August 13, and Team Arrows’ first day will still be August 14.
All secondary students will begin classes virtually on August 13 and continue virtually until at least the Labor Day break. Those grades who are on an A/B schedule will follow their schedules daily. Teachers will be on campus providing live instruction for the full school day, and students will connect to each class using Canvas and Zoom.
Dr. Martin pointed out that the district’s virtual instruction model going into the fall will have different expectations than the close of the 2019-2020 school year.
“We will utilize Canvas and Zoom, so that teachers can offer live instruction, and so that students can ask questions in real time,” Dr. Martin expressed.
“Attendance will be taken daily, and classes will be in session for our students,” Dr. Martin added. “Expectations will be as they always are, and the rigor will still be present in our lessons.”
During the week of August 24, district officials will reassess how campuses will operate beyond the Labor Day break.
“The overall goal is to get students back on campus and in the classroom,” Dr. Martin stated. “If the numbers do what we hope they will do, we will work towards achieving that goal.”
Parents still have the option to choose virtual-only schooling for their children – elementary and secondary – for the entire first nine-week period, in the event they don’t want to send their children back to campus. Students who are classified as virtual-only will forfeit their opportunity to participate in the extracurricular activities of the district. In addition, elementary virtual-only students should not attend Meet the Teacher days for their school.
Currently, for kindergarten through fifth grade, the district plans to have one designated teacher per grade level who is dedicated to the virtual-only learning students. These students will be on the virtual schedule (not the hybrid schedule), beginning with their first day of school. Sixth grade students who have elected to be virtual-only for the first nine-week period will only have virtual school on their “team” day during the first and any subsequent weeks that the school schedule is hybrid. Virtual-only secondary students will be expected to join their classes daily by Zoom beginning August 13, as well as daily once in-person school resumes.
For Clinton Park, Northside, Eastside and Lovett students, the student bodies are divided into two “teams” – Team Clinton and Team Arrows. Team Clinton will be comprised of students whose last names begin with the letters A through J. Team Arrows will be those students with last names beginning with K through Z. Siblings living in the same household but with different last names will be assigned to the same Team.
Beginning August 13, elementary Team Clinton will attend their first day of in-person school, attending all classes for an entire day of school. On August 14, elementary Team Arrows students will have their first day of school.
For the next three weeks, elementary Team Clinton will attend school classes in person on Mondays and Tuesdays, while elementary Team Arrows will attend on Thursdays and Fridays. On the Wednesdays of those first three weeks, students will not report to campus; those days will be reserved for teacher workdays and deep cleaning. For the days students are not on campus during those three weeks, they will be given assignments that they can do at home, said Martin.
School district officials have been working with area after-school centers regarding the hybrid schedule, and they reported that most of the centers will be offering childcare options to accommodate parents who must still work regular hours during the hybrid school weeks.
Dr. Martin also addressed the district’s approach to extracurricular activities during the amended start of the school year.
“Our fall sports and activities such volleyball, cross country, football, swimming and band will continue to practice as they normally would under MHSAA guidelines,” Dr. Martin said. “Sports not in season will begin meeting once we get on-campus school back in place.”
Dr. Martin stressed to the board that the ultimate goal is to get teachers and students back in the classroom in the safest way possible.
“We want to get students back in school, but we want to do this in a safe approach for students and staff. We’re asking the community to help us by doing your part,” he said. “Help us slow the spread, so we can get kids back in school.”
Parents of elementary and secondary students wishing to have their child classified as a virtual learner are still asked to complete the Updated Virtual Student Request Form and submit it to their child’s principal. Students who are classified as virtual students will be designated as such for the first nine-week period and may return to face-to-face instruction beginning at the start of the second nine-week period on October 12.
Students who choose to remain virtual students after October 12 will remain virtual for the remainder of the fall semester.
Bus transportation will be provided for students this year, with drivers equipped with personal protective equipment and students wearing masks through the duration of their route. Riders will be placed one per seat unless they are members of the same household, and will sit next to the window/wall.
All buses will be thoroughly cleaned between and after routes.
First grade through sixth grade students will register in person on August 10 and 11 and will be divided between those two days by last name/family. Online registration for all secondary (seventh through twelfth) grades will begin August 3.
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