The following is an announcement from Superintendent Embray from April 3:
Today we met as an administrative team to go through the survey data that was collected from both parents and teachers over the past couple of days. We really appreciate the feedback and are using that data to make informed decisions regarding our direction of continuous learning. We need to inform the Department of Education no later than April 10th what our direction is. There was incorrect information in a newspaper article that appeared last night indicating that days needed to be made up if districts chose to do voluntary continuous learning. The days are only made up if districts do not choose one or the other options. Some districts can’t meet the requirements of voluntary so they would be making those days up at the end of the year. In our district, we feel extremely confident that we can meet the voluntary guidelines. Our discussions are over whether or not any level of our district should be in the required option. The state allows for hybrid models, so we can have it be voluntary at one grade and required at another. To go required at any level requires the district to make assurances about the delivery of instruction and how students are receiving feedback. We want to assure you that we are working very hard to ensure the plan we take will be beneficial to students at all levels. More information will be coming forth early next week.
That said, I strongly encourage students of all ages to be engaged in their opportunities right now. Especially at the secondary level. This is not a time to check out mentally. It has taken this long for guidance to schools to be drafted and all areas to have consideration. Students need to be doing whatever they can to stay current with what is available at this time. Parents, we totally understand the frustration that exists in this “optional” time and it makes us feel helpless when there used to be a united front on getting the engagement from your children regarding their work. Please keep up your efforts. This plea to stay engaged is not meant to overshadow the stress and frustrations that are appearing as we journey into the third week of online learning. If you need assistance or information about academics, mental wellness, and/or coping strategies, please do not hesitate in reaching out. We can help provide that or have someone help you.
Today it was announced that we have our first positive case of COVID-19 in Mills County. There is nothing new to do other than what has been stated one thousand times before. Stay home if you feel ill, cover coughs and sneezes, increase personal hygiene, and use social distancing whenever and wherever you are. We have been asked to consider shutting down our parking lots as they are starting to become congregating places for youth. At the writing of this memo, we are barricading off the school’s parking lots at the high school and middle school. High school staff will need to use the Redbud side entrance that goes in front of the building and loop back out. Middle school staff will need to use the front loop to access the building. These two entrances are for staff only. We know this will push students to another location, however, if we could get help from parents in keeping their student home; unless they run an errand for you and then come straight back home.
These are trying times, no doubt about, The measures we are taking to help follow the guidelines to some may make us appear uncaring, however, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We don’t want anyone else getting COVID-19 and we want everyone to be healthy and stay healthy. We appreciate all the support thus far and pray that you are all safe and well and taking care of yourselves.
Have as great a weekend that you can,
Devin 712-527-0087 cell