Verdigris Public Schools approves flexible re-entry plan

Parents of two Verdigris students spoke to the school board Monday about what they felt would be an age appropriate blended option for their first and third grade children. The current proposal does not included a blended option for elementary students.

The Verdigris Public School Board approved a re-entry plan as they prepare for school to get back into session in four weeks.

The key component of the plan is that students and parents will have the choice between three back to school options: all on-site, blended, and full-time online.

School board officials emphasized, above all else, that the plan is subject to change both before and during the school year as circumstances arise.

School Board President Kandy Collins said, “COVID-19 in an unprecedented circumstance. This is an unprecedented time that none of us ever expected or ever could have fully planned for.”

“It’s also a very fluid situation. Numbers are changing regularly,” Collins said. “At the end of the day, we are in a totally different situation than we were this time 30 days ago. We’re in a different situation that we were back when school was cancelled. That situation is going to change, for better or worse, between now and school starting … Even once we adopt a plan for re-entry, that plan is going to be fluid.”

As of the Monday night meeting, masks will be strongly encouraged while students and faculty are on campus, but not required. There may be certain areas on campus where social distancing is not possible, and so masks will be required.

“Mask is the new four letter word. You’re either on one side or the other. It’s become a divisive issue, and that’s too bad,” Superintendent Mike Payne said. “We know the best way to prevent the spread is for everybody to wear a mask.”

“Evidence continues to say that masks help to interrupt the spread of the virus, and that they protect both the wearer, and other people,” Collins said.

VPS IT Director Denton Holland said each of the school offices will be equipped with a thermal scanner and camera with facial recognition software. Students and staff entering the building with have their temperature scanned, and anyone with a fever over 100 degrees will be sent home. School bus riders will have their temperature taken as the board, and students over 100 degrees will not be allowed to board the school bus.

VPS has also acquired 900 Chrome Book laptops so that every student from the fifth grade up can be issued a personal computer for use, regardless of which of the three options they take

“We’re not where we thought we would be in July,” Payne said. “Everybody is through with COVID-19, but COVID-19 is not through with us.”

Collins said, “The most important thing that everybody has to remember is that our intent is to keep our staff, our students, our community, and their families safe.”

Option 1: All on-site (preK-12th)

Traditional, in-person learning with social interactions between peers and staff, immediate access to libraries and materials, and participation in extra-curricular activities.

Distance learning days may be utilized in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks in the school or community.

Students who take sick days can have those days counted as school days instead of absences if they complete their schoolwork virtually in the allotted time.

Temperature checks will be required for every student and staff member before getting on a school bus or entering a school building. Students who develop a fever or other symptoms of illness will be isolated from peers and parents will be called to check the student out for the day.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be allowed to return to school after they receive two consecutive negative tests, with test conducted at least 24 hours apart.

Students with other illnesses will be permitted to return to school 24 hours after fever or other contagious symptoms have subsided, as per existing protocol.

Only students, staff, and essential visitors will be permitted to enter the building. All non-essential visits will be prohibited.

Students are automatically enrolled in option one unless they opt into option two or three by July 31.

Option 2: Blended (7th-12th)

Students will be enrolled in Verdigris Public Schools, but will take the majority of their courses online. Students in blended option will have the ability to participate in extra-curricular activities.

Choosing this option requires a semester-long commitment to stick with the option, and requires and application process.

Curriculum and coursework will be determined by the instructional software, not be a Verdigris Public Schools teacher.

Student learning plans and coursework completion will be directed and monitored by a Verdigris Public School teacher.

The only school funded transportation will be the traditional morning and afternoon bus-routes, so students needing to arrive at or leave the campus in the middle of the school day will have to arrange alternate transportation.

Applications for the fall semester must be submitted by July 31.

Option 3: All on-line (K-12th)

Students will be enrolled in Verdigris Public Schools, but will take all of their courses online and will not participate in extra-curricular activities.

Choosing this option requires a semester-long commitment and requires an application process.

Curriculum and coursework will be determined by the instructional software, not be a Verdigris Public Schools teacher.

Student learning plans and coursework completion will be directed and monitored by a Verdigris Public School teacher.

Applications for the fall semester must be submitted by July 31.

Locations

Recommended for you