When I announced the Return to Learn plan in late July, part of the plan was to revisit how the district should deliver instruction for second quarter (October 26 –December 22). This reflection involves looking at how the current plan is working, what is not working, and the best path of the next academic quarter. As I have solicited input from staff, students, and parents, these are some patterns that have become apparent:
- Overall the district has been successful implementing social distancing, required face coverings, and sanitation routines.
- Up to this point, the district has minimized major disruption with the number of quarantined staff and students. We may be lucky or our procedures have helped, or a combination of both.
- Some students in grades 6-12 are not engaging on the online day. This is magnified at the high school given the fact that semester credit will be given on October 23.
- Some CHS honors and AP students struggling with 100% online learning are asking for some in-person delivery component.
- Attendance, particularly K-5 has been very good.
- Smaller class sizes across the district have helped teachers develop closer relationships and better meet student needs.
- Overall student discipline is down due to fewer students and new procedures.
- The students are getting into established routines and there is concern about change this early in the school year disrupting it.
Although we have minimized major disruptions, our district has been affected by positive COVID cases during the first six weeks of the school year. We have had an average of 3-4 positive cases of staff and students per week so far. The district is averaging 65 students and 8 staff members per week being quarantined due to testing positive or identified as a close contact by Clinton County Public Health. Compare this to the situation recently experienced at North Scott where their district was averaging between 200-280 students quarantined per day eventually closing their high school. We believe our procedures of social distancing, required face coverings, and sanitation routines have helped minimize the number of close contacts and positive cases.
With the Governor’s new proclamation this past Tuesday, it is my hope that it may reduce the number of close contacts identified. According to Clinton County Public Health, social distancing and fidelity to wearing face masks over the nose and mouth will determine if we can keep more students in school.
Here will be the Return to Learn plan until December 22:
Elementary: The current delivery system will remain the same for grades PK-5. These students will continue to attend every day at their current building sites.
Clinton Middle School: CMS students will continue a hybrid Day 1/Day 2 cycle. For students who are not being successful on their online day, please reach out to your child’s teachers. I am aware of several interventions that have been implemented already.
Clinton High School: We realize some Honors and AP students need more in-person instructional support. Although teachers are reaching out to students and parents to schedule individual or small group work sessions, we understand the current student schedules do not line up with the available teacher times. The CHS Administration team has been reviewing teacher and student schedules to remove as many obstacles as possible so Honors and AP students could meet their teacher at least once a week. The CHS staff is relying heavily on the district’s Professional Learning Communities philosophy and sharing the best techniques to engage not only AP and Honors students, but all students. We realize that some of our students are not engaging during the online day, which makes them behind their peers during their onsite learning day. More information will be shared from the CHS Administrative team shortly on how student schedules may look differently, as well as how they will support all students who may be struggling.
This is a challenging time for all of us. I want to educate as many students in-person as possible and follow the health guidance on social distancing and required face coverings. We need to work together for the benefit of all students.
We will revisit this plan in December to decide how we will deliver instruction for third quarter.