As Superintendent Jeanette Warwick read over the ‘Mission and Vision,’ along with the 21- age Return to Learn Plan, Samuel Foster showed slides on the Canvas Board.Pam Dudding Contributing writer
The coronavirus has created an upheaval in most people’s lives. Still, no one foresaw the turmoil and the longevity of future loss the state would mandate schools to adjust to.
The Craig County School Board is working meticulously on designing the best classroom options to protect the students from any possible spread of COVID-19 that could be brought into the schools.
A resolution was approved to allow the schools to have flexibility in the decisions made to safely reopen.
“This is for when and how we choose to reopen schools, based on the fact of the governors’ different parts of Virginia,” Superintendent Jeanette Warwick said. She added, “Since there are hot spots, being different from Northern Virginia to Craig County, this allows us to make local decisions.”
Before COVID-19, the schools had purchased electrostatic spraying guns to disinfect every room to prevent the spread of the flu, which has been an exceptional option to kill the virus within minutes.
Now, they are adding social distancing ideas, creating new avenues of learning, and even purchasing Chromebooks for each student to help them reach the mission of Craig County Public Schools: “Every Child a Graduate, Every Child Prepared for Life.”
“We wish to thank the Board of Supervisors for helping us to provide the new Chromebooks for our students with the funding,” both School Board Chairman Susan Crenshaw and Superintendent Jeanette Warwick added.
Craig County Public Schools have set solid goals.
·Mission: To instill a love of learning and prepare students to become responsible, contributing members of society
·Vision: Committed to providing a challenging and rigorous educational program.
We provide instruction in a caring, safe, and healthy learning environment that promotes the Five C’s: Critical thinking, Creative thinking, Communication, Collaboration, and Citizenship.
Here are the CCPS core values
·EXCELLENCE – CCPS fosters academic excellence in our students through creative and critical thinking
·INTEGRITY – We expect our students and staff to act in an honest, ethical and respectful manner
·COLLABORATION – We support relationships among students, staff, families, and the community that ensure effective communication and promote opportunities to benefit our students.
·ACCOUNTABILITY – We take responsibility for our progress through transparent evaluation of student success, staff quality, and management of the community’s resources.
They shared that CCPS Goals for Return 2 Learn is a safe return for students and staff.
·Goal 1 – Follow VDOE, VDH and CDC guidelines for safe return to school for students and staff, maintain six-feet social distancing, when possible. Face coverings required for staff when social distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings for students are optional but strongly encouraged. Daily student and staff self-health screenings, reduce traffic in the hallways, increase facility cleaning, promote hygiene practices to stop the spread of COVID-19, and provide health, safety, and proper hygiene training to staff, students and parents.
·Goal 2 – Provide continual learning opportunities for students and staff, provide a chrome device to every student in grades K-12 (Craig County Board of Supervisors approved $194,000 of CARES Act funding for this purchase). Students access class materials through the CCPS Learning Management System, virtual students will follow the same curriculum and pacing as in-person students, in-person students will participate in virtual learning on Fridays. Additionally, staff training for Virtual Learning and how to address learning gaps and Internet Access Plan Update.
·Goal 3 – Create a warm and welcoming environment for students and staff. School counselors and Student Assistance Program counselors will be available for both students and staff. Exploring ways to make face coverings and social distancing less “scary”. The School schedule will be as “normal” as possible and provide staff support and explore ways to boost staff morale.
·Goal 4 – Provide a rigorous curriculum and instructional program for students and provide staff with the necessary resources. Virtual Learning conducted by certified CCPS teachers, modules follow state Standards of Learning, Student Code of Conduct will be followed by all students, Virtual or In-Person, attendance will be recorded daily for Virtual and In-Person students, plan for all students to become Virtual Learners. If the need arises based on school closure and staff training and purchase of necessary materials/supplies.
CCPS Return 2 Learn Plan – There are risk levels. Lowest risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events. More risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Highest risk: Full-sized, in-person classes, activities, and events.
Calendar Adjustment – The VDOE requires schools to prepare for students to learn 100 percent virtually. Our teachers need to be fully prepared for hybrid and virtual learning before the first student day. CCPS administration is proposing the school calendar to be adjusted to provide teachers with the time necessary to prepare. Currently, 110 students have registered.
·Teachers’ first day to report will be August 10
·Students’ first day will be August 24
·BTEC students will start on August 10
·Students need to provide transportation to CCHS until August 24
·Students will be transported from CCHS to BTEC
In-Person Instruction: Multitrack Scheduling
·McCleary Elementary and CCMS students (PK-8)
Monday to Thursday:
·Students are arranged by homerooms and stay in their homeroom.
·Teachers transition from room to room.
·Social distancing can be maintained because classroom make-up does not change during the day
Friday: Virtual Learning
·CCHS Students (9-12)
Group 1: Monday/Tuesday (In-person) and Wednesday/Thursday/Friday (Virtual)
Group 2: Wednesday/Thursday (In-person) and Monday/Tuesday/Friday (Virtual)
Question: Why not Four days a week?
·Students are not arranged by homerooms.
·Students move from class to class.
·Social distancing cannot be maintained because classroom make-up will change every block.
·Meets graduation Requirement
This plan is based on the fact that we have 110 students enrolled in the Virtual Academy.
Friday Planning –
·All Core Teachers and MS/HS Elective Teachers – Contact all virtual students, conduct in-person tutoring sessions and complete planning in Canvas
·Elementary Elective Teachers – Contact all virtual students, assist with in-person tutoring as needed and complete planning in Canvas
·All SPED Teachers – Contact all virtual students on caseloads, assist with in-person tutoring as needed and work with Core teachers on Canvas planning
·All Instructional Assistants – Faculty/Staff child care, assist with in-person tutoring as needed and assist the administration as needed
Instructional Programming – Craig County Virtual Academy
·Students and Parents will be required to sign a contract outlining attendance, plagiarism, grades, and due dates and other academic expectations
·All curriculum will be accessed through the Craig County Learning Management System (Virtual Virginia)
·Students should commit to the Virtual Academy for, at least the First Quarter
·Students wishing to return to traditional classes must contact the building administrator
·There are 110 students currently enrolled with 11 on our waiting list
·Deadline for Fall enrollment will be extended until July 31, 2020
·Teachers in PreK-5th will be responsible for assessing students to determine their academic needs as well as any emotional and mental health support needed
·Students will access their curriculum in a hybrid-model with some content and learning done in person and some done virtually
·Students who have opted for 100% virtual, will access all curriculum through the Craig County Learning Management System
·Teachers will instruct in all core areas
·Students will participate in fine arts classes, library and classroom guidance on a rotational schedule
·Students will participate in structured PE classes on a rotational schedule and will have time for recess daily
Board member Trace Bellassai noted, “Governor School will adapt to whatever the homeschool will do. Last year, they were 100 percent virtual online which requires them to be in class on time. They will have zoom sessions where they are in front of the teacher, but options will be available for the students.”
Whiting shared that there have been no major concerns from parents, but she has received a lot of questions. “Parents are waiting to see what plan is approved by the school before they make some decisions,” Whiting noted.
McCleary Principal Gerri VanDyke added, “A lot of parents are very thankful that we have this plan in place and also the virtual option. I haven’t heard too many concerns as they feel they can opt for the virtual if they feel necessary.”
“We still have the Employee Rights under the current Coronavirus Response Act for family medical leave that allows a teacher who has contracted the virus for two weeks of paid leave through the end of the year,” Warwick said. “We will make sure the staff is aware of their rights.”
Board member Faye Powers asked, “Do they watch the teachers as they teach, or is it recorded where they can watch any time?”
Samuel Foster then explained, “We are still working on what that is going to look like. The reason being, we record the classroom but the students in the classroom expect privacy issues. If I have a student who is going to go to a hot spot to download a spot could take a while, so we are still working on solutions, with different scenarios.”
He added that they are exploring purchasing a device for teachers, “which is reasonable and usable and doesn’t become a paperweight down the road. But every teacher will have a touch screen device in their room by August 10, where they can record in their classroom.”
Whiting added that BTEC had finished their master schedule the second week of July, however, they had just added 12 students, so they are currently trying to fit Craig County students into their chosen classes.
She added, “Four of our teachers, one from each school, are in the midst of canvas training right now. They are currently learning the management system. They will then train the other teachers in each school.”
“On the website, there is a place for parents and staff to ask questions as things come to mind,” Warwick concluded.
Crenshaw encourages all parents and guardians to “please bring your concerns forward on time. We all have to work at this together, as there are so many unknowns. Thank you for all your efforts.”