Salem High students to be in classroom two days a week to start school year

Salem High students to be in classroom two days a week to start school year

Salem High School students will attend school two days a week in person and will have remote learning the other three.

Superintendent Dr. Brad Detering presented the plan to the school board Monday night.

“Half of the students are in attendance each day, and the other half are remoting in at the exact same time.  The day begins at 8:00 and runs until 12:40 so we are not serving lunch in the traditional sense of sitting in the cafeteria.  Lunch will be provided for students interested in the form of a take out container.”

Students with last names A through K will attend classes in person on Monday and Thursday and those with last names L through Z will attend in person on Tuesday and Fridays.

Wednesday will be a remote learning day for everyone. Detering says Wednesday was selected to allow a full day in the middle of the week to clean. He reports all classes will still be held, including vocational and music. Periods will only be 35 minutes long.

Detering says parents will have the option of choosing a total distant learning option.

“Maybe they aren’t comfortable sending their kid back, maybe there is an underlying condition where they can’t wear a mask.  But if you come in person, you will be wearing a mask.  If you can’t wear the mask then we have the remote option.  But the remote option is going to be live.  It’s a synchronized set up to where you are seeing and hearing exactly what the teacher is doing.  When they share their screen and students in person are looking at the smartboard, students remotely will see the same board on their screen.”

Detering says students will be assigned lockers. They will not be adjacent to students attending class on the same day. Students will change classes and an effort will be made to limit cross-traffic of students in the hallways. Assigned desks will be alternated each hour to allow for sanitizing.

Detering reports breakfast will be available, but only one student facing the same direction will be allowed per table. To help students who are in food-insecure families, they will be allowed to take breakfast and lunch for days they will not be in attendance. Busses will run, but parents are encouraged to bring their students to school. There will be temperature and wellness checks at the beginning of school.

While the number of students without internet access appears to be small, the district will have 50 hotspots from Verizon to lend to students to use from their home. If cell and internet service are both unavailable, Detering says there are locations outside of schools and other buildings students can go to gain access.

Grading will return to the normal scale and students will be required to participate in each class period offered remotely.

Detering says the IHSA has once again pushed back a decision on if there will be fall sports. He reports the district will allow students whose families chose full remote learning to participate.

The first day of school is being moved back to allow the school staff to have three days at the beginning of the school year to make sure everything in the plan is working. The first day of class for those with last names A through K will be Thursday, August 20th, and those with last names L through Z will be Friday, August 21st.