The Salem Grade School Board Thursday night heard from the Superintendent and building administrators that everyone is working together to make the hybrid attendance plan being used this year to be as successful as possible.
Superintendent Dr. Leslie Foppe commended everyone in getting school open and adopting a schedule where students attend in person two days a week and do remote learning the other three days.
“It’s a huge change for our students, our kids, and the parents. This is new for all of us. We have to work together and have patience. If we see anything we need to improve on we will. If the teachers need to tweak anything they are doing that. And we are giving them all they need to be successful.”
Foppe says they are currently trying to determine how far students are behind following the spring remote learning that concentrated on review.
“We’re benchmark testing. We are seeing where the gaps are. We are seeing where kids are deficient and falling behind. And we knew it would be there. They’ve been out, even though we did our remote packets and remote learning, everybody is facing that. So that will give us a focus on what we need to work on.”
Foppe says they are also having to deal with COVID-19. There are currently 64 students and six staff on quarantine along with seven positive cases among students and faculty. Foppe reports fortunately none of the cases exposed students at school, but they are being very careful. She reports students who are
quarantined are placed on full remote learning until they are cleared to come back to school.
Franklin Park Principal Tyler Lux told the board kids are engaged and they realize grades are now real and this is a legitimate school year.
Hawthorn Principal Mary Adams joined Lux and the assistant principals in praising the teachers in going above and beyond to make the Google Classroom platform work for the students.
Adams says they are getting better each day. He also noted not a single problem with getting kids to wear masks. Adams says kindergarten students have also done extremely well without having parent support in taking them to the classroom or having an open house before school to get used to the new surroundings.
Board member Lynette Dye who is working with her grandchild said she was impressed with the lessons being developed for remote learning and also commended the parents for their efforts to keep their children on track.
The board was told under a change in the federal school lunch program, all students regardless of income can receive free breakfast and lunch through December. The meals are also being made available on any school day students are on remote learning.