Board moving with and prepping for Covid case rate
October 23, 2020
Esko school district officials are living the adage that “change is the only constant in life” as they have consistently been adapting protocols this year to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Their newest plan revision, decided on at Monday night’s regular board meeting, will help if the number of Covid-19 cases in the area climbs beyond the next benchmark.
The district has spent the entire year so far at Level Two of the state’s “Safe Learning Plan.” This means that K-6 students have been learning in person daily while middle- and high school students run on a hybrid schedule, with Group A secondary students attending school in person every Tuesday and Thursday, and Group B attending every Wednesday and Friday so that only a certain number of students are present at school on a daily basis.
On Monday, school officials decided to update its plans for the learning model for Group C learners: students in grades K-2 and special education. Under the previous plan, if the elementary grades switched to hybrid learning, Group C would still be at school five days a week, learning full-time in person.
In its latest plan, the board decided that K-2 and special education students would do distance learning on Mondays, with in-person learning from Tuesday to Friday every week under an all-hybrid model.
The change will be implemented if the number of cases in the county causes the school to move into the next phase of their learning model, providing teachers and other staff with time to prepare for in-person learning and meet with students virtually.
“We may not even get to a hybrid where we need this model,” superintendent Aaron Fischer said. “It just changes so much, so quickly,” he explained, and the school wants to be prepared for that future.
This potential change for Group C learners will not affect the existing learning models for other students in grades 3-6 or 7-12, Fischer said. For now, all elementary students in grades K-6 grades will continue to learn in person and students in grades 7-12 will continue to learn in a hybrid model. All learning models will continue to operate as they are at present; the school board is simply preparing for a change in the future.
Fischer said the school decided on a streaming service, which the school will use for the next year. Information on using the service to watch Esko events is on the district website. There is a $5 fee to watch events.