Superintendent Spence has released the public document, outlining the re-entry strategies for the 2020-2021 school year. School begins for students on September 8. Click the link below to view the document.
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in our schools closing on March 13, 2020. A great effort was put forth by our teachers as they worked within the state guidelines to engage students remotely till the end of the school term. The re-entry of our staff and students to the school environment is quickly approaching. Teachers will return to work on August 25 and students are scheduled to return on September 8. Our recent survey indicated there is concern from many of our families about their children returning to school in the usual fashion. Some are deciding if their children will return at all, leaving them with the dilemma of providing an appropriate education at home. The learning strategies of the spring closure will not be optimal for our students when they return in the fall. Therefore, the Mingo County Board of Education and the District office have worked with guidance from the Governor’s office, the State Board of Education, and federal, state, and local health agencies to develop the following learning options for Mingo County students and families.
A majority of students will return to school in this blended environment. Learners of all grade levels will attend school in-person, receiving face-to-face instruction from their teachers Monday-Thursday of each week. On Fridays, students will use their school-provided laptops to access remote instruction with some interaction with their classroom teachers taking place. For the most part the students will work independently on these days. All assignments will be accessed through our District’s learning management system (Open LMS) which is preloaded on the students’ devices. There is also an option for students to download assignments to their devices before leaving school, enabling students to work on assignments, even if they have no Internet access at home.
Families who choose the virtual learning option will not send their students back to the school building. Home Internet access is required for acceptance in the virtual learning program. Instead completing the same assignments as students attending school in-person, virtual learners will be taught using a curriculum designed especially for virtual delivery. The curriculum encompasses the same learning standards our instructors are teaching in the regular classroom and will be taught or facilitated by trained Mingo County teachers. A curriculum for grades K-5 features a daily schedule of activities, many of them designed as learning projects, having a common theme between subject areas to raise the interest of students. The courseware for grades 6-12 is on another platform, which has been used by our virtual learning program since 2017. Students work through modules and units and participate in online discussions. Completed work from both curricula are both auto-graded and teacher-graded. All courses required by the State Board of Education are available.
Virtual students will log in and will be engaged in learning on a special schedule, which will occur during the regular school day. There will be virtual, video/audio interaction with teachers, so that students can get support as they work on assignments. However, this will occur at specific times during the school day. Virtual learners will be permitted to engage in school activities and organizations, just as the in-person students do. Families will have to work with school leaders to determine their chosen participation.
Virtual students may transfer back to the traditional school during the first two weeks of the semester. If they stay with the virtual program, students must remain virtual learners until the end of a semester. Transfers will only occur at the beginning of a semester.
Question: I hear the terms virtual learning and remote learning being used a lot. Are these the same thing?
Answer: Virtual learning and remote learning are two different concepts, in the context of our learning options. Remote learning refers to technology-aided learning that our in-person, or brick and mortar students participate in on Fridays, or should the school be closed during inclement weather. Remote learning will also take place for these students if the school is temporarily closed for COVID-19. Virtual learning refers to technology-delivered instruction for students who do not attend classes in the school building. The instruction is facilitated and taught by a certified Mingo County school teacher.
Question: My child receives special education services. Can they still be virtual learners and what services can they receive?
Answer: It is our recommendation that special education students attend in-person instruction. Nevertheless, there may be some families who decide the best option for their student is to attend school virtually. The special education teachers and the District Special Education department would address student needs and services on a student-by-student basis.
Question: What happens if my child cannot attend school because of weather?
Answer: Our new technology and instructional strategies will take away the need for a snow-day that will have to be made up, later in the year. Instead, students will be prepared for remote learning days if the weather is expected to be inclement.
Mingo County Schools is currently developing re-entry plans for the 2020-2021 academic year for our students and staff. Parents will have the option for their children to attend class in person or virtually. The first day for students will be September 8, 2020.
A full virtual learning option for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year will be offered for those who do not wish to return to the regular classroom this fall. The virtual option is free to all Mingo County students in grades K – 12. Students will be instructed using a curriculum designed for virtual school, which addresses the same learning standards taught in the regular classroom, but incorporates activitities designed for virtual learning. The curriculum will be facilitated and taught by Mingo County certified teachers. Students will be expected to follow a special daily schedule. Students who enroll in the Virtual Learning Option must remain a virtual student for at least a semester. Transfers back to the in-person environment will take place only at the beginning of the semester.
• Home Internet Access*
• Home phone or mobile phone
• Student must remain a virtual student for an entire semester. Transfers back to the brick and mortar school can occur only at the start of a semester.
*The District will provide the approved device for virtual learning.
Each student agrees to the following:
• Abide by all Mingo County School rules in regard to behavior, conduct, and attendance.
• Failure to log into your account and complete assignments may result in withdrawal from the virtual program.
• Respond to the VIRTUAL Online Teachers and school contacts when requested.
• Take all state or county assessments for assigned grade level/course.
• Complete all courses with passing grades by course end date.
APPLICATION MUST BE SUBMITTED BY THE END OF BUSINESS, AUGUST 14, 2020, FOR THE ACCEPTED STUDENT TO BEGIN CLASS SEPTEMBER 8.
A separate application must be completed for each student.