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RSD #17: Summary of July 2020 Board of Education Meetings

Submitted by Jennifer Favalora, RSD #17 Board of Education.

Cougar Pride:

On July 17, 2020, the Class of 2020 celebrated their graduation together.   The commencement, which followed state guidelines for distancing, began with a procession through the parking lot where proud friends and family cheered and waved from their cars.  Seniors paraded to their seats on the football field for the school’s first graduation ceremony under the lights.  Large movie screens and speakers were placed in the parking lot for families to view the entire ceremony from the cars and they showed their support from afar by honking their horns after each speech and as the graduates crossed the stage to receive their diplomas.

Next School Year:

Reopening Committee:

Under a directive from Governor Lamont, all school districts were required to develop a three-tiered plan to reopen schools safely in the fall with details required for an In-Person Learning model, a Hybrid Learning model and a Remote Learning model in the event that COVID-19 cases increase.  The State gave definitive guidance in early July that schools should plan to have all students return in-school on a full-time basis.  In-classroom logistics include heightened safety measures such as wearing masks, cohorting students together, and increasing cleaning protocols at each school.  The hybrid plan is a combination of in-classroom learning and remote learning to reduce the number of students in buildings at one time.   In late July, Governor Lamont reversed the requirement for all students to return to school full-time and instead gave districts flexibility in how they open.  RSD17’s Reopening Committee decided hybrid learning would be the best balance of safety and instructional delivery for the first month of school during this highly unusual time.  This transitional month will allow students to be in smaller class cohorts and gives teachers time to build relationships, foster academic growth and attend to social and emotional learning while teaching students new routines and protocols.  Parents are able to opt into the Remote Learning model instead and can transition between the two as best suits their family’s needs.  Details of this plan and all other reopening communications can be found on the RSD17.org website.

First Day of School: 

The State also announced that it is allowing districts to increase the number of professional development days at the start of the school year.  Teachers and staff will use these days to train on new health and safety protocols, teaching strategies for in-person and remote learning, as well as for classroom set-up and continued facilities preparation.  This change reduces the number of required student days from 180 to 177.  Therefore the Board amended the school year calendar and the new first day of school for students will be Tuesday, September 1st.

Superintendent’s Contract:

The Board evaluated the first year of Dr. Hageman’s role as Superintendent, as a very unique year with significant challenges and will present the evaluation as soon as practical.  The Superintendent formally requested to “Evergreen” her contract for a third year, the maximum allowed by the state for Superintendent contracts, to which the Board unanimously agreed.

On our RSD17.org Website:

You can view the District’s Reopening Plans and FAQ under “ Superintendent’s School Reopening Updates” at the top of the page. Additionally, you can watch the video from the Class of 2020’s Graduation Ceremony under “Community” – “HKTV” – “Click Here to View Channel 18 Live”.

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