First, I would like to say thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate through this challenging time. The stress and changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted nearly every part of our lives, and I know that being a parent during this time has been especially difficult for you.
We all have struggled adjusting to our new school environment, and we have carefully considered the feedback we have received from our staff and families. We have worked hard to make adjustments so far this school year with minimal impact to families.
However, based on feedback and surveys from our staff, our current instructional model is still not sustainable. As a result, our campus principals have developed a plan to support our classroom teachers so they may continue to give their best to all students, whether these students are onsite, virtual, or temporarily virtual due to Covid-related issues.
Beginning next Friday (Oct. 23), the Sheridan School District will offer Virtual Fridays for K-12 students every week through the remainder of the semester. We understand that some families may need to send their children to school due to having no Internet at home or other reasons, so we will keep our campuses open from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. Morning bus routes will run their regular schedule but will dismiss at 12 p.m.
Instruction on Virtual Fridays will be 100 percent virtual through Canvas for students whether they stay home or go to school. There will be no new content taught or major assessments given. Students who choose to learn from home on Fridays will NOT be counted absent.
This time on Fridays will allow teachers to better prepare for both onsite and virtual students, including:
Creating educational videos
Uploading new assignments and resources to Canvas
Preparing for the upcoming week
Providing feedback to students
Frozen meals will be sent home with students on Thursdays so they will have school meals to eat at home on Virtual Fridays. Breakfast and lunch will be served at each campus on Fridays.
According to federal guidelines, virtual learning is not an option for Pre-K; therefore, Pre-K students will still attend onsite on Virtual Fridays.
The Digital Day scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28 for grades 6 - 12 will be moved to onsite instruction.
Nov 23 - 24 (during the week of Thanksgiving) will remain virtual days for all grades levels. Since these days were originally planned to be vacation days, buildings will be closed.
Families who have questions regarding extracurricular activities on Fridays should refer to their coach or sponsor.
This plan will be evaluated at the end of the semester. We will continue to monitor how our staff and families are adjusting to this unique school year. As you can imagine, modifying our instructional model in this way was a difficult decision to make. I am proud of our building administrators for the time, effort, and thoughtful consideration they put into developing this plan.
Again, thank you for your patience and understanding. We appreciate all you do to support your child’s education and their teachers. We are honored to serve your family and the rest of the Yellowjacket Nation.
Superintendent Jerrod Williams