Thank you for your patience as we prepare for a fall re-entry at the elementary school. We plan to post class cohort rosters on Monday, August 10.
As a parent of school-age children myself, I can empathize with the hard decision of whether to send your kids to school as part of the hybrid plan or to go 100% virtual. There are so many unique factors that each family must consider in this situation.
That said, if you haven’t already completed online registration, please do so today:
Online Registration 2020-2021
As of today (Friday, August 7, 2020), we have around 80% of elementary students registered. The more information we have about whether families will opt for the hybrid or virtual option, the better we can prepare for the start of school.
Related, below are my current responses to three of the most frequently asked questions from parents. I appreciate everyone’s inquiries in helping to clarify and to make the best decision here on behalf of the health and well-being of students, families, the staff, and the Mineral Point community.
- How will the hybrid/blended option work?
The two days students are in person will work much like school has in the past. Students will have their subject area instruction, lunch, and recess. The difference will be in how programming is implemented. For example, specials classes such as physical education or music will only be 30 minutes. Also, students will eat only with their cohorts; the same goes for recess.
On the days in which students are not in school, they will engage in virtual instruction with their teacher. It will likely be a mix of Zoom discussions, activities posted in Seesaw or Google Classroom, and guidance for learning at home independently, such as personal learning projects. Your feedback from the spring was very helpful in preparing for this fall’s instruction.
- How will the virtual-only option work?
Students in grades 4K and kindergarten will be assigned to one virtual teacher. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, students will also engage in Zoom discussions, respond to tasks posted in Seesaw, and participate in independent learning projects.
For grades one through five, virtual students will be assigned to one cohort while learning with two of our four cohorts, either A and C or B and D. They will join the students attending the hybrid program on their virtual days.
I realize this might be somewhat confusing. We know the feeling! Once we begin, I think it will start to make more sense. See an example below, if a student were in Cohort A and C.
To help with consistency across grade levels, we have purchase online tools for better collaboration and communication among faculty and with families. Please bear in mind that this will not be perfect, although we think you will see improvements from the spring, in which this was very new to everyone. We have provided professional development on the utilization of these tools, as well as how to plan collaboratively during these challenging times.
- Why was there a delay in student assignments to class and teacher?
The primary reason for waiting until now for assigning students to cohorts and teachers is due to registration dates. In the process, families are asked to decide whether their child will go virtual or hybrid. Until we had a good idea of these numbers, it was difficult to assign students to a cohort and maintain low-class sizes across all section while ensuring students at different levels (elementary, middle, high) were on corresponding dates. Our goal here is to achieve close to a 10-to-1 ratio for in-person instruction. Your patience and understanding during this process has been appreciated.
PRINCIPAL, ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Matt has served for 20 years in public education. He started as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in a country school outside of Wisconsin Rapids, WI. After seven years of teaching, Matt served as an assistant principal, athletic director, and building principal all in Wisconsin Rapids. As an elementary principal with the Mineral Point Unified School District, he enjoys working with students, staff, and families in a collective pursuit of lifelong learning