The Roanoke Rapids Graded School District Board of Education voted Thursday night to move to a modified virtual learning plan for all students Pre-K through Grade 12 for the first 6 weeks of school.
As we have stated regularly, our plans for the Fall of 2020 have been constantly evolving based on the latest information regarding the pandemic and the state mandates. Since our last release, we have been in ongoing communication with health officials while we’ve reviewed feedback from our community, teachers, and students.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise in our region. In order to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect our students, staff, and families from this pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to begin the school year completely virtually. Virtual learning will take place for all students K-12.
All students will begin virtually on August 17, 2020, (August 10, 2020, for the RR Early College High School). RRGSD will continue to operate on the currently approved 2020-2021 calendars for both Roanoke Rapids Early College and other schools within the district. If there is a teacher workday or holiday, those dates will be observed and no remote learning will be scheduled. It is the intention of the district to continue meal services for our families during the closure. Families and children can continue to access our school mental health services through Rural Health Group if they are in need of mental health and wellness support and our school counselors will also be available to assist remotely.
Over the next six weeks we will be looking at three things:
Local COVID-19 numbers and continued consultation with Halifax County’s Health Director.
Impact of COVID-19 statewide
Trends in children: Are we seeing an increase in children across the state and country with positive COVID-19 cases since some schools have reopened in person for 2020-2021?
These and many other factors will drive our decision making in reopening schools at the end of the six weeks.
I want to be clear that virtual learning in our traditional program will look different than it did at the end of the last school year. Last year, we were responding to a crisis and our primary goal was to offer a sense of normalcy for students. Looking ahead, our students who are learning at home will have a more structured virtual learning experience with greater tools in place to keep students engaged and learning.
Our Board of Trustees approved more than $600,000 to issue every K-12 student a Chrome device. Each school administrator has released a plan that is age appropriate for our students and can be viewed on each school’s website. Additionally, students will be held accountable for both mastery and completion of assignments. Grades will be given in a similar fashion to face-to-face instruction. Timely feedback will be provided by the teacher regarding accuracy and mastery of the material.
We will continue to communicate with our families as we begin this very different school year. RRGSD is committed to fulfilling our mission of offering rigorous customized learning opportunities in a safe and supportive learning environment. I also want to publicly thank our RRGSD Board of Trustees school for their careful consideration of the local data and their willingness to make the hard decisions for the well being of our students and staff.
More information will be coming to you shortly, including our Chromebook distribution times, and how we plan to ensure all students have access to a daily nutritious breakfast and lunch.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Your partner in education,
Dain Butler, Ed.D.