RAVENWOOD, Mo. — Like boards of education across the county, state and nation, the Northeast Nodaway school board spent much of its regular meeting last week preparing for the challenges ahead posed by social distancing and quarantine.
When students from the district went home for the last time before districts in the county went on hiatus on March 16, they didn’t go home empty-handed.
Each student, from elementary school to high school, went home with packets of work to do and a tablet.
For now, administrators have been pleased — though not surprised — at how accessible teachers have been to students online.
On Thursday, schools across the county learned that they would not reopen until May 1.
At Northeast Nodaway, teachers, principals and Superintendent Brenda Dougan are coordinating on a plan for how to continue virtual education methods in the event school can’t go back in session soon.
Although the district provides a tablet to each student, not every student has access to the internet at home. According to a school survey, about 13 percent of high school students said they did not.
And elementary students face another obstacle: even if they have access to the internet, they require more in-person supervision to complete tasks, especially online.
That could mean finding a way to safely distribute paper packets as well. How to continue special education, meanwhile, is another challenge they’re trying to overcome.
“In my opinion, a virtual plan can’t ever replace face-to-face, obviously, but at least it’s something, if we can come up with some alternate plan,” Dougan said at the meeting. “And in two weeks, who knows if they’re going to tell us that we can’t go back, you know? Once you close, I’m not sure how you reopen, quite honestly. It’s just something that nobody’s gone through, so we’re figuring it out as we go.”
Other Northeast Nodaway notes:
- The district served 83 families on its first day of delivering meals, and expected to serve nearly 100 the next day.
- The board approved a co-op agreement with St. Gregory Barbarigo Catholic School for junior high softball. St. Gregory has one student interested in the program, who will compete as a part of Northeast Nodaway’s team.