Gasconade R-2 opens with 1,788 enrolled, ‘normal’ COVID procedures being followed

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 8/27/21

Gasconade County R-2 started classes Monday with 1,788 students enrolled according to Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy.

“We have, not including pre-k, 1,788 students enrolled this …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Gasconade R-2 opens with 1,788 enrolled, ‘normal’ COVID procedures being followed

Posted

Gasconade County R-2 started classes Monday with 1,788 students enrolled according to Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy.

“We have, not including pre-k, 1,788 students enrolled this year,” Hardy began. “We can count on an additional 45 if you include pre-k. Our enrollment is flat. On Friday we’ll have more solid numbers. We still have kids transferring in and out at the beginning of the school year.”

All but 10 students are enrolled in-seat.

Since the virtual learning program Educere, which was approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) during the 2021-22 school year, hit its expiration date on July 1, the Missouri virtual learning program MOCAP was the only option for students this year. MOCAP is completely virtual and is made up of DESE vendors only.

Without the virtual option available, students who are quarantined for exposure to, or tested positive for COVID-19, must be able to Zoom into class on Monday mornings and participate for their attendance to count.

“This year has to be done through traditional homebound measures,” Hardy said. “This year they will have to log in to the classroom and be responsible for their homework. It can be a challenge. But we are hoping to keep kids in seats.”

DESE has also not waved the attendance requirement for students, the district is still under the rule of having 90 percent of students in seat 90 percent of the time. 

“That requirement had not been waved as of the start of school this morning, August 23,” Hardy said.

Educators strived to make this year more “normal” than the previous year-and-a-half.

“Parents were allowed to do drop-off, but not come in with students this morning,” Hardy said on Monday. “That would have been too many people in one place at the same time.”

Parents will also be allowed into the buildings this year at the discretion of the building principal and administrators.

“Each building administrator will take care of the buildings,” Hardy explained. “If there is a high transmission rate in one building versus another it could make it different.”

Masks remained optional for individuals at each building per the Gasconade County Health Department’s recommendation as long as students can maintain a three-foot distance as required by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

“The only time they are not optional is on the bus, which is a federal mandate,” Hardy said.

Students have also been assigned seats on the bus in order to contact trace cases if needed.

“We will try to keep kids in-seat as much as possible, and will be carrying out some of those same pandemic procedures that kept us in-seat last year,” Hardy said. “Students don’t have to be excluded from school if both were wearing a mask while in close contact with one another.”

Hardy said there are some students out currently for exposure or have tested positive for COVID-19, however the district will not report on them as they happened prior to the beginning of school.

“There are not a lot, but there are some,” Hardy said. “Our health department is really good to work with.”

The district will carry on with sending emailing letters to parents and students if a positive case or exposure occurs. Hardy added that they will notify students and parents of any changes in procedure as the year continues.

“Last year when we started the school year, we had no road map. We didn’t know what was going to happen and had never faced this before,” Hardy said. “This year we have a road map, disinfect procedures, and bus procedures and we know our students did not benefit from virtual learning. We will navigate (as we go).”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here