R-2 releases e-learning, in-seat student numbers

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 8/26/20

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy told R-2 Board of Education members on Aug. 24 that their e-learner numbers were at 8.1 percent, up from 5.5 percent on Aug. 18, but are expected to …

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R-2 releases e-learning, in-seat student numbers

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Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy told R-2 Board of Education members on Aug. 24 that their e-learner numbers were at 8.1 percent, up from 5.5 percent on Aug. 18, but are expected to decrease on Wednesday as some students have reversed their decision and plan to attend in-seat.

“Several are coming back,” Hardy said on Tuesday, dropping the e-learner percentage to 7.9 percent.

“That number does not include the students who have called today,” Hardy said, referring to Owensville High School and middle school students who plan to return to class in-seat on Wednesday.

Out of the 1,745 students enrolled in the district, 138 are currently enrolled in the Educere e-learning program.

Hardy attributes some of the confusion with the e-learning program this year to the distance learning program in the spring.

“On our e-learning, we did switch the language on that from distance learning to e-learning, because the law says 100 percent of that learning has to be online,” Hardy said. “So we switched that distance learning to e-learning so that parents don’t think that it can be packet based, it has to be 100 percent online.”

Hardy said many of the returning students expected something similar to the spring distance learning. Students were supposed to decide what learning method they wanted to participate in prior to the fall semester, and complete a full semester before they could change back to in-seat learning.

“The (requests) we just received were from OMS and OHS,” Hardy said. “Many thought it would be more like the spring, but several are coming back to regular school.”

There is a special provision to allow students to change.

“Through special education,” Hardy said. “There is a provision that if students are not progressing, the IEP team can decide to let students come back to school.”

Students in kindergarten through third grade are required to have a designated adult with them during their class day.

As classes begin again, Superintendent Dr. Chuck Garner told R-2 directors on Monday that they met the first day of a school with a letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

“DESE has received your request relative to requesting forgiveness for planned hours of 294.5 starting March 17 to the end of the 2019-20 school year that the LEA was unable to attend due to COVID-19,” the letter began. “It is DESE’s understanding that it was the LEA’s intent to have attended at least 1,044 hours, less any weather hours forgiven, had onsite classes not been canceled due to COVID-19.

“Because the situation met the requirements of Section 171.031, RSMo., your request has been granted.”

“They have forgiven the hours that took place after March 17 when the governor declared all schools closed due to COVID-19,” Hardy confirmed.

She added that the AMI-X plan, that the school is required to have in place in the instance of another long-term closure, was approved by DESE.

“The AMI-X plan is in place this year if we have to go into an extended closure,” Hardy said. “But we are hoping to get a full school year in, and the best way to do that is by wearing a mask and keeping physical distance.”

R-2 schools are scheduled to be closed Monday, Sept. 7, for the Labor Day holiday.

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