All virtual learners in the Gasconade County R-2 School District will be required by the state to make an appointment to take the spring assessment tests in person, according to Assistant …
All virtual learners in the Gasconade County R-2 School District will be required by the state to make an appointment to take the spring assessment tests in person, according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeri Kay Hardy.
During the March 15 board of education meeting, Hardy informed the board that the state of Missouri has not waived the requirement for spring assessments, but they did increase the number of students the district may be forgiven for not testing from one percent to five percent.
“The state is not waiving exemptions for the tests, virtual students are not exempt from the tests,” Hardy said. “While the allowance for the number of students not tested has increased, it does not cover the amount of virtual learners we have.”
Teachers in the district who are assigned to keep track of individual virtual learners have been designated to reach out to their students and make sure they are signed up for in person testing.
If parents of students don’t respond after the first week, the remaining list will be given to principals of each school to reach out. After the second week of attempts, remaining names will be passed to Hardy to attempt to get in touch with each family.
“We need virtual students to come in,” Hardy said. “This won’t affect our accreditation, but it will affect the district numbers to see how virtual instruction has worked.”
Schools that have been completely virtually learning since the beginning of the year are also required to bring students in for spring tests with a safety plan in place.
Testing must be completed by May 28.
Owensville Elementary School Principal Dr. Scott Davidson said during his report that building secretaries are receiving daily calls requesting virtual learners be enrolled back into classrooms. Other buildings have reported similar requests.
Hardy added that the virtual option may not be available in the fall.
“Right now, we are not sure if the options for online learning will be there,” Hardy said. “If COVID is under control, probably not. Many students have not excelled with online learning and it has not been as beneficial. Research nationwide supports that.”
She said many virtual learners have not progressed academically. “In August, we will have some students who have not attended in person for more than 17 months.”