SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– The 2020-21 school year is coming sooner than you may think, and it might be the most unconventional school year yet.
This week the Missouri School Board Association released a 98-page document outlining suggestions for local districts. Suggestions include:
- Alternating school days for different grade levels, perhaps some grade levels attend in the morning and others in the afternoon.
- Year-round school with alternate breaks to reduce the number of students in a building.
- In-person class for younger kids with social distancing enforced, more virtual/online opportunities for older grade levels.
- Limiting extracurricular activities.
- Alternating recess to limit the number of students on the playground.
- Canceling or adjusting sporting events that bring large groups of people together.
Noelle Lloyd’s daughter, Gracyn, is a freshman at Parkview High School. Lloyd says what bothers her the most about the document is the idea of limiting extracurricular activities and sporting events.
“That’s what I would hate to see kids lose, those teams and those groups, not all kids come from great homes and so sometimes those sports and those teams are their sanctuary, their safe place,” said Lloyd.
Springfield Public Schools declined to comment since these are strictly suggestions, but the superintendent of Nixa Public Schools, Dr. Gearl Loden, explained what his plan is for the fall.
“Our foundation is going to be based around a lot of education,” said Loden. “Some of the things that are just practical like multiple hand washing, hand washing during the day, or using hand sanitizers literally hourly. Teaching our children about how to keep clean during the day If you sneeze, if you cough.”
Loden has been seeking guidance from groups around the country, including the MSBA.
“Our goal is to have school in the fall as normal as possible with safety measures,” said Loden.
Superintendent Loden says there will not be any alternating of school days in any Nixa school, but he will look into more effective social distancing measures this summer.