North Rock Creek students to return to school, distance learning still available

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
North Rock Creek

Students of North Rock Creek Public Schools will return to classes Thursday, Aug. 13 and will have the choice to return to in-person learning or continue distance learning.

According to Superintendent Dr. Blake Moody, automatically all NRC students are enrolled in regular schooling, however Moody said should schools close again, distance learning is available. 

“In the event that we have to go to a distance learning situation or some parents choose to keep their students in a distance learning situation, then we have a couple of different options,” Moody said. 

The administrator explained the first option is for students fifth through high school students which allows them to utilize their Google Classroom for their education.

“Our teachers are using a combination of videos, sending out assignments through Google Classroom, using some online curriculum including Oddyesy Ware, but its subject by subject teacher driven instructions,” Moody said.

Moody said teachers will be teaching both in-person classes and online to ensure all NRC students still have access to their education.

“Our teachers will be double duty this next year and it’s going to be a tough new normal for us,” Moody said. 

In addition to an educational plan, Moody said the district has also discussed what social distancing policies it will implement to protect staff and students from COVID-19.

The administrator said the district will release more information to parents, students and faculty members regarding these policies sometime this week. 

“We’ll be putting out our physical in-person instruction plan and what that looks like with masks, social distancing, sanitization and all of those types of things,” Moody said. 

Moody said the district has already purchased masks for its 131 faculty members for the first week of school. 

“It looks like we’re going to encourage face masks for about first grade and older, but that plan is going to come out in a solid way in the middle of (this) week,” Moody said. 

According to a survey the district sent out, Moody said about eight percent of students said they are likely to enroll in social distance learning this year.

Moody said NRC is using a $33,000 Incentive Grant grant it received earlier this summer to purchase an online teaching platform for both assessment and instruction to ensure distance learning is a legitimate option. 

“The grant is going to supplement our distance learning plan. It’s going to be used for online platforms like Oddessy Ware, a Chromebook management system called Jams and Renaissance Learning,” Moody said. 

Moody said the district is dedicated to keeping students and faculty safe and while this year will be challenging, NRC has always thrived on the community’s ability to be flexible.

“All of our flexibility will be put to the test in the fall,” Moody said.

Note: This article has been updated to reflect North Rock Creek Public Schools will return to school Aug. 13 not Aug, 8.