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Joseph Mischel and other SHS students made their way to their lockers last week to gather up textbooks, Chromebooks and anything else they might need to continue the school year online. Online instruction got underway Monday, March 30, for junior high and high school students while elementary students have packets to work on with parents at home throughout the week. 

“In short, the Shelter-in-Place Order changes nothing for the Shelby Public School District,” said Superintendent Elliott Crump. “We are still planning on delivering instruction starting on Monday, March 30, 2020. In fact, the order requires schools to continue to do what they have planned, while maintaining social distancing and taking all previously outlined precautions.”

A new normal is being adjusted to as junior high and high school students buckle down to continue the school year mainly online. Students in grades seven through 12 will have some pick-up and drop off with classes involving specific materials or manipulatives, but for the most part everything will be able to do be from home. 

“We will have an easy-to-access link on the school website,” said Crump. “In the junior high/high school, staff members are working on creating live sessions, as well as recorded learning opportunities for students. We hope to incorporate this into the elementary school where it fits as well.”

“We will also have paraprofessionals working directly with students or parents to support the effective delivery of instruction,” added Crump.

Basically the schools will run on a weekly schedule with the main body of materials going out at the beginning of the week. Students in kindergarten through third grade will start with a lot of packet information that can be picked up at the elementary school. The staff is hoping, if possible, to try and transition more to online material for the younger grades, if they can. 

Students in fourth through sixth grade will also be having mainly packets as the school does not yet have the protective cases for the Chromebooks used by fourth and fifth grade students. They have been ordered and it is hoped they arrive sometime next week.

“Once Chromebooks go home grades four through six will move to online material,” said Crump.

The staff and administration realize not every student has Internet access at home. Those students will receive all materials in print for the time being while the school works with local Internet providers to see what can be done to help acquire Internet access for those families without it.

“Students with a 504 or IEP will receive more individualized service that meets their needs,” assured Crump. “Our Special Education staff is working hard to get those accommodations in place.”

The teachers will also have office hours, making them available for questions and time expectations per week for classes have been decided.

“Time expectations per week for classes have been established to ensure students and parents are not overwhelmed by the work being assigned,” said Crump.

Sunburst schools are also encouraging online learning through different programs they have utilized and have sent out information to the parents of students in regards to packet pick-up and bus packet drop-off, which started yesterday, Tuesday, March 31. 

According to a letter sent out by Sunburst Schools Superintendent Tyler Bucklin, bus route students in grades K through six will receive their necessary materials, such as books, worksheet packets, etc., delivered via their usual bus service on Tuesday mornings. Bucklin encourages students to meet the bus at their normal bus stop at their normal time.

“Please be patient if the bus is not there exactly on time, as it may take a little longer to deliver all the materials,” said Bucklin.

In town students are able to pick up their materials at the elementary school between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on the north side of the building. Parents do not need to be present for students to pick up the materials. 

On Tuesday, April 7, the busses will again travel their regular routes to drop off new packets with students and pick up completed work to take back to the teachers. In town students are expected to return their completed work to the elementary school between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. for grading and corrections and to receive their new packets for the week.

North Toole County students in grades seven through 12 will find most of their work items available on Google Classroom and other online platforms. Students are urged to frequently check their email and Google Classroom for updates and new assignments. 

Students needing to make arrangements for another time to pick up and drop off their work packets can call (406) 937-2816 for elementary students and (406) 937-2811 for high school. 

“If you have questions about this new curricular offering, please contact your child’s teacher,” said Bucklin. “The communication necessary to make this work is vital. Please continue to watch our school website and school Facebook page for updates and information.”

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