The Salida School Board is coming closer to a decision on how to proceed with the return of school in the Fall. During their special meeting on June 23, Superintendent David Blackburn updated the board on what school may look like. “We have explored as many possible things without killing things ahead of time.”
The school district is looking at options including in-person classes, online only and a class structure called ‘Blended learning’.
The school administration has mapped out and made a plan for student programing; a four-tiered approach that has been put in front of staff and medical professionals. Each tier is assigned a different color in relation to level of outbreaks within the community.
The School District says it is still making minor tweaks to make it as effective as possible. The Salida School Board has also approved the purchase of Chromebooks on a 1:1 basis for all students. Board members say this will allow for seamless transition from in-class learning to home learning if the public health situation makes it necessary to shift how school classes are run.
The School Board is aware that with the fluid public health situation, not every family is going to feel comfortable sending their children to public school in-person classes this fall. With this in mind, the board approved an application for a Grades 4-8 online school for Salida. This program will allow around 50 families to participate in online-only learning by choice, providing the flexibility to support students even if they are not physically in the classroom.
“Blended Learning” was highlighted during the meeting. This approach would help maintain relationships between students and teachers while assuring the best education. According to the school district, it allows teachers to pivot and students to remain engaged if the virus potentially gets worse within the community.
Blackburn summarized the plans the Board has developed so far by saying; “Overall, I think we do have a structure that works on the financial side, the medical side, and will work on the student programming side. [As to] big picture planning, we have that part [too].”
The Board hopes to have a finalized plan by July 6.