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By Mike Scott
“Teachers are working their tales off ,” said Middle School Principal Jason Church at Wednesday night’s meeting of the CCR-1 School Board. “And the kids are coming back empty-handed.”
The every-other-day schedule that the Middle School and High School have been operating on has been successful in reducing the number of students being quarantined due to the COVID-19 virus.
“Overall, the Orange Level has worked. The numbers are down,” said Superintendent Dr, Ritchie Kracht.
However, the schedule has been problematic for quality education.
“Right now, one-sixth of my kids would be repeating their grade,” said Church.
The situation is no better at the High School.
“Currently, 37 students have a failing grade, and 19 have multiple failing grades,” said High School Principal Jason Harper. For comparison, last year, 19 students had failing grades, with only 3 having more than one failing grade.
To address the problem, the CCR-1 board approved an intervention plan for these at-risk students.
High School students who are failing two or more classes in the current quarter, or have failed two more classes in the first semester, will be required to attend classes on campus every day.
“We can do that, and maintain social distancing,” said Harper.
Middle School students will face the same criteria if they are failing two or more core classes.
Grades will be calculated every two weeks. Students will be required attend every day until their grades improve to a 63 percent, or “D” grade.
The plan went into effect at the High School on Monday, and will be implement at the start of the third quarter at the Middle School.
“I think if we work real hard until Christmas, we can make a difference for some of these students,” said Harper.
“We don’t want the value of education to be watered down,” added Harper. “I want that piece of paper you hand them (at graduation) to mean something.”
The board also discussed upcoming winter and spring activities, including music concerts, basketball Senior Night, Courtwarming, and Prom and graduation.
The High School’s Holiday Concert was held Sunday, December 13. Only two guests were allowed per participant, and the concert was live-streamed. The Middle School concert has been moved to the High School on December 21.
Basketball Senior Night will be next Friday, December 18, versus Macon.
Courtwarming and Prom dances aren’t likely to happen.
“Unfortunately, a dance is the worst possible idea,” said Harper, adding that he would like to have a Prom after graduation, if the COVID -19 situation at the time allows it.
“We would like to have these opportunities for our kids,” said Kracht.
Graduation will probably be at the Activity Field, like it was last spring.
In other business, the board:
-Approved the annual audit. John Gillum, Auditor, reported that the district’s finances were in good shape despite the challenging year. He expects 2021 to also be a challenge due to the audit requirement of the Coronavirus and CARES Act money.
-Approved new safety procedures for the FFA Trap team.
-Awarded surplus property bids.
-Nurse Ardith Harmon reported that as of Wednesday, only 42 students and thres staff members were quarantined, and there were only three active cases in the school district.
-Extended a COVID-19 leave policy for teachers .
-Reported that the school district received all “4’s”, the highest ranking, in the Clarence Cannon Conference Fall Sportsmanship ratings.
-Set Wednesday, January 13, as the date of the next school board meeting