by Marianne Gasaway
The unusual school year will come to a close Friday, May 15, for students in the Clear Lake School District.
The School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to make May 15 the final day of on-line learning for students. Teachers will be done one week later, on May 22.
“Our students have been utilizing on-line learning since March 16 — two months is a lot,” said Superintendent Doug Gee.
Despite the early end, Clear Lake students will still have received more than 1,100 hours of instruction, even more than the 1,080 required by the state.
Gee noted the Clear Lake District exceeded the standard even though Governor Kim Reynolds forgave the first 10 days of instruction after her initial COVID-19 shutdown. The district’s online learning plan was among the first to rollout in the state and there was very little interruption for local students. In addition, there have been no early dismissal breaks for students.
“Teachers came in and worked March 16-19 to put together on-line learning programs and have been working very hard ever since,” added Gee. “Although their contracts run to June, I am sure they have put in extra hours in March, April and May.”
Board President Chyrl Bergvig agreed, saying she is hearing many reports of teachers working with students and preparing online lessons well beyond school hours. “Our teachers are putting in much more time — it’s not an 8-4 day,” Bergvig said.
Gee said the Clear Lake teaching staff will use May 15-22 to develop a plan to assess students when they return next school year and how to help those who did not meet expectations for their grade level.
“Assessment will be vital in the fall so we can front load things to help kids— and to what degree,” said CLHS Principal Chris Murphy.
The district may consider using funds provided by the CARES Act to offer extra tutoring or Saturday morning school next year. And despite the fact that the governor has waived the requirement that schools begin the week before Labor Day,To read more of this article, please login or sign up for our E-Edition