ROCK SPRINGS — The school year officially starts on Monday, August 17, and parents in Sweetwater County School District No. 1 will some options in providing education for their students.
The district developed these options after the Smart Start Task Force came together over the summer to address back-to-school protocols in the wake of COVID-19.
“Sweetwater #1 created a process to support the various needs of all families within the district,” said Superintendent Kelly McGovern. “Every family is unique so we wanted a process that allowed for flexibility, choice options, and yet would meet the individual needs of students.”
Parents will have the choice between in person learning, on-line instruction, or a hybrid of the two options.
The district recently shared registration information for all of the options through its ParentSquare application. Here is some general information about those registrations.
Students attending in-person will receive all of their scheduled classes inside one of the district schools. All of the core classes (English, math, social studies, and science), elective classes for secondary, and elementary specials (art, music, library, PE/health) will proceed on schedule.
“As a district, we will continue to follow the state and local health orders,” McGovern said. “This is the tough part because the landscape of those orders may change over time.”
McGovern said students will have the opportunity to eat school breakfast or lunch either in the school cafeteria or in classrooms. District transportation will continue as normal and a schedule can be found on the district website. Students will be required to wear masks on the buses and they may bring their own as long as the masks are educationally appropriate.
The following safety protocols will be followed daily for those students choosing the in-person instruction option:
- Parent screening prior to their student coming to school
- Temperature kiosks upon arrival at District schools and facilities
- Regular hand washing routines and hand sanitizer available and used
- Masks and face coverings as state and local health orders require
- Extensive cleaning efforts to sanitize and disinfect schools, buses, and playground equipment
- Frequent signage around the school to remind students and staff of COVID-19 information and safety measures
- Negative pressure air machines to create isolation rooms, if needed
- Positive air flow to allow outside air into the buildings
- UVC lighting to disinfect bacteria and viruses in the air
- Student and staff training on COVID-19 precautions
If your student is choosing the in-classroom instruction option, click here for more information.
Classroom-Based Virtual Education
Students attending in the classroom-based virtual option will be required to pick up their technology on Friday, August 14, 2020. Communication containing details on when and where to pick up technology on August 14 will be shared by building administrators, said McGovern.
- Kindergarten through third grade students will receive an iPad with a charger and case.
- Fourth through twelfth graders will receive a laptop, charger, and carrying case.
“Students will be required to sign into the links provided by their teachers at the regularly scheduled time,” McGovern said. ‘Teachers will provide meeting links to students, and all teachers will be provided iPads and laptops so they are able to share computer screens and stream live video of teaching to their classes throughout the day.”
Students will be required to sign into their classes at the beginning of the day and will be marked absent for that class or a portion of that day if they fail to do so.
The following supplies and material will be provided for those students choosing the virtual education option:
- Laptops and iPads for all teachers
- Swivl cameras for all classrooms (beginning in September when they arrive)
- iPads and protective cases for all K-3 students
- Laptops and carrying cases for all 4-12 students
- Internet support for families in need through Kajeet and Verizon hotspots
- Canvas – Learning Management System for all teachers to use for virtual classrooms
- Google Classroom for all teachers to use for assignment and assessment management
- Student and Staff help desk systems to facilitate remote assistance needs from the Information Technology Department
- Various education software programs for students at all grade levels and abilities including programs provided with reading and math curriculum used by the District (ReadyGEN, Springboard, Big Ideas Math, and Eureka Math)
If your child will be participating in classroom-based virtual education, click here for more information.
McGovern said both options are geared to meet the educational and emotional needs of both the students and their parents.
“Since the school closures began last March, the last five months have been a real struggle for some students, staff, and families,” she said. “Kids need the social interaction of their classmates and school staff (teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals) along with solid instruction.”