SWMO schools adapting during pandemic

Joplin Area Coronavirus

SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Schools around the Four States have been back in session since August and it’s been a different kind of school year so far.

Dan Decker, College Heights Superintendent, said, “The biggest impact that COVID has had on us of course is your normal routine, everyday routines have had to change.”

Many schools in the Four States are finishing their first quarter. Administrators say their districts saw a jump in quarantine cases within the first couple of weeks, but those have since dropped off.

David Pyle, Carl Junction Schools, said, “The second and third week of school were the time that we had the most positive cases and the highest number of students quarantined. Since then it’s declined.”

Now students and families are transferring from an online education to an in person one.

“We started with roughly about ten percent of students, our total student population, choosing to be engaged with virtual instruction, and I can’t give you, but over time we’ve had students return from that and decided that it wasn’t the best option for them.”

And jumping into a more normal form of learning.

“What we found is that a majority of the students and their parents want their students face to face in school for that socialized learning option,” said, Decker

Coming from an uncertain beginning of the school year, educators are grateful for how the students—and the community—have reacted.

“Starting the school year we all didn’t have any idea what to expect, but I can’t be more pleased with our community, our parents, our staff, but especially our students with how they handled the situation,” said Pyle.

While being prepared for the fluidity of the coronavirus.

“We’re proactive in that we made the decision to hire on some permanent substitute teachers for the school year knowing that it was likely we were going to have times where we would have more teachers out than we usually would.”

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