By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
YPS administrators, teachers and other personnel have been working over the summer to develop the district’s “Return to Learn” plan and procedures.
With the start of the 2020-21 school year just weeks away, YPS officials recently unveiled a Return to Learn link on the district’s homepage. The site features 12 pages of answers to “frequently asked questions”.
YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth has asked district patrons for their patience and understanding because there will be changes as the back-to-school process evolves in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring, but we’re doing our best,” Simeroth said in an online video message. “We know we’re not going to please everybody but we’re doing the best we possibly can to take care of those 9,000-plus students who will be in our school district next year.
“Our goal as a collective group is to do what we believe, what science tells us and what the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) tells us to be the best for our kids and our staff to keep everybody as safe as possible.”
All 13 YPS sites will have sanitation protocols and increased hand sanitizer stations and staff members will be screened daily.
Social distancing measures will be practiced whenever possible, including one-way traffic flows in cafeterias and common areas, established hallway procedures for changing classes, student desk separation, and seating separation in common areas as much as possible.
The Yukon school district has implemented a plan that requires facial coverings for students and staff that aligns with the state health department’s COVID-19 alert system.
The 2020-21 school year is due to start Thursday, Aug. 20 for YPS students in the traditional school setting.
Yukon Virtual School starts Wednesday, Aug. 26; enrollment is now a semester-long commitment.
YPS student learning options for the 2020-21 school year are:
TRADITIONAL: Classes will be taught in person by YPS teachers with modified distancing and safety practices.
VIRTUAL: Self-paced online learning regularly monitored by virtual teachers, counselors and administrators with curriculum provided by Edgenuity/Florida Virtual. Application deadline is July 31.
BLENDED: Option for high school students only who need a combination of in-person and online education. Application required.
In case of a school shutdown, YPS officials will implement a recently developed “continuous learning plan” to ensure education continues during the 2020-21 school year.
If schools are again closed like they were in mid-March due to a virus outbreak, YPS will implement this option so students can attend classes at home.
Learning would continue through daily instruction provided online by YPS teachers.
“Our teachers are preparing the lessons, preparing the curriculum and presenting that on a schedule on a live basis where your students can interact with the teachers,” Simeroth explained.
These live classes will be recorded so the instruction can be accessed later.
A new tool – a learning management system – will help support, communicate and engage students in their day-to-day learning, both on- and off-campus.
For complete details about the YPS Return to Learn plan, visit http://www.yukonps.com