NEWMAN - Newman-Crows Landing students will not be returning to the traditional classroom this spring.
The district formally announced last Wednesday that campuses will remain closed through the end of the school year. Distance learning through the use of Chromebooks and digital platforms will continue.
The announcement, while not unexpected, erases any doubt about whether students would be back in class.
“The stop-and-go was almost building more anxiety than anything,” commented Randy Fillpot, district superintendent. “Most people are somewhat relieved to at least know what is going to happen. They may not necessarily agree. This is about being collaborative to lessen the spread of this virus. The more everybody does, the quicker we can get back economically.”
Fillpot emphasized that education will continue through the remainder of the school year.
He said the district is expanding its nutritional program to now offer three meals each weekday during this time, and is making social-emotional support available to students.
“I would say first off that our major emphasis is just on the social-emotional well-being of our students and supporting them in that regard,” the superintendent stated. “Secondly will be maintaining the learning that we already have.”
Fillpot said that letter grades assigned middle school and high school at the end of the third quarter will be the basis for their second-semester grades. Students will have the opportunity to increase the grades but most likely will not see them fall, he explained.
“We are going to make sure that all of our kids are working on A-G classes at the high school, and that all of our seniors will be able to graduate who have earned that right,” Fillpot said.
The district has enhanced its technology and use of digital learning platforms in recent years, he added, positioning it well for the transition.
“We are really kind of prepared for it,” Fillpot commented. “We are finding some gaps that we occasionally need to fill. After spring break we are probably going to look at anything that needs to be updated, or packets that need to be made for kids who don’t have (home) internet. There are about 25, and we are working on a solution for them.”
Fillpot said discussions have been ongoing about possibly holding traditional senior events such graduation later in the summer, possibly in late July.
“We could do something virtual but we would really like to be able to honor the achievements of all our graduates and eighth-grade students as well,” he commented. “They need to be recognized for that.”