The El Dorado School District released its Ready for Learning plan Friday morning and made it available for parents to read on the district’s website.
The Ready for Learning initiative, a joint effort between the Arkansas Departments of Health and Education, guided districts in planning for school’s reopening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on August 24.
In light of the plan’s release, the ESD has reopened enrollment for its two learning options offered to students this year through 5 p.m. on Monday, July 27. The ESD is offering a fully-virtual learning environment called Wildcat Online Academy, as well as a blended on-site learning option, which will integrate technology into students’ regular five-day-a-week curriculum in case the virus necessitates schools’ closure again during the 2020/2021 school year.
“Now that we have more information available to give our parents and students, we felt we needed to give one more opportunity for people to enroll in the Wildcat Online Academy or switch their enrollment to the blended on-site learning,” ESD Superintendent Jim Tucker said. “Hopefully, the details in our plan will give parents the peace of mind they need to make the right choice for their family.”
Students’ school days will look a lot different this year than they likely ever have before.
The ESD’s Ready for Learning plan includes new school policies on a wide range of topics focused on student and staff health; from stepping onto the school bus to leaving at the dismissal bell, new protocols have been designed to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
Parents are encouraged to read the Ready for Learning plan and review it with their children in the ESD before school starts next month. Tucker noted during a recent talk at an El Dorado Rotary Club meeting that much of the responsibility for health screening will lie in parents’ hands.
Details included in the Ready for Learning plan include protocols for student and staff screenings and illnesses; school-sponsored travel; face coverings; sanitization and cleaning; social distancing within school buildings at different times of the day; school-sponsored transportation; parent visits; fire and tornado drills; and sick leave for teachers and sick days for students.
Returning students in 6th, 8th and 10th through 12th grades will not report to their schools to pick up their schedules; however, orientations will be held for those in 5th, 7th and 9th grades, as well as any new students. Elementary orientation will also be held, on August 17, from noon to 6 p.m. at Hugh Goodwin, Yocum and Northwest.
Other orientations are scheduled:
-Barton Junior High School, August 13, in the cafeteria: 10 to 11:30 a.m. for last names A through F; from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for last names G through K; from 1 to 2:30 p.m. for last names L through P and from 2:30 to 4 p.m. for last names Q through Z
-Washington Middle School, August 17: noon to 6 p.m.
-El Dorado High School, August 18: 9 to 10:30 a.m. for last names A through F; 10:30 to noon for last names G through K; 1:30 to 3 p.m. for last names L through P; and 3 to 4:30 p.m. for last names Q through Z
In light of the plan’s release, the ESD has reopened enrollment for all students so that parents may reconsider their choice on their child’s learning environment for the upcoming school year with knowledge of the new protocols in mind.
Those who wish to change their child’s registration from on-site to the virtual Wildcat Online Academy may do so at eldoradopublicschools.org, by following the menu option ‘Headlines’, selecting the top story listed and following the enrollment link to the Google form that can be submitted in order to register.
Those who wish to change their child’s registration from virtual learning to on-site learning should send a request via email to their child’s school’s representative. They are:
for Hugh Goodwin Elementary: Jesica Collins, who can be reached at [email protected]
for Northwest Elementary: Sherry Floss, who can be reached at [email protected]
for Yocum Elementary: Jessica Moore, who can be reached at [email protected]
for Washington Middle School: Bethanie Hale, who can be reached at [email protected]
for Barton Junior High: Andria Gleghorn, who can be reached at [email protected]
for El Dorado High School: Amy Miller, who can be reached at [email protected], for those with last names starting with A through Ha; Amanda Roberson, who can be reached at [email protected], for those with last names starting with He-O; and Nancy Watson, who can be reached at [email protected], for those with last names starting with P-Z