Local school district not sure what upcoming year will look like for students

Education 21st Century

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – “I would do anything to go back to last year,” Molly Mclaughlin, a senior in the Seaman School District said, thinking about the uncertainty of the coming school year.

She said most of her classmates feel the same way, and thinking back on virtual social distance learning, she said it was sometimes a struggle to find the motivation.

“There’s nothing that can really replace the in-person instruction, which is why I think we all hope to return in the fall,” Mclaughlin said.

So, to try and make that a reality, the district created the “continuous learning task force,” which Mclaughlin is on.

It’s made up of parents, students, teachers, administrators and board members, all brainstorming how they can make a safe, return this fall.

The principal at West Indianola Elementary, Tami Wadi, said they haven’t gotten guidelines from the state yet so they’ve been relying on feedback from parents and faculty to create a tentative plan with three options to choose from.

“The on-site option, a hybrid option, and a remote learning option,” Wade said.

The on-site option would have students and faculty in schools, wearing masks and social distancing; whereas the remote option would be done virtually at home.

Families can also choose a hybrid of the two.

“We could maybe have some students on-site, some students at home, and maybe we wouldn’t all be there at the same time so we could social distance and have those safety measures in place a little bit more,” Wade said.

Mclaughlin thinks the on-site option would be ideal but doesn’t think it’s realistic with the current state of the pandemic.

“I think the hybrid would be really nice because it gives a lot of options to people who aren’t maybe comfortable coming back completely, but it doesn’t completely count out people who really want to come back,” Mclaughlin said.

She said a lot of her friends are hoping the plan will include a way for sports and clubs to still take place as well.

Wade said the task force is waiting on the Kansas Department of Education to put out their guidelines in the coming days so they can get their final plan for the Seaman district out to parents and faculty.

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