The Polk School District is looking toward year’s end and how students will be graded on their performance as campuses statewide are closed through May, with the hoped-for return to classrooms this August coming up.
The district announced that the last day of students having Distance Learning packets was April 17, and that any further education efforts on behalf of parents and students would be optional from this point forward. No additional packets are set to be distributed.
In a letter updating students and parents on the situation, the district stated that online resources will be made available via the district website and individual teacher’s websites for their classrooms, and are being put in place to provide the opportunity for students “to continue learning through enrichment and skill maintenance.”
For those students on the high school level in advanced courses, the work isn’t quite done yet. Those classes will end on May 1.
“Beyond this date, instructors will provide study materials for test preparation,” the letter stated. “Students that have elected to sit for an online AP test will be contacted by his or her school with further instructions.”
Students in dual enrollment programs will see their classes online end on May 8, and Odysseyware courses end on Friday, May 22.
“In addition, the last day for a student to submit any outstanding assignments is Friday, May 22,” the letter stated. “Students should be in contact with their teachers to coordinate these efforts.”
The other issue before parents and students is how promotion to the next grade level will work, or whether they’ll be retained for a time in their current grade.
Students will be promoted or retained in grades based on the majority of the school year that was in place as the third nine weeks ended in March.
“Grades will be assigned for the fourth 9 weeks based upon completion of the distance learning packets; however, these grades will be considered ‘hold-harmless’,” the letter explained.
So the distance learning packets won’t decrease a student’s final grade in subjects for this year, but can only increase a grade and help youth be promoted to the next grade level in the 2020-21 school year.
Final grades will be sent out via the mail when report cards are concluded during the week of May 26.
The collection of Distance Learning packets will begin on May 4 and continue through May 8, daily from 11 a.m. to 1 pm., and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. To be able to handle the number of packets coming back into schools, the district has provided the following schedule:
♦ On May 4, packets can be dropped off for Kindergarten, first, sixth and ninth grade students.
♦ On May 5, packets are being collected for second, seventh and tenth grade students.
♦ On May 6, parents can drop off packets for third, eighth and 11th grade students.
♦ On May 7, fourth and 12th grade student packets will be collected.
♦ On May 5, fifth grade packets are being collected at schools.
Parents are also asked to bring back library books, uniforms and school devices or equipment when they drop off packets for the academic year’s end.
As some students are planning their return for the school year this August, so another group will begin their education. Pre-K and Kindergarten registration is now being setup to pickup packets in the school their child is zoned to attend.
During the week of May 4 through May 8, packets will be available at those schools in a drive thru setting and educators will be on hand to provide them the information needed to register a student for Pre-K and Kindergarten.
Additionally, Elementary Schools during that week will be available by phone to help determine where a child is zoned to come and pickup a packet. All educators will need is a street address to provide that information.
School officials are asking for parents to return the filled out packet information and a copy of a utility bill to show proof of residency during the week of May 18 through May 22.
Additional forms — immunization, along with hearing, vision and dental forms and social security cards will be needed and collected when school starts back in August. The annual Pre-K drawing will be held in June.
“All current Pre-K students will be automatically enrolled into Kindergarten at their respective school,” officials reported in the update letter on April 17. “If you are not zoned for that school, you will be contacted with further instructions.”
Kindergarten registration forms for those not enrolled in Pre-K classes within the district can be picked up during the week of May 4 through May 8 at a child’s zoned school. Those registration forms are due the same week as Pre-K, May 18 through May 22.