Press Release 09-22-2020Posted by Chris Berger on 9/22/2020 4:30:00 PM
Press Release 09-21-2020Posted by Chris Berger on 9/21/2020 4:30:00 PM
COVID-19 Press ReleasePosted by Chris Berger on 9/15/2020 3:30:00 PM
Our school community has experienced our first COVID-19 positive staff member. Please see the image below for additional information.
Any questions can be submitted to our question forum linked at the top of this page.
Chromebook MaintenancePosted by Brian Ernst on 8/24/2020
We understand things happen while you're working at home. To get maintenance for a virtual student's Chromebook, follow the process below:1. Parents or students put in tickets to the email address setup:Please leave student name, parent name, contact email or phone number on the ticket and problem that is occuring.2. Drop offs at HIGH SCHOOL ONLY Monday-Friday 7am - 2:30pm. We have put 2 buckets right inside the front door (hallway area) of HS office with the secretary. 1-Repaired(Outgoing) 1-Damaged(Incoming).NOTE: If you are quarantined for any reason, you should not be coming to the building. Have someone who is not quarantined drop your device off for maintenance if needed.3. We will send email/call parents to let them know repair is occurring.Replacements for damaged or lost chargers will need to be purchased by guardians or families from the school. Negligent damage to Chromebooks or lost Chromebooks will be charged to guardians or families as well.Replacement chargers for Grades K-6, 9-11 cost $20.00. Total Chromebook replacement cost is $320 should there be significant negligence, destruction, or loss of Chromebook.Annual insurance of $20 is still due 6-12 and covers the cost of a single repair. This can be paid in the parent portal online.*This link is for students/parents ONLY, staff should still utilize the internal helpdesk system.**This is for virtual students ONLY - students attending in session should see their building librarian (6-12) or classroom teacher (K-5) with any problems.
Wildcat Families UpdatePosted by Chris Berger on 8/21/2020
Thank you for continuing to partner with us in anticipation of a very unique start of a school year. In addition to my three asks: providing transportation if able, engaging in your child’s education, and monitoring your child’s health, you have also helped design our reopening plan by participating in our summer survey. Nearly all families have logged on to our online registration (OLR) and have chosen either a seated or a virtual option. All this has been, and will continue to be, a huge help as we start school next week. Continue to communicate with your respective building(s) to help ensure a smooth start.
At this writing approximately 18% of our families have chosen the virtual option. Mr. Smith, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, will be sending directions on virtual instruction directly to those families with students receiving virtual instruction. This information is great for students and equally important for parents. If you missed Mr. Smith’s recent video, please contact your building so we can get you connected.
For seated students the administration team has placed a lot of focus on planning routines and communicating new expectations the first few days, possibly several days, to make certain students feel comfortable back at school. This process will not be rushed. Students will need time to become familiar with new expectations regarding masks, spacing, and hygiene. Students will also need time to become both self and socially aware of our new normals. While always important, it has never been more critical to talk to your child about how their daily school experiences. Continue to talk to your child about school and help communicate any challenges or concerns to their teachers. Counselors or principals may also be needed, never hesitate to reach out to those resources either.
When we know our students are ready, we have a lot of work to do. We will need to assess your child for gaps in last year’s learning. Teachers will then both work to close those learning gaps and strive to lead students in mastering new standards. That is not that different from any other year - it just might take a little longer to get to this point.
We believe any time we get to connect to your student face-to-face will greatly benefit your child’s learning. Our adherence to three strategies; spacing, hygiene, masks, will increase the chance of an extended period of seated instruction. It will also increase the chances of continuing extracurriculars which are a large part of the educational experience. Please help us in this challenge. We are all in this together.
Academic PlanningPosted by Doug Smith on 8/6/2020
Hello Wildcat Nation.
We have fewer than three weeks remaining until school begins for the 2020-21 school year, which is shaping up to be vastly different from any we have seen before. And although this year will provide some differences from previous years, one thing will remain constant - Wright City School District teachers will provide an amazing education for our students. In fact, K-12 teachers have spent numerous days this summer preparing lessons and adapting curriculum for multiple learning contingencies, and we are proud of their efforts and excited by the products they are creating.
This communication will provide information about the Wright City School District’s Academic Plan for the upcoming school year and will provide students and families information about what to expect beginning on August 24. Using data and feedback obtained in surveys from both last spring concerning AMI and surveys about reopening schools, we have been working to create learning opportunities that will best meet the needs of all of our students. Obviously, the plan spelled out below is subject to change depending upon guidance received from state and local health organizations.
Before getting into the specific plans, we want to first make sure that we have first provided some definitions and explanations of a few terms that may be used in this document.
- Traditional Education: Students will be attending classes in Wright City School District buildings receiving in-person instruction from Wright City educators. This traditional approach may need some modification during a crisis.
- Virtual Learning: Students will receive instruction electronically, and all completed work will be submitted and revised electronically. Teacher and student communication will occur via electronic means (email, Google comments, Zoom), and no in-person meetings are required for course completion. Virtual learning can occur for some students during a time when the majority of students are receiving Traditional Education, or virtual learning can occur primarily outside of regular school hours when appropriate for families/students.
- AMI (Alternative Methods of Instruction): When all of the district students are unable to attend school due to an issue beyond their control, we will continue to provide them a learning experience. The majority of AMI will be virtual, but AMI may also require other methods of reaching students.
As has been previously communicated, we are planning at this time to open up with a modified traditional approach to education. We absolutely believe that the best place for students to learn is at school in the classrooms of teachers who know and care about their students, and we believe that Wright City has some of the best teachers anywhere. Individual buildings are rolling out their plans to families about how they will mitigate the risk of COVID-19, and although these plans change what has been the norm in our schools for years, we are still thrilled that students will be with our teachers.
We understand that medically vulnerable students and families with additional health concerns may select to attend virtually, which is why we currently have teachers working to create our own virtual curriculum. The Wright City Virtual Education option allows students to work from home home while still receiving instruction and feedback from local teachers. In some instances and after consultation and consideration, we may have to reach out to other companies to provide a virtual course; however, we would rather keep virtual courses local, if possible.
So, as of now, on August 24, all students in our district will either be attending virtually through us or seated for a modified traditional education. We are requesting that all students/families enroll in one of these two options by the end of the day on August 14 so that we can begin the process of assigning students to schedules that will most benefit each of them. All students enrolled either in our traditional or virtual schools will be provided a 1:1 device on which they can complete work.
We are currently designing virtual lessons that are, based on AMI survey results, consistent in organization and structure so that parents and students will have uniform formats K-5 and 6-12. For students/families selecting this option, lessons and activities will be provided in a virtual form for students to complete by timelines given by the teacher. Teachers will communicate with students regularly, though most of the work will be done independently with teacher support and feedback.
Students will be expected to complete all work in a timely manner, engage consistently with assignments/activities, take required assessments, and respond to teacher feedback. Failure to engage in online learning activities will be treated in the same fashion in which we currently deal with absent students, and we will make every effort to work with families to have students engage.
Additionally, please know that our expectations of both teachers and students will be much higher than what they were during the crisis teaching and learning that defined the AMI process last spring. Wright City Virtual Education will not be what AMI was from March - May. We will provide new content on previously unlearned standards and will hold students accountable for participation. With strong partnerships from families, we can provide a successful learning experience, albeit a different one than traditional instruction. In order to ensure success of virtual instruction, we want to make sure that all families and students understand the following list.
Wright City Virtual Education:
- May only include core content areas
- May be taught by instructors outside of our school district (Teachers from Springfield, Mo - through Launch and Montgomery County - K-5)
- Will likely require the family to provide their student with adequate internet access to complete the required coursework
- Will include a structured timeline for work completion the student will be expected to adhere to
- Will include grading and assessment practices consistent with in-person learning
- Students, especially younger students, will need support at home to participate
Finally, in the event that we are forced into an AMI situation again at some point during this school year, students can expect again to participate in virtual meetings while also completing and working through the type of virtual lessons we will offer to students who initially enroll in our virtual coursework. We are confident that we can blend what we did well in AMI last spring with what we have learned both through virtual summer school and parent/student feedback on surveys to ensure an even more successful learning experience. Our hope is, of course, to be able to remain in the modified traditional models created by our buildings.
Be on the lookout for more specific information from the buildings in which students attend.
Reopening Update 8/5/2020Posted by Chris Berger on 8/5/2020
August is here and we are less than three weeks out from our first day of classes. Whether your family is planning seated or virtual instruction, classes begin on the 24th.
Much of what I speak to below regarding families engaging in their child’s education will be directed to our families that choose the virtual option for instruction. While that is true, research shows that parents who share in the decision making of building their child’s class schedule and monitor progress with the child are more often successful. While our quality of staff and size of our schools have a positive impact on your child's success, you also can make a huge difference. Engagement in your child’s education is critical whether your family chooses virtual or seated instruction.
Also consider, while there is still optimism that we will be able to provide a seated session beginning on the 24th; how long we are able to stay seated is an open question. This means it is at least possible (many would argue probable) that we will enter Phase I (Alternative Methods of Instruction) of our reopening plan some time this school year. If engagement is an important indicator of your child’s success for the traditional school setting, then it is absolutely critical if your family chooses virtual, or if we are forced into Phase I (AMI).
Families selecting virtual instruction will be provided lessons in a virtual form for students to complete by timelines given by the teacher. Most of the work will be done independently with teacher support. Students will be expected to complete all work in a timely manner, engage consistently, take required assessments, and respond to teacher feedback. Failure to engage in online learning activities will be treated in the same fashion in which we currently deal with absent students.
You will not be alone if your family chooses virtual instruction. Teachers will make every effort to work with families to have students engage. Depending on your child’s age and maturity, it is highly likely you also will be involved in supporting your student’s completion of lessons. Only older, self-discipline children will be successful working through a virtual course without help from home.
Last week I asked you to partner with us in providing transportation, if feasible, for those families who could help. While that was an important request my second request is more important. I am asking you to engage in your child’s education no matter if you choose seated or virtual. I truly believe this is one area where we come out better than where we were before the pandemic. Please engage with your student, whether you choose virtual or seated instruction, and stay engaged throughout the year. We need your commitment to partner with us in making your child successful.
Go Wildcats, Dr. Chris Berger
Reopening: Additional Transportation InformationPosted by Chris Berger on 7/29/2020
I hope this correspondence finds you well and enjoying the last week of July. My family always panics when this time of year gets here, and we then attempt to schedule as much fun as we can down the stretch of summer.
The administration, teachers, and support staff have been hustling down the stretch of July too. Many accommodations have been made to keep our students, staff, and families safe and educate our students in this unprecedented time. It is always important that families and the school partner to provide the best educational experience. This year that partnership will be even more important.
Information in the upcoming weeks we will be asking our family partners for help on several fronts. Depending on your family’s choice of how your child will receive his/her education this fall, your assistance will be needed, from health to academics. In the following weeks, more specific requests for your help will be solicited.
This week I call on our families for assistance in transportation. Transportation is a focus for the district in ensuring we can transport students safely. Our county health department is not imposing limits on bus capacity yet. There is consensus buses are a place where students are at a greater risk of transmission for COVID-19. Here are some of the efforts currently in place regarding transportation:
- Swapping out older buses in our fleet with a larger capacity to provide for additional space for social distancing on buses.
- Seating students back to front and making sure to keep students from the same household seated together.
- Seating charts on buses will be enforced to ensure all passengers are safe and accounted for.
- Durham will be doubling their efforts this year with regards to cleaning our buses. Between every HS/MS run and before we pick up elementary students, the buses will be sprayed down by Durham personnel.
- After the Elementary routes, this same process will occur again.
- We will also disinfect buses before and after all sports and activity outings.
Last week, I wrote about the need to review the transportation section of online registration to ensure your transportation preferences are up to date. If your child will not be riding a bus, please update your information accordingly so we can plan bus routes as accurately as possible.
In addition to updating your student’s information, I would request that if it is feasible for you to bring your student to school, please consider doing so. In our recent survey, 43% of parents indicated that they would not be using district transportation. Lower numbers on the contained buses, along with the strategies mentioned above will help further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Please let me be clear- if you need district transportation, and not utilizing our buses would mean your child would take our virtual option, put your child on the bus. My family’s intent is that my girls will mostly be brought to school by myself or my wife. Afternoons are more of a challenge and my daughters will likely ride the bus in the afternoon.
We as educators believe the benefits of most healthy children being at seated school outweigh the risk of contracting COVID. When the risk of contracting COVID outweighs seated school, the district will enact Phase I of our reopening guide and pivot to Alternative Method of Instruction (AMI).
Go Wildcats, Dr. Chris Berger
Reopening: Instruction Options and TransportationPosted by Chris Berger on 7/22/2020 2:30:00 PM
My name is Chris Berger, and I began serving as the superintendent of Wright City R-II July 1st. My family and I have been collecting our blue and gold and are anxious to start this school year. I am very much looking forward to meeting students and parents this fall; that is, of course, assuming we are back in school this fall, which I know is the question on everybody’s mind.
At this point, I report that we are planning on being back in seated school August 24th. I say that fully aware that we are in a time like no other, and circumstances may change before the fourth week of August.
The Wright City R-II Board of Education has approved the reopening plan that will guide the district. The reopening plan reflects teacher and parent surveys, input from the local health department, and input from various professional organizations. The plan provides guidance for a safe, seated more traditional setting while adhering to social distancing guidelines dictated at the time. It also contains our plan for returning to AMI if circumstances dictate.
If our plan holds and we are able to start school on August 24th, we know the best way for your child to receive their education is physically and face-to-face with our Wright City teachers. That said, all family circumstances are different and we believe the best decisions regarding your child are made by families. If you have a child in grades K-12 who is a medically vulnerable student, please go back into online registration in Infinite Campus and select the appropriate response under the section titled “COVID Response”. If your student is not medically vulnerable but you still wish to explore virtual learning, please select “Other” AND contact the respective building to explore the best option for your student with the building administrator and/or counselor. While we understand there are special circumstances that justify the decision to choose virtual learning, we believe it best for both the academic and social-emotional well-being of most students to attend physically.
Please understand that virtual instruction will be different from what was offered last spring on limited notice. Virtual instruction this fall will provide full grade-level work and timely feedback from our teachers. Virtual students will commit hours daily working in the program and likely need the assistance of parents to be successful.
In addition to the above information regarding instruction, we ask that you also take a moment to review the transportation section of online registration to ensure your transportation preferences are up to date. If your child will not be riding a bus, please update your information accordingly so we can plan bus routes as accurately as possible.
I have no doubt we can provide a quality instructional program no matter how we have to deliver it. Though we have some incredible challenges ahead of us, I look forward to serving the families and students of Wright City R-II.
Go Wildcats, Dr. Chris Berger