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Jasper County Tribune

Learning through COVID

Colfax-Mingo administrators share work being done in schools through the pandemic

While the district may be running under unprecedented circumstances, the schools are working hard to stay as “normal” as possible for the students. At the October Colfax-Mingo School Board meeting, administrators reported the work being done in the schools from mitigation strategies to classroom activities.

At the elementary, principal Brian Summy said the extended late start has allowed staff more time to contact distance learners, monitor reading progress plan math pilots and assessments, create student videos for parent/teacher conferences, update standards-referenced report cards and create lessons in Google Classrooms. In the classroom, goals and activities have been created to incorporate PBIS to keep the school days meaningful and incentivizing.

At the junior and senior high schools, multiple programs are being used to deliver class lessons to both on-site and distance learners. Staff is challenged with monitoring students and using the late start to follow up. Also, as students return, staff is helping them reintegrate back to the classroom requiring more oversight.

Attendance of distance learners has become a focal point, and administration will be meeting with parents of distance learners to collaborate for the student’s success. Discussion is also being had about providing adequate staff prep periods with the block scheduling. The teachers were again commended for their adaptability and dedication to each student’s need.

Superintendent Erik Anderson reported the special education coordinator and curriculum director have been talks with contacting distance learners who are not maintaining class status or those who may be considered truant. Also, a study of the drop in certified enrollment showed the largest majority of those no longer attending were move-outs. Anderson said he has developed a survey to collect information on open-enroll out reasons.

In other business:

• The board approved a bid from Environmental Protection Services for $21,450 for the asbestos abatement of the three-story building in Mingo.

• A motion to approve the recommendation for the district to offer an early retirement packet to qualifying personnel for the 2020-2021 school year failed 3-4. Board members Jan Myers, Mardell Tomlonovic, Dawn Gibson and Doug Van Dyke voted against the measure.

• Since the board previously approved the continued use of gaiters and shields, along with safe-distance protocols, Anderson reported there had been no new quarantine cases to report.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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