On February 9, 2021, Governor DeWine asked schools and districts to work with their communities to help students continue to advance academically and to make up for any learning that may have been lost due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Governor requested that schools and districts design plans that address extended learning opportunities to meet the needs of students that could include, but are not limited to, extending the current year, beginning the new year early, extending the school day, or instituting summer programs.
Manchester Local Schools has always prided itself in knowing what student learning issues may be impacting our students. Manchester Local is very fortunate in that we did not experience any long delay of implementing in-person school for all grades K-12. Approximately 82% of all district students have attended classes every day in person starting on August 31, 2020. Students who chose not to attend in-person classes because of parental concerns have been given instruction on a daily basis through a remote instruction and learning process. Parents of students that chose the on-line curriculum were given the option to return to in-person classes at the start of the new semester and before.
Data for students in reading and other content areas has been analyzed and indicates that students have not experienced major drops in cognitive understanding and development. Students attending in-person and remote classes have also had the opportunity to work with school counselors and staff relating to social and emotional programming, as well as being able to be involved with building sport and club programs.
In order to continue the growth of our students, we will be offering a limited full curricular summer program in grades K--4 that has been used in the past with professional staff to both enrich and remediate learning needs for any student whose parent requests the program for their child. The program is run for two weeks, at no charge, extending the school year for students who wish to be enrolled. Grades 5--8 will also maintain a summer extended program, at no charge, for students needing remediation in content areas. These programs are designed to give an assist boost in advancing learning and remediation for students who need it. Both programs are open to parents of students who confirm attendance for their child to be placed in the extended programming offered. Grade 9-12 is investigating needs, if any, that our students will require over the summer in order to be prepared for the new 2021-2022 school year through the use of technology based programming.
Manchester Local Schools has every intention of starting the 2021-2022 school year with in-person learning for all students. Due to the potential of the pandemic, concerned parents may have a choice of on-line programming that is being investigated. There will be parent surveys designed to determine the need for technology on-line programming as a choice and not as a mandate.
Students for the 2021-2022 school year will be identified across all grades for learning concerns with the use of both staff-made assessments as well as assessments for on-target learning needs as has been done throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Any student learning gaps identified will result in extended programming in after-school hours for all students in need of additional help during the 2021-2022 school year.
Social and emotional needs have been and will continue to be identified and addressed in all grades and buildings. This identification of student need will be done through the use of counselors, teaching staff, and parents. Students in need of social and emotional health needs will be serviced by building counseling staff, as well as with the assistance of contracted mental health care professionals put into place for all students, regardless of grade level, with Child Guidance and Family Solutions. The mental health professionals will be used for assistance with family members of students as well as students themselves. Where needed, students will be directed and referred for additional professional services outside of the regular hours of the students’ school day.