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Milan C-2 Education Matters Newsletter

EDUCATION MATTERS #66

By Dr. Ben Yocom – Milan C-2 School District Superintendent

“STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE IN EVERYTHING”

The late Billy Graham said – “Comfort and prosperity has never enriched the world as much as adversity has.”  I personally find myself looking at examples of strength to help my attitude during this extremely unique time in world today.  The current COVID-19 pandemic has literally impacted everything for everyone!  There is not a place in our country that has not been impacted by this situation.  The Milan C-2 School District initially closed school on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 – as of today (April 2nd, 2020), we are set to be closed through Friday, April 17th, 2020.  My plan is to close school in two (2) week increments; rather than publicizing a lengthy closing.  It is much easier to add days to the “Closing” than to reduce the “Closing”. 

As a school district, we have (and will continue) to provide meals to all students that need or request the food.  If meals are desired, Parents-Guardians-Students need to contact Mrs. Ali McCully at 660-265-1417 to arrange delivery.  Every day, volunteers from the Food Service team, Transportation team, teachers and other school staff deliver nearly one-hundred and ninety (190) meals to residents within the Milan C-2 School District.  Our commitment is to continue to do this as long as necessary.

In an effort to respond to the emotional needs for our students, we have clear lines of communication (typically via email or to the appropriate extension) to our current Guidance-Counseling staff.  Unfortunately, many tend to forget the tremendous impact this entire situation has had on the overall emotional well-being of children.  If anyone knows of any student or individual that needs additional emotional support, please contact me directly or ANY person at our school.  Providing support for each other during this time is absolutely vital!  You CAN be there for one another and abide by the “Social Distancing” provisions – there are multiple technology options for video-conferencing and nearly every cellular phone has the opportunity to add other participants to a call.  

While the academic demands are far from the highest priority right now, we ARE continuing to provide opportunities for students to review and maintain their basic skills – specifically in the areas of:  Reading, Writing and Math.  Again, this is NOT to minimize the importance of the other subject areas; it is merely to focus on options to refine these vital skills.  In the next two (2) weeks, specific information regarding how credits will be obtained for students in High School (Grades 9-12) and how grades will be awarded to students in Kindergarten through 8th grade.  There is no way to appropriately evaluate coursework for a traditional letter grade and therefore, grades will likely be issued under the “Pass/Fail” process.  If this is the way grades are awarded the traditional Cumulative Grade-Point Averages (GPAs) will be tabulated without the Spring Semester of the 2019-2020 School Year.  In short, graduates’ GPAs are typically figured using eight (8) total semesters and from this point forward, all High School students’ GPAs will be tabulated using seven (7) semesters; meaning this semester (Spring of 2020) will have no impact on a student’s GPA.  As time progresses, we will continue to hold safe and responsible options for students-parents/guardians to drop off or pick up materials.  We are also planning our FIRST #MC2-Strong parade – this will consist of a caravan of staff driving around town to show support for the students at home.  The purpose is to simply show the students that we, as a school, care about them and are still here!

As you also know, there are no Extra or Co-Curricular activities taking place right now and while school is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be NO Extra or Co-Curricular activities.  The respective state-level associations have provided no guidance regarding how this will impact the overall district or state level competitions/conferences.  

I have been asked multiple times regarding the district’s plans to have or not have SUMMER SCHOOL.  The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MO-DESE) has not provided any specific guidance regarding how or if Summer School will be able to be held during the Summer of 2020.  The first day of Summer School for this summer is Monday, May 18th, 2020.  As of right now, we are planning to hold Summer School and begin on 5/18/20.  Like anything else related to this pandemic, that could change.  If/when something changes regarding Summer School, notifications will be sent out.  Mrs. Mary Jo Sawyer, the MC2 Summer School Director, will be sharing information as time progresses.  Please email her or contact her at 660-265-1419 with specific questions.

Another question I have had is the district’s status regarding PROM and GRADUATION.  Prom is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 2nd, 2020 and Graduation on Sunday, May 10th, 2020.  If school is canceled or closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, holding either of these events at the scheduled dates will likely not happen.  It would be irresponsible to proceed with these activities if school is closed to mitigate the spread of the virus.  As soon as a decision is made regarding Prom and Graduation, an announcement will go out IMMEDIATELY.  Again, feel free to contact me directly with ANY questions.  

As we progress through this situation, I encourage each of you to follow the directives and/or recommendations regarding Social Distancing, Hand-Washing, staying away if you feel ill, limiting exposure if you have an elevated body temperature, etc.  The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has a plethora of information to assist in dealing with this situation (https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/).  This information is updated daily.  Also, regarding educational resources and activities – we are in the process of adding multiple links and options to the district’s website (www.milan.k12.mo.us) – and hope to have this up by Friday, 4/3/20.  Please check the site regularly.

On 4/1/20 – the district publicized an “At-Home Learning Survey” for Parents-Guardians of students.  If you have completed the survey – THANKS!  If you have yet to do so, please complete as soon as possible.  This information will help us improve our sharing of educational materials.  Remember, this was sprung on all of us in a very short amount of time and we are doing the best we can under the circumstances.  Again, our priority is that students can do something to practice educational skills – not to master new concepts.  We also understand the strain this process has put on parents-guardians.

In closing, I firmly and adamantly feel we WILL GET THROUGH THIS SITUATION!  Our ability to persevere has been tested (and will continue to be tested).  We must be positive and optimistic; while paying attention to the factual information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.  Stay tuned to the district’s Social Media and official internet platforms. No matter what, I still believe Every Day is a GREAT DAY to be a MILAN WILDCAT!  Do not hesitate to contact me at byocom@milan.k12.mo.us or a 660-265-1401.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Milan School District C-2373 S. Market StreetMilan, MO  63556

p. 660.265.4414f. 660.265.4315

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