BSD plans to open virtually for the first 30 days of school
For the fast approaching 2020-2021 school year, the Bangor School District now plans to open virtually for the first 30 days of the calendar year. The decision was made cooperatively among the school districts of La Crosse, Bangor, Holmen, Onalaska and West Salem due to the recommendations and guidelines of the La Crosse County Health Department.
At a special meeting last week, the Bangor Board of Education approved a full-time virtual environment for PreK-12 students after the board had previously approved five-day in person instruction for the fall reopening at a meeting on July 15.
In a letter to parents and families on July 30, Superintendent Dave Laehn addressed a few key highlights. School will start Sept. 1 with staff using the first week to reach out to students and families to introduce themselves, answer questions and start building relationships in a similar way to the start of a traditional school year.
As the month proceeds, school officials will determine, based on the success of the virtual learning and the county’s health status regarding COVID-19 whether classes will remain virtual or begin phasing into in-person classroom teaching.
The virtual model will be reevaluated after 30 calendar days and an announcement will be made on approximately Sept. 23 as to whether there will be a change in the instructional model. Any change will be implemented on Monday, Oct. 5.
“We know going fully virtual causes challenges for our families and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time,” Laehn wrote. “We will continue to reach out to families during this time period to see how we can make the virtual learning platform the best it can be until we are able to return safely to in person instruction, which we hope will take place as soon as possible.”
Bangor students will have two options for enrollment; a virtual platform for September, which will be taught by Bangor teachers and an online platform from the Coulee Region Virtual Academy, which is a full-time, online instructional experience for students in grades K-12 taught by local teachers, Coulee Region Virtual Teachers, or teachers from around the state.
The Bangor Elementary School schedule will be as follows:
• Zoom (video conferencing) meetings on the top of the hour every day: 8, 9 and 10 a.m.; 1 p.m. (15 to 30-minute instruction by students’ Bangor teachers followed by individual, independent activities)
• Zoom meetings will be recorded and archived for students who may need to watch later or even a second or third time.
• New content delivered in math, reading, writing every day unless review is necessary.
• Science, social studies, music, art, PE and library will be available as well, just not as scheduled at this time.
• 8 a.m. morning meeting emphasizing socialization.
• Small group/individual Zoom opportunities throughout the day as needed.
• iPads will be sent home for grades K through 5.
• Paper packets will be needed to support virtual instruction.
• Teachers will reach out to families prior to Sept. 1 to discuss details.
Bangor Middle/High School schedule will be as follows:
• Classes via Zoom (video conferencing) led by BSD teachers on the half hour each school day: 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. (15 to 30-minute instruction by students’ Bangor teachers followed by individual, independent activities)
• There will be an allotted time for lunch each day.
• Zoom meetings will be recorded and archived in Google Classroom and may be watched at a later time.
• Classes will run on an even/odd period day rotation - Example - Day 1-odd numbered classes (1, 3, 5, 7), Day 2 - even numbered classes (2, 4, 6, 8) so each class will meet every other day according to each student’s class schedule.
• The afternoon will consist of teacher meetings, Zoom, with individuals or small groups based on student needs identified from morning instruction or past schoolwork.
• Teachers will have office hours in the afternoon for students to ask questions via Zoom video conferencing.
• iPads will be provided for each student.
• Staff will also be contacting students each week to check in with them as needed.
“While there is more work and professional development to be done during the month of August, we wanted to give you an idea of what a normal day and schedule would look like for your child(ren),” Laehn wrote. “Please understand the information is evolving and updates will follow as needed.”