The Berea Independent School district will open the 2020-21 school year virtually and students will be given two options to consider before classes resume online.
The Berea School Board approved the plan at a special meeting earlier this week and made the move as students, faculty and other staff adjust to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Teachers and staff will report on Aug. 13 and the current school year will begin on Aug. 26. The current plan is part of four phases and framework and guidance for future instruction remains under consideration and in-person classes could resume in the future if the threat of coronavirus subsides in the near future.
Two models will be available to students to open the calendar year. The first option offers support services from staff through online resources such as Google classroom, online video lessons among other options that will be available for students. Students have the option of services on school grounds, but those are by appointment only and must be approved by the school and its
The second option features an independent model, which students can take courses at their own pace, but will be required to check-in with staff on a weekly basis and attendance will be taken on a weekly basis.
“We feel very good about our plan and the viable options that it will provide for our students and families,” Berea Community Schools Superintendent Diane Hatchett said. “I am so proud of the work of our committees. We sought feedback and input from the stakeholders in which we serve because this has to be a community effort. We are after all, Berea Community Schools. The word “community” means something. There is nothing quite like Pirate Pride. We are establishing a long-lasting system of innovation, collaboration and response to the needs of our students and staff by working hand in hand. Teamwork makes the dream work.”
Students will receive free breakfast and lunch under both plans and delivery also is an option. Students also will be given a Chromebook and wireless internet hotspots will be available on campus for students who need wi-fi assistance. One mask will be provided for those who need in-person assistance. The chromebooks will be returned once in-person classes resume.
The school board also passed an anti-racism, cultural inclusion resolution in a virtual online meeting earlier this week. A meeting of the Anti-Racism and Cultural Inclusion Committee is set for 6 p.m. on Aug. 6.
“We will continue to pursue excellence and inclusion in the context of our district,” Hatchett said. “Excellence is the vision to see obstacles as opportunities. BCS is all about creating opportunities for student success. We are all in this together. We are interdependent, part of the same puzzle. What impacts one impacts all.”