PALMYRA, Mo. | The Palmyra R-1 School District will begin summer school on July 6 as teachers, staff and administrators have been preparing for in-person classes.
Palmyra will offer summer school for all incoming kindergartners, first graders and some at-risk learners at the elementary school level. They also will host credit recovery classes for students at the middle and high school level, as well as driver's education at the high school level.
Staff will wear masks when interacting one-on-one with students and lunch will be delivered to each classroom. The Palmyra School District plans on extra cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing throughout the school day.
“We stay in contact with our local health department for current guidance as we prepare for all of our school-related activities, from summer school to athletic conditioning to the Class of 2020 events, such as graduation,” said Palmyra R-1 School District Superintendent Kirt Malone.
Summer school will begin on Monday, July 6, and run for two weeks until Friday, July 17.
The Palmyra School District will follow recommendations from health and medical professionals, such as placing visual reminders for students to wash hands and practice social distancing throughout school buildings. Hand sanitizer will be readily available for students and staff.
“Restrooms will be limited to 50% capacity and touch surface cleaning will be completed frequently throughout the school day,” Malone said. “Water fountains will be used only for bottle refills and hallway traffic will be limited throughout the day as well. Playground use will be scheduled to make it easier for students to spread out around the space while they play.”
Palmyra R-1 Schools have been closed down since Thursday, March 19. Like other schools in the state, Palmyra was forced to switch to an online format to complete the 2019-20 school year.
Each student had their own iPad assigned to them from the school, where students, parents and staff had to adapt to distance learning, which was new – even to most of the Palmyra teachers.
“The end of the year was difficult for parents, students and teachers in that we have never had a situation like this in our lifetime,” Malone said. “There will be gaps in learning, especially for our young students and our at-risk learners.”
Malone said he looks to this year's summer school session as a way to help younger students plug some of the gaps since they missed nearly two months of the traditional classroom setting.
“One of the most important outcomes of school is to learn how to work with others and take directions,” Malone said. “Mark Twain was right when he reminded us not to let school get in the way of your education.”
The Palmyra R-1 School District will look at the two-week summer school session as a trial run for the 2020-21 school year.
“We wanted to offer a summer school program with social distancing plans, as well as additional layers of protection in place for students and staff,” Malone said. “We will be able to identify what works during summer school and determine where we need to improve our layers of protection when students return to school in August.”