At last week’s Board of Education meeting, Mendota High School superintendent Jeff Prusator gave a positive report on the first six weeks of in-person learning.
However, it came with a caveat.
“What research at Brown University and Johns Hopkins is starting to show is as long as we continue to wear masks, social distance as best we can and have restrictions the kids buy into, the parents buy into and the staff buys into, we should be able to do this,” Prusator said. “We’re hoping we can do this for the long haul. With that being said, this thing is so unpredictable.”
Prusator said the thing that worries him most is not having enough staff to open the school because of quarantine.
“If that happens, my recommendation will be to go to remote learning for two weeks, get over the 14-day quarantine period and try again,” Prusator said.
If MHS has to go remote due to an uptick or COVID-19 cases or quarantine, the school’s administration is confident it will go smoothly.
“Teachers have shifted to utilize more technology daily so we are prepared to go 100% remote at a moment’s notice if needed,” said MHS principal Denise Aughenbaugh.
MHS has been 1:1 with Chromebooks for about eight years and teachers have incorporated more technology into the curriculum.
Teachers have cameras in their classrooms so the 99 students who have chosen remote learning or those unable to attend because of the quarantine can see the lesson on Zoom.
Other technology-based resources being used in classrooms include Delta Math — which provides online screening and instructional support — and Flipgrid, a website that allows teachers to pose questions in a message board with students posting video responses, among other programs.
“The goal is that if we have to change to full remote, our students and teachers have the tools and are ready,” Aughenbaugh said. “With all the good that has happened, we are still very mindful it can change.”