School of the Osage releases plan for upcoming school year

LAKE OZARK, Mo -- Christy Shoemake isn't afraid to tell you: virtual learning hasn't been easy for her 5th grade daughter.

"You can't keep the child focused. She's not retaining anything. There's nobody to ask questions," Shoemake said.

School of the Osage Superintendent Dr. Laura Nelson admits this spring was hard.

"We are being very proactive in making certain we do not do what we just did these past two months," Nelson said.

The school wants to build a plan that limits disruption to instruction.

This upcoming year, the school is testing out using Mondays as "alternate method of instruction" days.

Students will physically be in class Tuesday through Friday.

"It's not all about iPads," Nelson said. "So, really, alternative methods of instruction on Mondays that will take place largely at home but often in other places as families decide what is right for students."

Nelson said teachers and staff will still mostly be in the building, and some will be able to hold meeting groups with students.

The plan also has other scenarios.

Keeping Monday as an e-learning day, Scenario Two would allow half of the students attend class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The other half would go in-person on Thursdays and Fridays.

Scenario Three would have 25-percent of students attend class one day a week, having e-learning on the other days.

The fourth scenario would have 100-percent e-learning, only if the school can't return to "normal."

"Ridiculous, would be my word," Shoemake said. "Yes. There may be a virus out there, but still, we have to move on with life. Eldon is going to school full time. They're going to summer school full time," Shoemake said.

Nelson says it's all about being proactive, and the school is taking parents concerns into consideration.

"We are going to have weather, and we are going to have students who get sick, and we will be changing our policies," Nelson said.

Nelson said it was important to have the other three scenarios just in case something happened that was out of the school's control, like a pandemic or inclement weather.