Paris Independent To Offer In-Person And Distance Learning Options

WARREN TAYLOR | Citizen Staff

Paris Independent Schools Superintendent Stephen McCauley unveiled the district’s plan for reopening this fall during a board of education meeting on Tuesday, July 21.

“This is a combination of our task force and several of our sub-committees the rolled out; we’ve been meeting for two months now to prepare,” said McCauley to the board.

The plan includes two options for parents to choose from before opening day on Aug. 26: in-person learning with safety protocols and distance learning through the Greyhound Academy.

Students enrolled in the in-person option will return to a different looking building than they left in the spring.

Face masks will be mandatory on the school bus, when moving between rooms and when social distancing of six feet cannot be practiced. Temperature will be conducted before students may enter the building. Classroom rotation will be limited, and all rooms in the schools will be heavily cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day.

McCauley emphasized that he believes that the district will be able to keep students safe.

“We know how big our classrooms are, we’ve measured all of them,” he said. “We are looking at flexible seating and are trying to maximize the space we can offer so that we can provide social distancing within a classroom.”

Students enrolled in the Greyhound Academy will receive online instruction through platforms such as Zoom and Google  Classroom. They will have the opportunity to speak with a certified teacher every day over webcam.

McCauley told the board that the Greyhound Academy will be nothing like the non-traditional instruction days used last year.

“This is not NTI, where we are trying to build on what they already know. This will be new learning,” he said. The goal is also to ensure that the pace of online instruction will match that of in-person instruction.

Any student enrolled in the Greyhound Academy will be asked to commit to it until a scheduled vacation, such as fall break, and after that, they switch options. Students enrolled in in-person may transfer to the Greyhound Academy at any time.

McCauley said the reason for that is that the district’s plans hinge on how many students they know will be in a building at one time.

Online registration for either option is now open and will close on July 31.

A town hall meeting to discuss the plans with the community is scheduled for July 27.

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