It's that time again . . . the beginning of another school year is just around the corner! When you drive around the schools, you see construction everywhere. It is difficult to overlook the new performing arts center that is being built; and also the entire north wing of the high school that is gone! These are all very positive improvements and Cameron students will soon have access to state-of-the-art science labs, agricultural and family and consumer science areas. The new performing arts center will host the fine arts program, as well as many other events. In addition, there are several side projects happening that will completely change the complexion of the high school.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 is still an issue that must be dealt with. When the Return to Learning Plan was completed in June, the number of Covid-19 cases and positivity rates were very low to non-existent. The very best way to educate students is in person. The district wants students in classroom seats, but safe.
With that being said, I will be recommending to the Board of Education on Monday evening, August 16, 2021, a three stage plan. All stages of the plan include continuing mitigation strategies. The first stage is green and means masks are optional, but highly recommended. When a building reaches 9% of staff and students absent because of quarantine or sickness from Covid-19, that building, and only that building, will move to stage yellow. In stage yellow, masks will be worn for two weeks (10 days), and other mitigation strategies will be put into place. After two weeks we will check to see where the building numbers are. If numbers are 9% or below, masks will be removed. If the number is still above 9% or has changed to 20% or higher (red) we witl continue the üse of masks and implement even more mitigation strategies. It is my hope that this plan will allow our students to get back into school safely, allowing teachers to educate all students. As a note all students will be required by federal law to wear a mask on student transportation, regardless of what stage the district is in.
I am fully aware that Covid-19 itself has become very political and everyone has an opinion on the matter. As the
Superintendent of the Cameron R-l School District, I feel strongly that students learn best when they are in school. I also feel I have an obligation to keep students safe. I believe this plan allows us to do both. I want nothing more than to return to "normal" school. And I believe we get the closest to that, with this model.
I look forward to a great year; a year where students will be in school and learning. With that being said, some of you will still choose to educate virtually, and that will look different this year. Virtual classes will be offered this year, but not courses taught by our staff. If you choose courses through Cameron R-l School District, those will be offered through the Launch Program of Springfield, Missouri. These courses will be taught by certified Missouri educators. You also have the option of going through MOCAP, and choosing your virtual program. Both options require that an application be filled out and approved by the Cameron R-l School District. Since we will be returning to school as closely as possible to normal, virtual education outside of school will not qualify your student to participate in middle school or high school activities.
While we have many challenges ahead, I am confident that we will get through this, just as we have before. The entire district will start off in stage green to begin this school year. I look forward to seeing all the students very soon. Enjoy the remainder of your summer!