Schools closed through Friday, district moves to non-traditional instruction

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Schools closed through Friday, district moves to non-traditional instruction

By Melissa Perner
The Ozona Stockman

     Crockett County School Teachers are learning how to teach remotely this week, as the school district extended spring break two days and started online lessons due to the COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic.
    As of Monday, March 16, CCCCSD is closing school through Friday, March 20.
    The University Interscholastic League has canceled all academic and athletic practices or events through March 29.
    CCCCSD is providing all students with mandatory homework assignments. This is so the school district can continue to receive state funding and will not have to make up any missed days, said Superintendent Raul Chavarria.
Each campus has set up work assignments for students to access beginning Wednesday, March 18.
OHS and OMS assignments can be found in students Google Classroom.
OES assignments will be pushed through Class Dojo.
Any student that does not have Class Dojo, can call (325) 392-5501 ext. 5500 between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or email OES Principal Erica Cruz at erica.cruz@ozonaschools.net.
OHS Principal Tamara McWilliams said students can access Google Classroom as an app on their smartphones. It is also available on Xbox, Playstation, internet and on tablets.
She said teachers’ aides will be calling students, or parents, who do not check in. If those students do not have access to Google Classroom or Class Dojo, then the aides will make arrangements to get the students the assignments.
“Right now, we are able to serve the kids,” Chavarria said. “We can keep teachers at home, students at home, and serve our students. That’s a big advantage for us. We are going to do as much as we can.”
Chavarria said the school district will make decisions week by week on when to reopen.
During a special school board meeting Monday night, Board Member Roland DeHoyos asked about hourly employees, such as aides, custodians, cafeteria service and maintenance.
Chavarria said those employees will be working some in the buildings doing a deep cleaning. Aides will be checking in with students and helping the cafeteria staff.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken steps to keep federal meal programs going.
Chavarria said he will visit with Food Service Director Susan Webb and get a meal plan in place to start serving students Monday, even if campuses are closed.
“We will find roles for everyone. We don’t want it to affect their pay. We will have duties for them to carry on,” Chavarria said.
Campus offices will be open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday by phone calls only. He said if someone needs to visit face to face, they can call him at the Administration Building.
“We do want to limit as much contact as we can,” Chavarria said.
Chavarria said he will be on conference calls every morning with the Texas Education Agency to receive the latest information.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he would waive testing requirements for this year’s STAAR exam.
The governor’s announcement comes a day after Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told superintendents and lawmakers on two separate phone calls to prepare for long-term school district closures, potentially through the end of the school year, especially in areas where the new coronavirus has spread.
McWilliams said Ozona has one senior student that needed to retake the STAAR to graduate. She said the district is waiting on a directive from TEA for what will need to be done.
“There are a lot of unknowns. It’s literally day to day,” Chavarria said.
Board Member Travis Davidson asked how teachers are going to get students to respond to teaching online.
“We have to try. We will just make it work,” McWilliams said.
“I have the same concerns. I don’t want our kids to fall behind. We are going to do the best we can,” Chavarria said.

 

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