BOE Meeting

Daniel Dye / The Herald

Elmore County Schools superintendent Richard Dennis discusses with board members a proposal to allow summer school and an elementary school reading and math program be held online.

Elmore County Schools superintendent Richard Dennis updated the Elmore County Board of Education on the possibilities of utilizing virtual school for summer programs and the 2020-2021 school year.

As a result, the school board voted unanimously to hold its summer reading and math program for kindergarten through second grade students and summer school classes online.

“Now that we have 1-to-1 technology we can conduct a virtual reading and math camp and conduct summer school virtually,” Dennis said.

According to Dennis, students have already been identified for the reading and math program which will begin the week of June 1 and end the week of July 13.

As for summer school, it will be begin the week of June 8 and end the week of Aug. 3.

The fee for one class is $200 and $400 for two classes. 

Dennis said Central Access played a big role in allowing Elmore County students the ability to access the internet to complete school assignments.

“Central Access has been a huge help,” he said. “Now, we have a platform and the technology to make virtual school a real possibility really with the flip of a switch.”

He did acknowledge not every student had internet access yet.

“That’s our biggest challenge for our students who have limited internet capabilities,” he said.

In addition, Dennis discussed with the board an adjustment to the student policy concerning absences due to illness or when school is required to close during inclement weather.

“The revision of the attendance policy is so as to not take away from (class) exemptions,” he said. “Students must complete school work through an online platform in a certain number of days. Teachers can chart and track students’ participation.”

The discussion was not presented by Dennis to the board for a vote, though Dennis said it would be considered in the near future.

“I want to present it to the board now for the future,” he said. “We ean even do this in inclement weather. For example, a 3-day ice storm, we can flip a switch and have online school.”

Dennis said he and administrators looked at other school systems that already have this policy in place.

He also informed the board that classroom instruction ended Friday and he expects report cards will be mailed next week.

“There are a few cases where students were allowed to continue working into this week,” he said. “For the most part, grades will be finalized this week.”

He said the primary concern for schools this week include collecting Chromebooks and high graduation ceremonies. 

In other action, the board:

- Unanimously approved allowing 11- and 12-month school employees the ability to carry up to 25 days of vacation time from 20 days of vacation time