Success despite adversity

2020-2021 MC schools year in review

Jennifer Moonsong

Central Division

General Manager

Jobe Publishing, Inc.

 

In only a few days, the school year will come to a close for Metcalfe County students, and although it is ending on a positive note at the beginning of the year there was a great deal of apprehension about the unknown.

“I am really proud of the staff, the students, the community, and all of the people involved with making this year successful,” said Josh Hurt, superintendent.

“Now, if you had asked me July 1 how it would go, I don’t think I could’ve predicted it would have gone this well.”

Like all school systems, the Metcalfe County school system had more questions than answers about how to navigate the first full school year in COVID pandemic times.

“By and large, the year was a success for us. That’s not to say that everything was perfect, but all things considered, I think it went well,” he said.

However, with that said, Hurt is the first to admit that it is difficult to measure the experiences of others.

With the year ending the school system is eager to have feedback, and is preparing a small survey for the community/parents to ask how they did at navigating unusual circumstances.

“We tried to stay focused on the student experience and I do hope that what we provided was a reasonable experience for the kids,” said Hurt.

More than any other school system in the region, Metcalfe County was able to offer in-person classes to those who wanted it for the majority of the year, only being forced to close the doors altogether on two brief occasions.

Even so, there are a small group of students/parents who have reached out to the schools regarding Senate Bill 128, the “redo bill”.

“There are parents at all grade and school levels that are requesting this, but it is not a huge amount,” Hurt said.

The bill that was passed last month allows a lot of leeway

for local authorities to make decisions while making an effort to give parents a choice in educational matters.

Ultimately, the Board of Directors will decide what measures to take regarding the provisions of the bill, and they plan to do so at the May 11 board meeting.

Whatever the outcome of that meeting, Hurt reiterates that the school system as a whole has tried to make an opportunity out of each difficulty.

“Regardless we plan to meet with the students and parents who have requested this to map out a plan, that suits each student,” he said.

Looking to the future, and also at circumstances a year ago at this time, many things have improved and many things will improve yet.

Sports, graduations, and proms are underway this year in a more normal fashion, and next year field trips and other school-related activities and festivals will likely return.

To learn more about the outcome, see next week’s Edmonton Herald-News.

 

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