Re-opening Schools Information
Dear A.C. Flora Parents and Students,
By now, many of you have heard the Richland One plan for re-opening schools. This information was presented to the Board of School Commissioners last night. The entire plan can be found on the district and school website. I will try to capture the highlights in this email and will follow with additional information specific to A.C. Flora. The student start date is now set for August 31st, but there may be activities (computer pick-up, etc.) before that date. There are phases based on CDC/DHEC guidelines and other factors which will guide the district in allowing students back on campus. At this point, it appears we will start with elearning. This means the assigned Flora teachers will instruct your child through the use of computers. As the impact of COVID-19 improves, we will go to a hybrid system which means students will come to school two days/week (either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday) and have elearning the other days. As soon as possible, we would get back to a traditional schedule. The other option is that students may apply to attend the year-long Richland One Virtual Program. These students would be attached to our school in terms of graduation, testing and extracurricular activities but our teachers would not be involved with teaching the virtual program students. The deadline to apply is July 31st and more information can be found on the district web site.
For students at Flora, knowing we will start with elearning has afforded us the opportunity to modify our schedule. This change will allow students to focus on only four classes this fall semester and then have four new classes in the spring. We believe this will be beneficial in terms of the number of courses to keep up with as well as provide a smoother transition as we progress through the phases to return to school. This schedule will not be in place for IB or AP courses so students taking those courses may have more than four classes each semester. Additional details will be provided regarding those classes in the near future.
COVID-19 has turned our worlds upside down. I am well aware that we have many teachers, parents and students with opposing views regarding the return to school. People are understandably concerned about the unknowns. Let me share what I do know… our job is to continue to provide the best education possible. We have a rich tradition of valuing academics, athletics, activities, and the arts. We are a diverse community that is able to pull together during challenging times. Our faculty is amazing and many have new and engaging strategies that will work very well in e-learning and face-to-face. We have learned many lessons from the elearning in the spring. We know in most classes that teachers need daily interactive time with students. Teachers will be accountable for having interactive sessions on a regular basis. Students need to be held accountable for attendance and work needs to be graded. Students need to be able to ask questions and get feedback. Please know that elearning will look different than it did in the spring. We will work together to make the elearning a quality learning experience. Students not engaged will be identified and we will work with the student and parents just as we would if we had concerns on campus. We will continue on our path to academic excellence. Additional information and updates will be provided at least weekly.
Please stay healthy and enjoy the summer vacation. GO FALCONS!!
Principal, AC Flora High School