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Oxford School District amends learning options for second nine-weeks

The Oxford School District is making some changes to how it will handle learning options for their second nine-week term of the current school year.

During their regular meeting on Monday, the OSD Board of Trustees voted to amend their temporary modifications of procedures for the 2020-21 school year.

Virtual learning will still be offered to students who chose the full-time virtual learning option for the second nine-weeks by Sept. 28. The Board did amend that section of their procedures to state students who were failing and not showing any attempts to submit assignments on time will be required to return to their respective school for face-to-face instruction in classrooms.

Assistant superintendent Bradley Roberson noted there were high percentages of F grades among middle school and high school students doing virtual learning in the first nine-weeks of the school year.

Of individual grades achieved by virtual students at OMS, Roberson said 36 percent were a grade of ‘F’ while 27 percent were As, 16 percent were Bs, 15 percent were Cs and five percent were Ds.

The numbers were similar for virtual students at OHS with 32 percent of their individual grades being Fs. Thirty-six percent were As, 13 percent were Bs, 12 percent were Cs and five percent were Ds.

“Based on the data we have and some of the responses we’ve gotten and some of the success, or lack thereof, of our students, we felt that we needed to change this,” OSD superintendent Brian Harvey said. “Our intent is that anybody who is currently in virtual learning, that they are allowed to continue in virtual learning. They don’t have to provide any kind of medical documentation or anything like that. …As we’ve already heard, we have a large group of students who are not being successful at virtual learning. So, for that we are, as of this meeting, proposing to take that option away from them.”

For students who are currently enrolled in the virtual learning option and are not succeeding, according to their grades, they will be referred to the OSD Teacher Support Team or to the IEP Team if it is a special education student, to be considered to continue.

Since school began on Aug. 24, Roberson said they have had 227 students choose to return to face-to-face instruction in classrooms.

The Board did make one change regarding students who chose the traditional method of face-to-face instruction in classrooms and want to switch to virtual learning. Those students will only be allowed to transition to virtual learning upon the recommendation of a medical doctor based on a specific underlying medical condition that places the student, or an individual of an immediate family member living in the home, at an increased risk of COVID-19.

As of Sept. 28, Roberson noted less than 10 face-to-face students have asked to transition to virtual learning since school began.

Harvey provided an update on the district’s COVID-19 numbers since school began.

There have been eight faculty or staff members across the entire district test positive for COVID-19 and 28 students. There have been 33 faculty or staff members go into quarantine and 288 students have quarantined due to contact tracing.

For the week of Sept. 21 through 27, OSD reported two new COVID-19 cases. A faculty or staff member at OMS and one student at OHS.