Students struggling online asked to return to in-person classes

Staff report

     Monticello Schools Superintendent Brian Jaeger sent a letter to parents/guardians last week concerning the district’s online learning policy.

     Early on when the school year began, the Monticello School District gave families a choice between online, hybrid, or in-person learning.

     “Almost 1 in 4 of our K-12 students are participating in online learning for all or part of the school day,” Jaeger shared.

     As the end of the semester draws near, the district has noticed some students are struggling with online learning.

     “If your student is struggling with online learning,” prefaced Jaeger, “we ask you to give it one more push from now until the end of the first semester on Jan. 13.

     “We will continue to help in any way we can to see your student be successful at online learning,” Jaeger offered.

     With that said, starting on Thursday, Jan. 14, any student who is shown to not be successful with full-time online learning throughout the first semester will be required to return to in-person learning.

     “Students that fall behind one semester are really concerning, bit we still have a chance to bring them closer to grade level before the end of the school year,” explained Jaeger. “Students that fall behind an entire school year may take multiple years to catch up.”

     Over this week, the school will be contacting those parents of students who are struggling with online learning. The school will assist those families in transitioning back to in-person learning.

     With that said, the COVID-19 numbers across the district continue to decrease every day. The 14-day positivity rate for the City of Monticello is 21.4 percent.

     “That is much better than our numbers that caused us to go online before Thanksgiving,” Jaeger said.

     Typically during the winter months when school is cancelled due to inclement weather, students have a “snow day.” Now, whenever a snow day is called, students will take part in a required online learning day, much like every Wednesday. These days will count as a school day, and will not be made up in June.

     The MCSD currently has 15 students and four staff members in isolation (those who are showing a variety of COVID symptoms). There are also 12 students and two staff members under quarantine (those who have been exposed to someone with COVID).

     That’s 3 percent of the student body and 3 percent of the entire staff out for COVID-related reasons.

     “This number is down a bit from last week,” Jaeger said.

     There are also 222 PreK-12 students taking part in online or hybrid learning, which amounts to approximately 22 percent of the student population.

     “This number has dropped slightly over the last week,” said Jaeger.


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