COVID-19 Update March 20, 2020

Hello Harrisburg Families,

We are facing unprecedented times in our world’s history and I know this is causing difficulty to live life in the normal capacity.  Harrisburg RVIII Schools is here to help. As we head into our “Spring Break” we’re working diligently to prepare for what school will look like in the coming weeks.  We are officially scheduled to return to school on March 31st, however, we are formulating a plan to continue distance learning if necessary. I will be making an official announcement next week on what our near future entails. However, I wanted to share some details for our Alternative Method of Instruction plan.  I am hoping this will relieve some stress and we can plan accordingly.  

  • Technology factor: Thank you for helping us gauge the need for technology, our plan is to assist families that do not have access to Internet service.  We will be contacting you and dropping off some school-issued equipment to aid with our distance learning plan.  
  • ZOOM:  For those of you who have not heard this term, we will get very familiar with this platform. This service allows face to face contact with large groups of people over the Internet. Our educators will use this product extensively for Q/A, support and information sharing.  We will be sending out information to every household on how to utilize this product. 
  •  K-5: Teachers will send paper/pencil packets to our students with work for the week of March 31-April 3 these packets need to include new concepts.   We will send self-addressed envelopes in the packet to give parents an avenue to return packet work for feedback and grading. We will be assigning a Zoom time to meet with parents throughout the week. These times are after regular school hours so parents that are still working can communicate with their teachers.  The teachers will also be checking email throughout the day as well. Pre-school is following the same plan, minus the Zoom sessions for now.
  • 6-12: Students will be utilizing Zoom and Google Classroom.  The plan will be to use both of these platforms, as we will virtually teach our students.  We are also setting up times for students to meet with their teachers through Zoom. We will use this in a variety of ways, including Q/A, sharing videos, and support.  We may try to do some live assessments as we become more comfortable with these products. The teachers will also be checking email throughout the day as well. 
  • 6-12: Packets that were sent home on Friday, March 13 will need to be completed and returned the week after Spring Break. You will receive a pre-stamped envelope in the mail to return the completed packet. Please return the packet as soon as you receive the envelope.
  • Food Delivery: After Spring Break, we will continue to deliver food to students that are receiving this service now. This will continue as long as it is allowed by the state and CDC.  
  • Special Education: As our school district continues to navigate these uncharted waters of addressing the pandemic, many questions regarding special services have surfaced.  At this time, due to school closure, all special service and related service minutes are suspended for the duration of the school closure. 

Special education teachers will be available by email if you have questions for your case manager.  As we get more information from DESE we will pass those changes along.

  • On March 19, the Commissioner of Education canceled all state testing (MAP & EOC) and ACT testing for this school year.

Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or anything I can do to help at combss@harrisburg.k12.mo.us or 573-864-0161. These are very trying times, however, we will make it through it together.