Parent’s Playbook: Cassopolis Public Schools

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 6:27 PM EDT
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Tricia: Some Michigan schools have delayed their start back to school and that includes Cassopolis. Joining me now Dr. Angela Piazza from Cassopolis Public Schools. Good to see you.

Dr. Piazza: Good morning. Good to see you.

Tricia: Why the later date? I know you were supposed to start, what, August 31?

Dr. Piazza: Yes. So traditionally we always start after Labor Day, but this year Michigan got the opportunity to start before Labor Day without a waiver so we were going to jump on that. but given everything that we need to prepare for and make sure we have all the safety protocols in place, we went ahead and pushed that back to the Tuesday after Labor Day like normal.

Tricia: Because you are planning to do some in person instruction- is that correct and what are your learning options?

Dr. Piazza: Absolutely. So we actually have three options, which is a little bit different. So we are doing in person, so face to face instruction that's our first option. Then our second option is actually virtual classroom, which is a little bit different than our third option, which is the online Academy. And so the virtual classroom actually gives the students the opportunity to join right in live via zoom or a platform such as that where they can take place and interact with the instruction that is happening right in the classroom. The online Academy is where it's strictly online instruction more self-paced, obviously with one of our teachers overseeing their progress on that. But we asked for a semester commitment on the online Academy. So three different options, this year.

Tricia: For those families that are learning virtually at home, how's the Wi Fi?

Dr. Piazza: That's great, that's a good challenge. But actually, when this all happened in the spring, we were right on that and had hot spots available for our families who did not have a Wi Fi connection or internet connectivity, but with our three options we are asking that if parents don't have that option maybe they want to look at the face to face. But we do have hotspots around where they can come to our parking lots and things like that, if they need to access internet.

Tricia: Let's talk about the in-person protocols. What kind of things are kids going to notice when they step inside school?

Dr. Piazza: Well the first thing they're going to see is obviously, they have to have masks, when they get on the bus. So that is all of students will have to have masks as they enter the bus. Then as they're coming into our building, we're actually going to monitor our students with taking their temperatures, which is a little bit different, but they'll be greeted with staff and just, you know, 'Good morning. How are you?' We want them to feel welcome as they're walking in, but we will be monitoring their temperatures and then if we see anything they'll be whisked away into a health room. But there'll be lots of hand sanitizers available we've, we've upped that, where we've installed some portable machines so that they have hand sanitizer available in the classrooms. They will see. We will have some plexiglass dividers for group work. That's one of the things that we're committed to is still letting students interact with one another or small group instruction from our teachers, so we'll have some plexiglass dividers there. We've actually moved our school week to a four-day week so that we can do a deep clean on Friday. So we'll go to school, Monday through Thursday and then a deep clean on Fridays over the weekend. And we've also reduced our day just a little bit, so that they there's actually more rest time for our students and staff. So we've done a few different things to really, you know, up the protocol for safety for our students and staff.

Tricia: Sept. 8 will be here before you know it. We wish you the best as you guys head back to school.

Dr. Piazza: Absolutely. Thank you so much.

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