The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Big Sandy Schools Closure Extended for two more weeks


April 1, 2020

The Big Sandy School board held a quick board meeting over the internet. Although the governor said school need to be closed for two more weeks, the school board had to officially declare the school closed per regulations. They voted to do so.

It was noted by Kelly Haaland, Superintendent, that all students can receive free breakfast and lunch from the school Monday through Thursday. All teachers, K-12, at Big Sandy schools have been teaching students remotely for the past two weeks. This will continue indefinitely until we are no longer under the “Shelter in Place” order and the governor mandates that we can return to school.

During the brief meeting, they did visit about the possibility for the need of summer school for those students who might need extra support has this continues to develop.

I asked Sheri Moore, third grade teacher, to comment on the school closing. She wrote, “Teachers have been using programs and applications such as Google Classroom, Seesaw, email and video meetings to continue educating our students. I set my assignments to post each school morning, Monday through Thursday, (usually assigning about 4 assignments per day,) and students work on them.”

“Our students have been logging on and completing lessons each school day. They submit them to their teacher by email or right on Google Classroom or Seesaw, and then the teachers can grade them.”

“The parents have been amazing--helping assist their children and making sure they are completing their lessons. They also are making sure their children are getting some physical activity, art lessons, and life skills each day. There has been a lot of cooking and cleaning, I hear!”

“I communicate with most of the parents daily about lessons and answer any questions they have. The whole situation has been a learning experience for all of us!”

“I have heard from many of the elementary teachers that it has been difficult not seeing their students each day. We really miss having that contact. I found out that I need to post things online only, and not expect the students to print worksheets from home, as some of them do not have printers. Parents have said their students get quite frustrated at home because they are not doing things like they would in class.”

“In my class, one student took it upon herself to put out a “Joke of the Day” every school day, wanting to connect with her classmates. They really enjoyed that. Just last Thursday, we all did a video meeting so that the students in the class could see each other. It was crazy, and loud, and everyone talked at once, but it was so much fun!”

“All in all, I believe that everyone is doing the best they can in the given circumstance. We will continue to educate remotely to the best of our ability. A big thank you to our parents, who are doing most of the work, and to our students who have been troopers through the whole experience.”

Keely Haaland wrote, “As we move into week three of the COVID-19 pandemic, our future is no clearer than when it started. Last Wednesday, March 25th, we had a special board meeting to approve an action plan for the school. In that plan, we collectively decided to continue to provide meals for our students and our teachers will continue to teach students long distance. Our staff will continue to provide the best education we can give during this pandemic. Our maintenance staff is disinfecting all areas of the school for when students and staff return to school. If you are having trouble connecting to the class, please let us know so we can rectify the situation. We are still providing counseling support for those students that are in need. I wish I could tell everyone that this pandemic will pass soon, but I cannot. We must continue to practice social distancing and washing our hands. That’s easier said than done but the harder we work together the sooner we can get back to normal. Stay strong and positive Big Sandy!”


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