MORGAN COUNTY, Mo. — The Morgan County R-II School District will be moving to all-online learning for nearly two weeks, beginning Thursday, Oct. 22.

The school district board made the decision on Monday, Oct. 19 as a response to the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in the district. School was cancelled on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 20-21, in response to a threat of violence that has still not been resolved. Students will begin online learning on Thursday, Oct. 22 and the plan is for them to return to in-seat learning on Nov. 5.

"Our students and teachers have been practicing this basically since the beginning of the school year, so everyone is prepared for this transition," said Superintendent Dr. L. Steven Barnes.

A letter from Dr. Barnes is below:

Tiger Families,

I am sending this letter with information about our Category 3 school closure procedures for the high school. Our district will begin online learning on Thursday, October 22, and continue for two weeks. Students will return to in-person classes Thursday, November 5. Our students and teachers have been practicing this basically since the beginning of the school year, so everyone is prepared for this transition. This closure will be very similar to the practice day we had on September 23.

As I have stated in the past, communication is key. If a student can not log on for some reason such as sickness or technical difficulties, please contact the teacher and/or the high school office at 573-378-4697. We will be happy to contact our tech department and they can help with technical issues. Otherwise, we expect students to log on to each of their classes beginning at 8:10 each day. They will follow the schedule just as they would at school, eat lunch during their regular lunch time, and participate in each class every day. I will post a bell schedule to the Versailles High School Facebook page.

Below are a few reminders as we move into online learning:

1. Eldon Career Center students will not physically go to Eldon to attend class. The ECC teachers are aware of the closure and are making arrangements to work with students online. Students will need to stay in contact with their ECC teachers as to how to access assignments and their expectations.

2. If you do not have internet access, please contact the high school office and let us know. We think we have the students’ names already and have worked things out, but we could have missed someone if the student did not let us know. We will work with all students during this time. Please communicate with us.

3. Students with internet access will be expected to log on daily to each class. Teachers will continue with their daily lessons and move forward with their curriculum. Students will be expected to complete assignments/tests. Students will be graded according to their classwork and participation and could potentially fail if they do not keep up with their homework. We will make accommodations for students without internet access or if a student is sick. Again, please communicate with the teachers about these issues. We don’t expect students to work if they are sick.

4. Teachers and students have been practicing going online since the beginning of school and know how this works. If your student has been quarantined, they should have been continuing with their assignments online through Google Classroom/Google Meet/Zoom.

5. We will have a school supply and assignment pick up time Wednesday, October 21, from 3:00 pm-6:00pm. If your student needs to get something from the high school such as a journal from a classroom, art supplies, Chromebook, something from their locker, an assignment from a teacher, a textbook or library book, etc. you can drive up to the front of the high school and someone will meet you. Tell them what you need, and we will bring it to you. If you can’t be there at that time, call the high school office and we will send it on a bus to your home when we start meal deliveries on Thursday, October 22.

There is no replacement for in-person learning in my opinion, but at this time the health of our students and staff warrants this decision to go to online learning. I am proud of our students and staff for all they are doing this year. We are working on an afterschool tutoring program to help students who may fall behind due to this closure and being quarantined. We realize this is not easy and want to work with each student to help them succeed. Thank you for your assistance and cooperation in all that you are doing to help your child.

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