Farmington trustees vote to keep 6-12 remote until Jan. 25

Farmington Public Schools trustees voted on Tuesday to keep secondary students in remote learning through January 25, 2021.

Officials and parents panned that date when administrators said in September they were targeting a second semester return for grades 6-12. Earlier this month, staff presented a hybrid A/B plan that would have two groups of students alternating class periods Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday, with everyone remote on Wednesday.

The majority of teachers opposed that plan, because it would require them to simultaneously teach students in person and virtually. Superintendent Bob Herrera said that officials also heard clearly that some students are struggling with remote instruction.

Meeting parent, student and staff concerns

Assistant Superintendent for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Bobbie Goodrum said secondary administrators met with staff  “to brainstorm ways to meet parent, student and staff concerns.” The result was a fully remote plan that would include scheduled time Monday-Thursday afternoons and all day Friday for in-person support and social opportunities.

Goodrum presented a draft schedule that would have classes starting at 7:45 a.m., rather than the current 9 a.m. start time. That was a sticking point for trustees Terri Weems and Jessica Cummings.

“Changing the schedule seems disruptive to all students,” Cummings said. “Is it possible to maintain some consistency and offer the supports and interventions that some students are asking for?”

Goodrum said an alternative discussed would offer interventions only on Fridays, which “would reduce the number of students who would be able to participate.” She urged officials to come to a decision as the end of the year is looming.

“Every moment that we don’t know what our plan is… takes away from the time we need to be planning for second semester,” she said. “We are going to have to blow our entire schedule up and rebalance cohorts to the best of our ability… If you ask us to go back to the table, we would go back to the table. But if you can make a decision tonight, it would really help us.”

More intentional about supports

Herrera said administrators can bring students in for support and intervention without board approval, based on a continuation of learning plan approved earlier this year.

“Based on this conversation… we all hear what you’re saying. We can look for ways to be more intentional about providing supports for students without changing the current schedule,” he said.

Weems said she was concerned about students who are struggling, “but I don’t want to lose students who need help who are traditionally A students and getting Bs and Cs. I want us to be focused on all students getting a year’s growth.”

Goodrum said in addition to teachers identifying students who are getting Ds and Fs, the higher performing students, or their parents, would have an opportunity to sign up for support.

The vote to stay with remote learning was unanimous, with trustee Terry Johnson absent.

K-5 students will return on November 9 to in-person learning, under a hybrid plan.

Watch the meeting at farmington.vod.castus.tv/vod. View the presentation at meetings.boardbook.org/Public/Agenda/1087?meeting=409294.

This is a late report that may be updated with additional information. 

 

 

 

Reported by