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story.lead_photo.caption A Blair Oaks student looks out the window of the bus that will take her home from summer school on Wednesday in Wardsville. Rain delayed the students' commute to the busses by a few minutes as Wardsville saw a couple scattered downpours in the afternoon. Summer school for the district ends this week. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

The Blair Oaks R-2 School District sent a survey to families Wednesday to determine the district's re-entry plan for the fall semester.

Superintendent Jim Jones said administration will use the information learned from the 41-day school closure and in-seat summer school to determine a plan for the fall. He hopes to release the plan to the community Aug. 1.

"These experiences will prove beneficial in the creation of the plan to reopen the entire district to students on Monday, Aug. 24," Jones said.

The surveys have open-ended questions asking what went well and what could be improved. It also asks which online activities and lessons were most beneficial during the school closure, how effective online learning was, what the biggest challenge was and suggestions for if online learning becomes necessary again.

It also asks parents to rate their priority for COVID-19 safety precautions including temperature checks, additional cleaning measures, hand sanitizer and masks.

The survey will ask for parents' preferred model of education if in-person instruction is limited or not an option, including hybrid (two days in person, three days virtual), all virtual instruction with Blair Oaks teachers, all virtual instruction through a virtual program called Launch, or home school (parent-directed).

Jones said building leadership teams will seek input from staff and secondary students.

"Blair Oaks is excited to serve our community," Jones said. "We want to know how we can best serve the needs for all our stakeholders."

Administration will use guidelines from the Cole County Health Department, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and CDC to determine the plan, Jones said.

"I think that every plan is a little bit unique to their school, to their community," Jones said. "Our plan will reflect our community, so that's why we value this input."

Jones said Blair Oaks administration is evaluating and learning from the summer school processes such as having more bus routes and smaller class sizes.

"A lot of the things that we feel like will be in place in the fall, we were able to practice in the summer," he said. "Does that mean that the fall is going to look exactly like the summer? No, it's not going to look exactly like that."

One factor the district will consider when creating the plan is enrollment, which will be more students than summer school. There were 400 students enrolled in summer school, and the enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is projected to be more than 1,240.

"We look forward to utilizing our experiences, hearing about the successes and things we can improve on moving forward," Jones said.

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