Board asked to allow online learners back in classrooms

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CLINTON — Retired teacher Karl Diener spoke to the Clinton school board Tuesday night to ask them to reconsider their policy requiring remote learners to remain remote through the end of the semester. Diener asked that these students be allowed to return for the final quarter of the 2020-21 school year if they so choose. 

The Clinton school board approved its school opening plan in July 2020. Parents who chose remote learning were to keep their students remote until the next semester.  

Superintendent Curt Nettles said in October the board discussed the possibility of letting remote students return to in person learning prior to the end of the semester, but ultimately decided not the change its policy.  

Nettles said some students did choose to switch from remote learning to in-person learning with the new semester in January. 

Due to the changes in Covid restrictions, some board members expressed a desire to consider changing the policy and allow remote students to return to the classroom. However, because the topic was not on the meeting agenda, no action could be taken. 

Board president Dan Matthews said: “We made a policy for the year. I think next time we set policies we need to leave a little wiggle room, but I think we have a good thing going. We have a summer school opportunity now. I feel strongly that we have to stay the course.” 

Following the meeting, Nettles added, “At this point the board is not poised to take any action to change the policy to allow (return to in-person learning).” 

Summer School 

The board approved a plan for summer school through 2023. “It doesn’t mean we have to do summer school, but we can,” said Nettles. 

Kindergarten through 8th grade students will be invited to summer school based on academic need. High school students will attend for credit recovery.  

Summer school classes will be held from June 7 to July 1, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with Covid protocols based on whatever is in place by the state. 

“I think we’ll do whatever we need to do to help (students),” said Nettles.  

In other business, the board: 

  • Heard a presentation about Douglas School’s after school tutoring program.
  • Approved a bid of $563,396 from Taylor Roofing, Belleville, to replace the roof at Clinton Junior High School.
  • Approved a bid of $51,200 from Henson Robinson of Springfield, to replace the water heater at CJHS. 
  • Changed the date of the April board meeting to 6:30 p.m. on April 26. 
  • Approved the employment of Scout Duncan Savage, Douglas kindergarten teacher for 2021-22; Lori Berger, Douglas leadadministrative assistant; Karen Castillo, CJHS aide; and Madi Nettles, Jacob Phillips, and Jared Wisler, CJHS girls’ track coaches.