Camdenton R-III to begin 2020-21 school year August 24 with adjustments to ‘the new normal’

MITCH PRENTICE
Lake Sun Leader

As lake area schools are finishing preparations for the long delayed graduation ceremonies for high school students, plans for next school year are also underway. Camdenton R-III Superintendent Tim Hadfield confirmed Monday that the district is currently planning to open its doors for the 2020-21 school year on August 24. However, there are still a number of considerations that are being made in order to open the school as safely as possible. 

Hadfield says the main focus of the district at this time is to figure out the best method toreopen the school effectively while also keeping staff and students as safe and healthy as possible. He says they are anticipating many parents and students being ready to reenter the classrooms in the fall, but are also understanding of those who will be somewhat apprehensive. 

“Our duty and obligation is to serve all of our students in the best manner available.  We are currently working to develop plans to meet these many diverse needs,” Hadfield said.

Over the few months schools operated under stay-at-home guidelines, Hadfield says the district learned many lessons. The most important of which he says is the ability to teach online. However, unlike School of the Osage who announced that one day out of each school week next year would be taught from home, Hadfield says Camdenton R-III has no plans for this. If the school were to have to close for a lengthy period of time in the future, he feels they will be much better prepared.

“From March through May we felt like we were sort of building an airplane while it was already in the air.  If we are forced to close in the future we can and will continue to have learning opportunities for our students,” he said

Some health officials are concerned that a second wave of the COVID-19 virus may come back stronger in the fall season of 2020. If this were to happen and schools were to close their doors once more, Hadfield says the district feels they have a better plan in place this time around to make sure students are adequately equipped and ready for at-home learning. 

Overall, while it seems there will continue to be challenges and changes made to how schools function in the future, Hadfield says he and the district are ready to return to some form of normality. 

“We are anxious to get back to a more traditional educational setting with our students,” Hadfield said. “ We will have some changes in our practices in the future under our "new normal," but we are looking forward to beginning our 2020-2021 academic term in August. “