Snowline Prepares For First Day of School

Photo By: Don Fish Jr. – NewsPlus
Students and parents line-up along the Serrano high school bus ramp to collect yearbooks, technology, and learning materials in anticipation of the 2020-2021 school year.
By Don Fish Jr

Snowline Schools will be opening their “Virtual” doors on August 17, 2020.  While students were off for summer vacation, Snowline staff was hard at work, developing plans for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. With no finalized school reopening guidelines issued from the state and county, staff had to plan for several teaching possibilities from distance learning to in-class instruction.

At a Board of Trustees meeting held in early July, Superintendent Dr. Ryan Holman presented the preliminary plan for reopening to the Trustees and received direction allowing staff to finalize the plan.  The plan, based on student, teacher, and parent input from several surveys conducted since March, the plan included three options. Option one was for in-class instruction; option two was for “Remote Learning,” and option three was homeschool through the district’s virtual school.

A mere three days later, the state issued its guidelines, which did not allow for in-class instruction.  Taking it in stride, the staff modified their existing plan to accommodate the guidelines. All schools in the Snowline School District will begin the school year with a remote learning option, a more robust and accountable program than the distance learning that was in place at the end of the last school year.  Parents will also have the option of enrolling their students in the district’s homeschool program called Snowline Virtual Academy.

Beginning the week before the first day of school, Snowline schools began handing out supplies needed for remote learning. As a requirement of remote learning schools must issue students the technology needed for remote learning. For Snowline this includes Chromebooks and if internet access is needed, wifi hotspots. While many students may already own or have access to a laptop or desktop computer all are encouraged to take a Chromebook to ensure they will be able to utilize the online tools needed to facilitate online learning.

If students need internet access, hotspots are available through an application which can be found at each of the schools, the district office and at Hotspots will be paired to the Chromebooks and include content filtering for safety purposes. Additionally no other devices will be able to pair with the hotspot.

Technology and learning materials are currently being distributed to students through drive-up, curbside service at schools throughout the district. This week, the long-anticipated Serrano Class of 2020 yearbooks became available and were delivered to the school just hours before the Serrano distribution event was to begin. Many students were excited to be able to finally pick up their yearbooks, get some new technology, and yes, get their learning materials for the upcoming school year.

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