Advance schools move to virtual learning

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Advance Schools have made the decision to transition to remote learning starting Tuesday, Nov. 17. The decision was made at the Advance School Board meeting last Thursday evening after the number of students testing positive or being quarantined because of the COVID-19 pandemic rose dramatically last week.

“This week has seen an explosion in the number of positive cases at our school,” said superintendent Shannon Garner in a statement released on social media Friday. “Our number of students being quarantined due to either testing positive for the Coronavirus or due to contact with a positive case has risen dramatically in the past couple of days. Despite doing our best efforts and the diligence of all students and staff to stay as safe as we could, we still could not keep the virus out.”

Garner said Tuesday morning that the school sent home an undisclosed number of students last Monday after they began feeling ill. He went on to say the parents took their students for rapid tests and they tested positive for COVID-19.

The school then performed contact tracing, resulting in students who had been determined to have close contact with students testing positive sent home. Garner said within a couple of days those students started becoming ill. Garner said it was decided at last Thursday’s school board meeting that with the upcoming Thanksgiving break, it was decided it was a good time to move to virtual learning and stop the spread within the school.

The district is only scheduled to move to virtual learning for six days. Garner said as long as students log in daily as required to receive their lesson plans they will not be counted as absent. Also due to the Alternate Method of Instruction (AMI) extended learning plans put in place by the Department of Secondary Education (DESE), the district will be credited as being in session while in virtual learning.

Classes met in person at Advance of Friday, Nov. 3 and Monday, Nov. 16 to prepare for the transition. The students will remain home during remote learning and receive their lessons via computer or through packets from their classroom teachers. Teachers will provide more information to students via email.

Garner said that free meals were provided to all students who want them during the remote learning period. Six breakfasts and six lunches were provided for students Tuesday.

Garner offered reassurance to parents in the statement.

“We, the staff and teachers of Advance School District, feel very confident that we are prepared for remote learning and feel we will be able to offer your student a quality education during this time,” said Garner. “But we will need your support in this. Please make sure your student is logging into their classrooms during the scheduled time and completing the assigned work on time. Together we will have a very successful remote learning experience.”

Advance will be on Thanksgiving break and will not meet remotely Nov. 25-27. In-person classes are scheduled to resume on Nov. 30.