The Conway school district is going to a four-day in-person school schedule, though on account of state mandates it must keep schools open on Friday for “meaningful” opportunities for students who might want to show up.
A letter from the superintendent:
Good afternoon! I hope that you are well and staying safe.
These first five weeks of school have been a challenge for us all. We thought this was going to be a tough year and the reality of daily work has proven that to be true. What we have been asked to do as a state, as a district, as a school, and as individuals is phenomenally challenging. It is a challenge for our staff, our students, and our parents.
It is increasingly clear that the current model is not sustainable for the remaining eight months of school. We’ve given it all we have and made every effort to make it work. But for the sake of all, we need to make a major change. Teachers need time to catch up and plan. Students and parents need time to catch up as well.
We are announcing today a significant change in how we do our work. Beginning next week, we will modify our weekly schedule. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday school will be normal school days similar to what we have done since the beginning of the school year. Friday will become a “Blended Learning Friday.” These days will give parents/students the option of learning from home or at school. Regardless of choice, all instruction on Fridays will be 100% virtual. New material will not be introduced on Friday. Exams will not be given. Those who choose to learn from home will not be counted absent. The intent is to free up time for teachers, students, and parents to catch their breath and catch up on the significant amount of work there is to be done.
In order for DESE (the Department of Ed) to approve this modification in schedule, we must offer the opportunity for students to attend school if they choose to do so. Meaningful opportunities must be offered to any student who chooses to come to school.
All employees will report to work as they are scheduled and at their normal location. Food Service will serve meals to those students who attend. Transportation will run regular bus routes on schedule.
Principals will be giving more information and direction. A video announcement is being posted on our district Facebook page and information will be sent out to parents today.
The first Friday for this significant change will be October 2nd.
Thank you to those of you who appropriately expressed your concerns to your building Principals. We heard you. I appreciate you honoring the chain of command as opposed to using other media to complain. We will continue to be good listeners to you as you reflect your thoughts to your building leaders.
My best to you!
Superintendent of Schools