Remote learning questions answered

Student+prepares+for+their+remote+learning+period+coming+at+the+end+of+November.+%22Let+your+principal%2C+the+nurse%2C+or+myself+know+if+you+have+a+positive+COVID+case+so+we+can+keep+track+of+that+come+January%2C%22+superintendent+Andy+Pygott+said.+

photo by Breanna Evans

Student prepares for their remote learning period coming at the end of November. “Let your principal, the nurse, or myself know if you have a positive COVID case so we can keep track of that come January,” superintendent Andy Pygott said.

Q: Why was the decision to go remote made and what is the hope for this?

A: “The motivation behind it is the fear that numbers across the state are going up, and given the fact we are into the holiday season and there is that tendency of having more contact with people and family that you aren’t normally around, it puts us at greater risk and we want to try to avoid that and avoid people having to quarantine over the holidays,” Meridian High School Principal Eric Hurelbrink said.

Q: What will classes look like for students during this remote period?

A: “The goal is to keep school as much like school as we can,” Hurelbrink said.

Q: Will they be required to attend all day?

A: It is the expectation that MMS (Meridian Middle School) and MHS (Meridian High School) students will attend each virtual hour as if they were at school. For MES (Meridian Elementary School) students, attendance will be taken during the morning check-in from 8:00-8:15 am. For MMS/MHS students, attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class period as it would be if in-person. Unless a student has a valid reason for being absent from engagement, all students are expected to be “in class.” Teachers will take attendance at the start of the hour so it is important for students to be logged in at the beginning of each session. If a student is sick and cannot “attend” or complete assignments, the office must be notified prior to 8 am. If a sickness develops during the day, the office should be notified immediately. 

Q: Will students be taking finals?

A: “Yes,” Hurelbrink said.

Q: What will homework assignments look like and when will they be due?

A: Teachers will assign homework and assessments as they would if the school were in-person. All assignments made will be due by 3 p.m. the next day. If a student is not able to meet this deadline, they, or their parent, should contact that teacher to discuss the possibility of other arrangements. (Exceptions would include things such as an illness, anticipated absence, difficulty with technology/access, etc.) Teachers may, if needed, extend the deadline for lengthier assignments, projects, etc.

Q: What will grading look like?

A: In all buildings, grading will be based on the same traditional standard as if the student were in-person. For MES students, specialists will post optional opportunities for students to engage in activities and/or work. However, no formal grades will be given in these areas.

Q: What if someone has Chromebook issues?

A: If a student experiences issues with their Chromebook, they should communicate these to Meridian CUSD #15 Director of Technology, Phil Stielow. He can be reached by phoning the appropriate office or at  [email protected]

Q: Will lunch be provided for those students who need it?

A: Breakfast and lunch will be available for students to pick up each day. Orders should be placed by calling the offices by 9:00 a.m. If you will be picking up in Macon or Decatur, please call (217) 764-3367. If you will be picking up in Blue Mound or Boody, please call (217) 692-2535. 

Pick up times

MES Entry (Blue Mound Campus) – 10:45 – 11:15 a.m. 

MMS Entry (Macon Campus) – 10:45 – 11:15 a.m. 

Hyde Park Office 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. 

Boody Post Office 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. 

Q: Are you planning to attend classes during the remote period?

A: “I really don’t want to but I know it’s probably for the best, so yes,” Meridian junior Abbi Hackert said.