A year of change

SHS is forced to go completely virtual as Marion County schools close

With COVID-19 cases at a record high, Marion County Mayor Joe Hogsett announced yesterday that schools will have to shut down in the next two weeks. After a few hours, Perry Township made an official statement.

SHS will return to fully virtual learning on Nov. 30. However, Principal Brian Knight says virtual learning this year will look extremely different from the end of last school year. 

“It’s not going to be like last year where everyone was just held harmless and grades weren’t going to go down,” Knight said.

Knight and the administration are working on a new schedule that will give students more chances to interact with teachers than they are receiving with the hybrid schedule. There will be meeting times for classes that will be mandatory for students to attend. Those meetings will also be utilized as a way of taking attendance. 

“I think we can put something together where kids would have multiple times a week where they can meet with teachers,” Knight said. 

Knight believes virtual class time  will be a good time for teachers to go over material, have discussions and for students to be able to ask questions. 

While the schedule is not finalized right now, Knight hopes to have a plan out to parents and students by next week. 

However, the schedule is not the only thing that will be undergoing some changes. While extracurricular activities and sporting events are still allowed, there will be some changes, especially regarding maximum occupancy. The number of people allowed to attend events will be very limited. 

“Once we hit that November 30th date, the only people we are going to allow to attend events are the participants, parents or guardians and whatever school personnel are needed,” Knight said. 

Even though school will look different as a whole, the one thing that will not change as SHS transitions to fully virtual is Canvas lesson postings.

  “Teachers will still post things weekly…,” Knight said. “It’s still going to be posted and structured similar to what it is right now.” 

With changes soon approaching, Knight hopes for people to be understanding and patient.

“We will continue to do everything we can to support teachers and to support our students as we work through this,” Knight said.