High school relationships shift from face-to-face to virtualwebmaster May 13, 2020 0 COMMENTS
By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent
A typical high school hallway is filled with the sound of laughter, conversation and locker doors banging.
But due to corona virus restrictions, that image no longer fits reality.
“The halls are quiet,” said Muleshoe High School Principal Cindy Bessire. “I’m not hearing the laughter, not seeing the students face-to-face.”
Bessire said that while crisis learning is definitely more of a challenge, students, teachers, parents and administrators are making the shift to online learning and a virtual relationship.
“Our kids have become more accustomed to online classes,” Bessire said. “Even our freshmen are more self-motivated as a result of having to complete the work online.”
Bessire said having to complete the work for online classes could benefit students when they take college online courses in the future.
“Some of them have done very well, while others have had to learn new programs,” Bessire said. “I think some students definitely benefit from face-to-face learning, while others prefer online learning.”
Some students have taken jobs since the COVID-19 quarantine began; others are still working at jobs they already had, either on their own or through the career prep program.
“Kids are working more now,” Bessire said. “They’re learning to balance schoolwork with jobs. It’s a maturity thing.”
Crisis Learning offers students a variety of options. Those who don’t have Internet access at home or at work can use their phones as hot spots, some drive to the school parking lot in the evenings in order to take advantage of the school’s Internet set up, and others complete assignments on paper.
“Some students either don’t have computers or prefer paper, some do a hybrid of computer and paper,” Bessire said. “We offer whatever students need. Our tech department did a great job of setting this up.”
Several end-of-year events have not taken place. The prom was canceled as was the awards banquet, and UIL events involving many student activities have not taken place. With these changes, it is impossible not to be reminded of the coronavirus and the danger of contracting COVID-19.
“Well, teachers and students haven’t really expressed fear right now,” Bessire said. “Teachers only come up to the school when they need to, and students drive through the parking lot. For the most part, the superintendent and principals have moved to virtual meetings. We take pride in doing all we can to keep safe.”
Grades during Crisis Learning
According to the MISD Crisis Grading Policy During School Closure, high school/junior high courses taken for high school credit will be marked Credit/No Credit. A progress report card was sent on May 8 to inform parents.
May 11-May 19 will be a time period when teachers will not distribute more work to students. This will be time allotted to students catching up and making up work they are missing. If a student has turned in all work up to this point and has made progress, then this will be considered a reward for a job well done.
A final end of year grade will be the average of the first four six weeks and progress made during Crisis Learning.
Promotion to the next grade level will be determined by the average at the end of regular schooling and progress made during crisis schooling. Grade Placement Committees will convene to make decisions if promotion is questionable.
Muleshoe ISD will calculate GPAs and class rank using the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grading periods. The 5th grading period will not be included to calculate GPA. However, the 5th grading period will be used to determine credits awarded and promotion to the next grade level. Dual credit grades from the college will be used to calculate the final yearly average.