Piggott School Board Approves Reentry Plan

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The district reentry plan was approved by members of the Piggott Schools Board of Education at a special meeting held Tuesday, July 21. The board also accepted the resignation of the district IT assistant and hired a volleyball coach.

The first draft of the reentry plan was reviewed at the recent regular meeting, and an amended version was presented for consideration last week. After discussing the matter, the board voted to accept the guidelines for reopening classes as presented by superintendent Barry DeHart.

“We are currently planning and making preparations to return to on-site instruction for our students this fall. However, we understand that some families may not feel comfortable sending their children back to school, or you may have found that online learning works well for your family,” DeHart's letter to the district noted. “Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Piggott has started the process to develop our own fully online school for the upcoming school year. With the current health crisis we are facing, we have decided to extend the online option to all grades (K-12) for students and families that wish to participate.”

This program is known as Piggott Online Education (POE), and offers the same content as classroom instruction by grade-level certified teachers. Students are also permitted to take part in on-campus activities.

DeHart noted some requirements must be done on campus, such as certain testing and screenings, but the majority of the content will be delivered online by such avenues as Google Classroom.

He indicated the deadline for parents to enroll students in POE is Friday, July 31.

Under the current guidelines, masks will be required for those in grades four through 12—although that could change before school starts according to DeHart. “We just don't know what the guidelines are going to be at that time,” he added—noting the case numbers will guide the ADH.

“Regardless of what school looks like next year, and no matter what educational option you choose for your child(ren) we are completely confident that the Piggott faculty and staff will deliver and outstanding education for all of our students,” he added.

The complete reentry plan may be found on the Piggott School District website at www.piggottschools.net/article/274302

In personnel matters, the board voted to accept the resignation of Chris Thompson as the assistant to IT director Joseph Crittenden. According to DeHart, Thompson has taken over the IT effort at Holcomb Schools. In turn, the district is currently advertising for his replacement.

Following a lengthy search, and based on DeHart's recommendation, the board filled the vacant position of head volleyball coach with PHS grad Erica Burns. She was hired as non-certified staff to serve as district facilitator for the “conduit” efforts such as advanced credit distance learning as well.

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