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Letter from Supt. Wright

Hello Wildcat Families!
April and May are typically the busiest months at Licking R-VIII School District, and our school employees are feeling a wide range of emotions as we discuss plans to bring the 2019-2020 school year to a close. At the date of this letter, the Governor’s latest announcement was that our stay-at-home order continues through May 4. Every day brings new and different information, so it has been an ongoing challenge to share updates in our community before another change evolves. Here is a brief summary of some of our immediate plans as we head into the next three weeks….
• Graduation – Administrators and Senior Class Officers met April 15 to discuss graduates’ goals for graduation in this unprecedented year. Hosting traditional graduation on May 17 remains the priority of the senior class, but backup plans were shared including the possibility of an outdoor audience here in Licking or a combination video-recorded ceremony, parade and outdoor stage if we must adhere to social distancing requirements. These meetings between administration and class officers will continue as state restrictions are defined.
• Food Service – At our last food distribution date, our food service team served 7,700 free meals for children in our community! Although the wait time was longer than we hoped, this is a significant source of help to families in our area. We are very thankful for the hard work of our cafeteria staff! Collecting food once a week rather than each day is preferable, so we will serve another week’s worth of food on April 21, April 28, May 5 and May 12 from 10:30-12:30 p.m. Please remember to enter behind the FEMA Gym on Maple Street and exit onto College Avenue.
• Spring Pictures – Mrs. Hutsell is sorting Spring Pictures as they arrive here at school. We plan to hand-out those packets in the lunch line on Tuesday, April 21 from 10:30-12:30 p.m. Parents of students with unclaimed packets will be contacted to plan for pick-up or delivery.
• Homework Packets – Please continue to use the drop-boxes outside the elementary and high school offices to return completed homework. These are locked and monitored by cameras for security. Teachers are also collecting work electronically through Class Dojo, Remind, and Teams. During 4th quarter, elementary grades (K-6) will be given Pass/Fail grades for their work. Although grades 7-12 are graded on their assignments, grading is “compressed.” This means that adjustments will be made in grading to take into consideration that a teacher was not physically present to deliver instruction on new material. Please continue to send specific questions to staff through email. Contact information can be found on the district website at www.licking.k12.mo.us. We have set May 5 as the deadline for homework to be returned in order to give time for teachers to enter grades. Supplemental learning activities will be available between May 5 and May 15, the official end of the school year, but those activities are not required for grading purposes. We recognize there is a need for review and remediation when we return to school, and we thank each of our families for doing their best to serve in new roles as homeschool teachers.
• Collecting Student Belongings – Administration and staff will be working together to gather students’ items that remain on campus in students’ homerooms and lockers. These items will be placed in plastic bags and labeled with homerooms (or locker numbers), grade level, and student names. Families may collect their elementary students’ items on Tuesday, April 28 from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., in the same route as the food service line. Families may collect secondary students’ items on the same date and time in front of Sherman Field House. Lost & Found items collected from hallways, cafeterias, etc. will be available on tables in both the elementary and secondary lines.
Again, this is meant to be a simple summary of more thorough planning. We will continue to send updates through the district’s Facebook page and The Licking News. We thank our community for ongoing support as we adapt, educate, and inform in a changing world.
Your partner in education,
Cristina Wright


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