HIGHLAND – Thursday marked the deadline for parents living in the Alpine School District to declare if they want their children to return to learn in the classroom – but thousands of parents in the state’s largest district still have not responded.
At Ridgeline Elementary, the front office staff and educators spent their day making dozens of phone calls.
“We’re buckling down,” Principal Tim Pead said. “Ultimately we just need to know the numbers so we can make decisions that will put the right teachers in the right spots.”
Ridgeline had one of the better response turnouts. Seventy percent of parents at the elementary school in Highland declared by the deadline with the majority asking for Option 1, which is in-person, classroom learning.
Option 2 is virtual learning with an online teacher.
Option 3 is the Alpine Online Packets provided by the district for parents who want to homeschool. No teacher is provided for follow-up with this option.
“We really, genuinely miss these students,” Pead said. “We want the structure and routine back. We’re willing to change our practices and change the format of our classroom – whatever needs to happen to get these kids back to school.“
Ridgeline Elementary has four or five teachers for every grade.
“We are prepared. We have the tools,” Pead said. “Any anxiety I feel is for the well-being of my teachers and my community. We’re working with our teachers. If they are nervous about coming back because they have circumstances at home that make them at risk – then we would love to make that teacher the online teacher.”
Educators will be making phone calls into next week to those parents who still haven’t declared if their children will be learning through Option 1, Option 2 or Option 3.
Class lists are set to post on Aug. 11. Alpine School District plans to start school Aug. 18.