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USC adds flex learning day for staff

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Nov 1, 2020

With their masks firmly in place, members of the USC School Board met early Thursday morning for a special meeting.

The United South Central School Board held a special meeting on the morning of Oct. 29 to discuss adding a flex-learning day to the academic calendar. The day being considered was Friday, Nov. 13.

“We consistently hear time is the most crucial item for teachers when they are working on their lesson plans,” superintendent Keith Fleming told the board. “The issue of having to teach in a dual mode with both in-person education, as well as distance learning for those families who have chosen that route, requires more time for the teachers to do their prep work.”

Chairman Dale Stevermer offered his thoughts on the matter.

“To me it is really important we help our staff,” he said. “Adding a flex-learning day is a low-impact way of doing so.”

Fleming offered a further explanation about flex-learning.

“Flex-learning is not the same as a staff work day but it does allow the teacher to have additional planning time,” Fleming commented. “The teachers would still be in the building but would have a more flexible time schedule.”

Another person questioned what would happen if the district made the decision to switch to a hybrid learning model.

“In our hybrid model, Fridays are a flex-learning day anyway,” elementary principal Nick Jurrens responded.

The board passed a motion to add Nov. 13, as a flex-learning day on the academic calendar.

Fleming also led a discussion about the COVID case rate in the county and if it would affect USC’s learning model.

“We have seen the county numbers go up a bit,” Fleming stated. “But we have been in-person learning and I see no need to change our learning model at this time.”